WOODBRIDGE – The host Barrons bounced back from a shutout loss to Monroe last weekend and dominated the line of scrimmage against South Plainfield, securing a 10-7 victory Friday night at Nicholas A. Briscoe Stadium.
Woodbridge took over on downs at the South Plainfield 15 with just over two minutes to play and forced the Tigers to use their remaining timeouts by running the ball three times in a row. But on 4th-and-3 from the 9, Woodbridge quarterback James Rueb threw an incomplete pass, giving the ball back to South Plainfield. Woodbridge Head Coach Bill Nyers said it was an easy decision to go for it in that spot.
“That’s having faith in my defense, that’s what it came down to at the end of the game,” Nyers said. “The defense did a wonderful job and I can’t say enough about them. You don’t like it to go down to the wire like that, but bottom line, I have tremendous faith in what we’re doing here.”
Joseph Muzzio helped put the game away for the Barrons in the fourth quarter, carrying the ball eight times for 32 yards, running valuable time off the clock. The junior tailback finished with 64 yards for the game on 13 attempts.
“He does that really well, he likes to pound the ball down inside between the tackles,” Nyers said. “That’s like our change-of-pace thing, so we ran out a lot of clock by running the ball like that.”
Woodbridge totaled 118 yards on the ground for the contest.
The game was scoreless until the 5:30 mark of the second quarter, when Percy Martin-Oguike intercepted a Kyle Moroney pass and returned it 65 yards for a touchdown. That would be the only score of the first half, as Woodbridge went into the locker room with a 7-0 advantage. Moroney finished the game 8-18 passing.
In the third quarter, Woodbridge took the opening kickoff down the field, using up more than five and a half minutes of the clock, before Robert Martinez kicked a 23-yard field goal to put the hosts up 10-0.
But on the ensuing kickoff, South Plainfield captain Joe Pellegrino returned the ball 90 yards untouched up the far sideline, getting the Tigers on the board and cutting the lead to three.
But South Plainfield wasn’t able to get any momentum after that long touchdown, punting three times and turning the ball over on downs twice on their final five possessions of the game. Overall, tailback Roemello Monroe paced the Tigers attack with 50 yards on 15 carries and he added 15 yards receiving.