With the Piscataway High School football team up 33-30 and the clock ticking down on the North 2 Group V Championship Game last December at Kean University’s Alumni Field against Elizabeth, Cameron Nash needed just 2 yards to seal a state title.
The senior tailback, who had rushed for 219 yards and four touchdowns in the contest, thought he had scored on fourth down, but the Elizabeth defense stopped him just short of the goal line.
“Looking back and watching the end of that game on tape and seeing how close I was to clinching it right there makes it hurt worse and worse,” Nash said. “Knowing the game should have been over right there still stings.”
The final offensive snap was an isolation play for Nash up the middle, but he said the defensive linemen took out his legs and prevented him from leaping over the pile for the score.
“There was nowhere for me to go,” Nash said. “Before the play, I thought about jumping over the top. I wish I could have gone back and done that.”
The Minutemen took over at their own 2-yard line and proceeded to go 98 yards on just three plays, taking 39 seconds off the clock. The final play of the drive covered 49 yards as Jahad Thomas scampered down the sideline and gave Elizabeth a 37-33 lead.
Nash, who doubled as a defensive back, had cramped up and couldn’t be out there with his defensive teammates as the sectional title slipped out of reach.
“I was hoping the guys could get it done,” he said. “It was heartbreaking to lose that game the way we did; we just didn’t execute when we needed to and we let the game get away from us.”
Nash will get a chance to take out some revenge for that loss on the very same field tonight, as he’ll suit up for the South team in the North-South All-Star Football Classic. The game kicks off at 7 p.m.
“Walking on the field again will bring back memories and it’ll be a positive thing,” Nash said. “I hope to continue on success from that game. But this time, I want to win the game.”
It was not only one game’s worth of success for the West Virginia-bound Nash in 2012, as he racked up the seventh-most rushing yards in a single season in Piscataway history with 1,230 to go along with 17 touchdowns. It was just his first season playing for the Chiefs, after spending his previous three seasons in Delaware. Prior to the 2012 season, Nash and his family moved back to New Jersey and he immediately meshed with the Chiefs.
“I wish I had him for more than a year, that’s for sure,” Piscataway head coach Dan Higgins said. “I was truly amazed with how he blended in with the program. He was a perfect fit for us.”
Nash helped the Chiefs to an 8-3 record, and the team set records for offensive yards for the season and rushing yards per game. Nash said he’s spoken to former Piscataway standout and current New Orleans Saints defensive back Malcolm Jenkins for advice in playing in an All-Star Game.
“Malcolm (Jenkins) told me to have fun out there and play my game,” Nash said. “And I also talked to my brother and he just said to enjoy the experience.”