COLONIA – On a night where the New Brunswick High School football team could have clinched the outright Greater Middlesex Conference White Division title, Colonia’s Bashir Lauderdale simply wouldn’t allow it.
The senior tailback punished the Zebras defense on his way to 226 yards on 32 carries, scoring three touchdowns and leading Colonia to a 45-27 victory Friday evening at Memorial Field.
Lauderdale scored twice in the second half as he was handed the ball 25 times, helping the Patriots kept their own division hopes alive with their third straight victory. If Colonia defeats South Plainfield next Friday, the Patriots will defend their White Division crown from a season ago.
“I have to give the praise to my linemen, they pulled it out for us and kept me going like always,” Lauderdale said. “We just couldn’t let them win and we have to be back-to-back division champs.”
Lauderdale scored on a 5-yard run to push Colonia’s lead to 33-14 with 5:32 left in the third quarter, seemingly putting the contest out of reach. But on the ensuing kickoff, New Brunswick’s dynamic star Maurice Ffrench returned it 70 yards for a score, giving the Zebras another hope at 33-21.
But Colonia (6-2) rode Lauderdale from there, as 14 of his carries came in the fourth quarter, including a 13-yard touchdown romp that was the final scoring play of the night.
He and quarterback Chase Barneys, who rushed 20 times for 156 yards and two first-half touchdowns, were essentially the entire Colonia offense in the second half.
“That’s the idea in every game. They were giving us some things in the middle of the field and Chase does a great job of reading the option and Bashir did a great job when he got it, getting positive yards and keeping the chains moving,” Colonia head coach Tom Roarty said.
Chase Barneys didn’t have to use his arm too often on Friday night, instead relying on his legs to move the chains, but he did throw a touchdown pass to Solomon Manning late in the third quarter. He was just 2-5 passing for 39 yards and that score. Chase’s brother Bryce ran 29 yards for a touchdown midway through the second quarter.
But the star of the night was Lauderdale, who admitted to being a bit tired after the game, but knew that he was not going to let New Brunswick (7-1) celebrate on his home field.
“They couldn’t stop our running game so we just kept running it down their throats in the second half,” Lauderdale said. “Next week we just have to play hard and keep doing what we’re doing and we’ll win that division again.”
Ffrench was contained all night by Colonia’s defense, as he totaled zero net yards in the first half on seven rushes, and although he ran back the kickoff for a touchdown, Roarty was happy with holding Ffrench down on Friday.
“Every time we identified where he was on the field and he’s the real deal. He can take it and go at any time,” Roarty said. “Davila is a tough runner too, we were lucky to keep them under wraps tonight.”
Samad Davila carried the load for New Brunswick, rushing 19 times for 125 yards and a pair of scores. Ffrench finished with 23 rushing yards on nine attempts and did not catch a pass.
NEW BRUNSWICK (7-1) 7-7-7-6-27
COLONIA (6-2) 12-14-13-6-45
C – Lauderdale 13 run (kick blocked)
NB – Davila 5 run (Garcia kick)
C – C. Barneys 4 run (pass fails)
C – B. Barneys 29 run (Ribiero kick)
C – C. Barneys 4 run (Ribiero kick)
NB – Revan 8 pass from Jeffery (Garcia kick)
C – Lauderdale 5 run (Ribiero kick)
NB – Ffrench 70 kick return (Garcia kick)
C – Manning 9 pass from C. Barneys (run fails)
NB – Davila 11 run (run fails)
C – Lauderdale 13 run (kick blocked)
Passing – NB: Jeffery 1-5-8; C: C. Barneys 2-5-39.
Rushing – NB: Davila 19-125, Ffrench 9-22, Jeffery 5-6; C: Lauderdale 32-226, C. Barneys 20-156, B. Barneys 1-29, Piro 2-11, Benedicks 2-5.
Receiving – NB: Revan 1-8; C: Benedicks 1-30, Manning 1-9.