Sayreville rallies to clinch GMC Red Division title

MONMOUTH JCT. – Bottled up for the majority of the game, the Sayreville High School football team exploded for 21 points in the fourth quarter, en route to a 28-14 victory over South Brunswick, clinching the Greater Middlesex Conference Red Division title.

Zeke Perkinson rumbled 41 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with just 2:19 remaining and Thomas Spiecker returned a T.J. Perkowski interception 45 yards for another score 44 seconds later to seal the game. Sayreville finished the night with 327 yards of offense, but didn’t have a touchdown drive of more than four plays in length.

“It’s funny because we’re usually a ball-control team, a team that drives the ball down the field and punches it in,” Sayreville head coach George Najjar said. “Today, we had some spots and openings and we have kids that can go the distance and they showed that tonight.”

On the second play of the final period, Deion Miller exploded 60 yards down the middle of the field, tying the game at 14-14 and giving the Bombers life they’d been desperately seeking all night. In the first half, Sayreville (7-0) turned the ball over on downs twice and went three-and-out on another possession, compiling only 87 yards of offense.

“We overcame a lot adversity in the first half, but our kids responded in the second half,” Najjar said. “We had a lot of opportunities and couldn’t cash in, but the kids kept fighting and they never quit and showed a lot of heart.”

South Brunswick led 14-7 at the break, thanks to a pair of one-yard touchdown runs to cap long drives. On their third possession of the game, Perkowski went in from one yard out, capping a 10-play, 66-yard drive. Two drives later, the Vikings went 11 plays, covering 68 yards, with Dahrae Ford walking in on fourth-and-1 to make the score 14-7.

In between, Myles Hartfield got Sayreville on the board when he went 55 yards on a punt return. Hartsfield finished the game with 103 all-purpose yards.

The score remained the same until Miller’s touchdown with 11:36 to play in the fourth quarter.

South Brunswick only managed 34 yards after intermission, and Perkowski threw three second-half interceptions. Najjar credited his coaching staff with stopping the Vikings in the final 24 minutes and keeping their perfect record intact.

“In the second half, the defense bottled them up completely and they controlled the field position and the momentum in the game and that was the difference,” Najjar said.

Between halves, South Brunswick honored the best player in school history, retiring Mohamed Sanu’s No. 2. The current Cincinnati Bengal wide receiver starred for the Vikings from 2005-07, leading South Brunswick to the state playoffs for the first time in nearly 40 years in his final season.

The former Rutgers standout, who set a Big East Conference record with 210 career receptions, said it was an honor to have his number retired.

“I’m thankful for my town and the support I have behind me and they’ve always been by my side,” Sanu said. “I get phone calls and text messages all the time, so I’m thankful for all the people supporting me. I know I have a whole town behind me and it brought back a lot of memories to be here tonight, under these lights.”

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