Monthly Archives: November 2015

Liao leads South Brunswick into Central Group V title game

MONMOUTH JCT. – The intellect of Josh Liao came to the forefront at the absolute biggest moment of the game and the South Brunswick football team’s season.

With the clock running on 4th-and-goal and the game tied 21-21, Liao made a heads-up decision to audible from a run to a pass, finding a wide open Mohamed Jabbie in the end zone as time expired, sending top-seeded South Brunswick to a 27-21 victory over fifth-seeded Manalapan on Friday night.

The win vaults the Vikings into the NJSIAA Central Group V title game on Dec. 5 against third-seeded Old Bridge, a 26-12 winner over New Brunswick on Friday night, in an all-GMC Red Division showdown for the sectional title.

“I looked at the sideline and they were yelling at me to spike the ball,” Liao said of the game’s final play. “I knew it was fourth down and we didn’t have any timeouts left, so we called a play to go up the middle, but I saw the Manalapan defense crashing in, so I thought about rolling outside to bye myself some time, so I rolled out and the corner came at me, and I saw Mo open and I hit him. It was a great play.”

Liao finished 16 of 21 for 185 yards and the winning touchdown, with a 33-yard completion to Wendell Allen on 3rd-and-22 with 2:40 remaining to continue the Vikings’ final drive.

“I saw Wendell and he has been working with me all summer and all season and he’s the fastest player on our team,” Liao said. “I said let’s give him a shot, and they had defense over the top and I tried to fit it in there and Wendell made a great catch and it was all him.”

Phil Campbell’s third touchdown run of the game put South Brunswick up 21-7 with 51 seconds left in the third quarter, seemingly putting the Vikings in command. But Manalapan showed the heart of a champion to battle back, scoring just 88 seconds into the fourth quarter on a Chris Maksimik 1-yard run to cut into the lead.

After South Brunswick went three-and-out, Jaier Garrett was back to punt, but he didn’t get the ball off of his foot and the Braves took over at the South Brunswick 34. Five plays later, Manalapan scored to knot the game at 21-21, when quarterback Luke Corcione hit Reily Radosevich for a 23-yard touchdown.

With exactly five minutes to play, the Vikings got the ball back and marched down the field on a 13-play, 69-yard drive, taking up every available second on the clock to advance to their third sectional final in the last four seasons.

“It wasn’t supposed to be that kind of a call,” Jabbie said of the game’s final play and his 10th catch of the night. “Josh made the call of his life and he popped it up to me and I was wide open and caught it.”

Jabbie, who has committed to play at Rutgers, will lead his Vikings onto the High Point Solutions Stadium turf after bringing in 10 passes for 85 yards.

“I just knew that I had to make a big play. Coach always says that big time players make big time plays in big time games,” Jabbie said.

Campbell finished with 63 yards on 22 carries and the three touchdowns for South Brunswick. Manalapan’s Marcus Salinas also had 63 yards rushing on 19 carries, but was held in check after a big opening drive in which he has eight carries for 41 yards. Corcione was 7 of 13 for 151 yards for the Braves, who had ended South Brunswick’s perfect season in the Central Group V final last December.

MANALAPAN (6-5) 7-0-0-14-21

SOUTH BRUNSWICK (9-1) 0-14-7-6-27

SCORING SUMMARY

M – Maksimik 1 run (Wiener kick)

SB – Campbell 1 run (Fehte kick)

SB – Campbell 11 run (Fehte kick)

SB – Campbell 1 run (Fehte kick)

M – Maksimik 1 run (Wiener kick)

M – Rodosevich 23 pass from Corcione (Wiener kick)

SB – Jabbie 1 pass from Liao

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Passing – M: Corcione 7-13-151; SB: Liao 16-21-185.

Rushing – M: Salinas 19-63, Corcione 3-28, Mayfield 2-12, Maksimik 3-4; SB: Campbell 22-63, Liao 5-21, Allen 5-15.

Receiving – M: Scherzer 1-61, Mayfield 4-42, Salinas 1-25, Radosevich 1-23; SB: Jabbie 10-85, Shorter 3-42, Allen 1-33, Garrett 2-25.

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Jabbie, South Brunswick roll into Central Group V semifinals

MONMOUTH JCT. – On the game’s opening play, tailback Blake Leeds hit Walter Wynkoop for a 29-yard completion on a halfback pass. Five plays later, the eighth-seeded Hunterdon Central football team was in the end zone and up 7-0 on top-seeded South Brunswick in the NJSIAA Central Group V playoffs.

“Coaches got us prepared and we were told to expect something early on from them. But we missed it and they got it over on us. But we said, ‘That can’t happen anymore,’ and it was do-or-die now so we have to go hard and come back,” South Brunswick’s Mohamed Jabbie said.

After the Red Devils’ touchdown, it was the Jabbie show from there, as the Rutgers commit made Friday’s game his own personal highlight reel, racking up 184 all-purpose yards while scoring three first-half touchdowns and leading South Brunswick to a 46-7 victory on a windy evening.

The Vikings will host either fifth-seeded Manalapan or fourth-seeded Trenton in the semifinals. That game is Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.

South Brunswick (8-1) answered Hunterdon Central’s early touchdown with two scores in seven offensive plays, as Wendell Allen rushed in from 21 yards out on the Vikings’ first possession and Jaier Garrett found paydirt from 20 yards away after Phil Campbell picked off Hunterdon Central quarterback Christian Shaw.

With the Vikings up 13-7, Jabbie caught a short screen pass from quarterback Josh Liao and turned on the afterburners, racing 63 yards for a touchdown.

After the Vikings scored on a Liao three-yard run, Jabbie turned in two more highlight reel touchdowns.

The Red Devils went three-and-out following the Liao touchdown and on the punt, Jabbie lost track of the ball and it bounced behind him to the South Brunswick 25. But he didn’t panic, picking up the ball and using a variety of moves to shake the Hunterdon Central punt coverage team, racing 75 yards for the touchdown, essentially putting the game out of reach.

“The way the wind was blowing, I did not think it was going to go that far,” Jabbie said. “So I had to run to the other side and get my elbows closed to catch it, but I muffed it, and when I picked it up, I saw open field and set my blockers and went to the left side and from there, it was history.”

To cap his big night, Jabbie got himself wide open in the corner of the end zone and Liao lofted the ball towards him, but the wind took it and Jabbie was forced to make a tough catch, sprawling out and getting two feet in bounds for his third score of the night.

Liao finished 8 of 9 for 216 yards and two touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown for South Brunswick.

With one more home game remaining on its schedule, South Brunswick will have a familiar opponent, no matter who emerges victorious on Saturday afternoon.

The Vikings lost to Manalapan 21-7 in the Central Group V final last December. South Brunswick last played Trenton in the postseason in 2013, with the Vikings winning 28-8 in the state’s capital.

Jabbie said he and his teammates will be ready, no matter who wins.

“We just have to practice well; we’ve practiced so well since that Middletown South game. Our coaches are going to get us ready for next week, and since that game is tomorrow, we might go watch. We’ll know what we’re up against,” he said.

Christian Shaw went just 4-17 through the air for Hunterdon Central (3-7) for 22 yards and an interception and Leeds rushed for 24 yards on 11 carries.

HUNTERDON CENTRAL (3-7) 7-0-0-0-7

SOUTH BRUNSWICK (8-1) 20-20-6-0-46

SCORING SUMMARY

HC – Leeds 4 run (Ungar kick)

SB – Allen 21 run (kick failed)

SB – Garrett 20 run (Fehte kick)

SB – Jabbie 63 pass from Liao (Fehte kick)

SB – Liao 3 run (kick blocked)

SB – Jabbie 75 punt return (Fehte kick)

SB – Jabbie 21 pass from Liao (Fehte kick)

SB – Shorter 20 pass from Liao (kick failed)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Passing – HC: Shaw 4-17-22-1; SB: Liao 8-9-216.

Rushing – HC: Leeds 11-24, Lacombe 3-6, Shaw 4-5, DePaola 1-2, Mania 1-2; SB: Allen 7-56, Garrett 5-45, Campbell 15-35, Jabbie 2-14, Liao 4-9, Cerminaro 5-8.

Receiving – HC: Wynkoop 2-44, Scheier 1-9, Leeds 1-minus 2; SB: Jabbie 3-95, Shorter 3-65, Campbell 1-46, Allen 1-10.

Hillsborough tops Plainfield in final minutes

PLAINFIELD – Joe Schultz hit Jimmy Suseck for a 17-yard touchdown pass with 3:44 left to complete a stunning comeback, lifting the Hillsborough High School football team to a 22-18 victory over Plainfield on Saturday afternoon at Hub Stine Field.

The Raiders scored the game’s final 22 points after yielding three touchdowns in the opening quarter, and ended their third two-game losing streak of the season.

Schultz finished 15-24 for 196 yards and two touchdowns for Hillsborough (3-6), leading his squad up and down the field in the second half as sunlight faded and nighttime crept in.

“We couldn’t see at the end of the game, but we had some guys making clutch plays,” Hillsborough head coach Kevin Carty Jr. said. “I’m really, really happy for our guys. We’ve had a lot of games this season like this where we’ve come up a little bit short, so to finish one off really means a lot to these guys. They deserve it.”

Hillsborough took less than three minutes out of the half to march down the field and get its offense going, using the legs of Kyle Kauffman to get inside the red zone. Kauffman, who ran for 43 yards on 13 carries, busted off a big 27-yard run on the drive and capped the series with a 1-yard touchdown plunge at the 9:39 mark of the third quarter.

After the Raiders held Plainfield (1-7) on downs, Hillsborough embarked on a 13-play, 88-yard drive that lasted over six minutes. Schultz hit Suseck for 15 to pick up a big first down early on and then connected on back-to-back 18-yard completions, one to Jackson Parham and then to Kauffman for a touchdown, bringing the Raiders within one score. Schultz hit Parham for the two-point conversion, cutting the lead to 18-15.

“Joe is a clutch player and a good athlete. Our guys have made plays throughout the year, but he was hot in the second half,” Carty Jr. said. “Our receivers made great plays like always and Joe was tough and competitive and I was really happy with him today. Offense played a lot better in the second half.”

Plainfield worked the ball down into the Hillsborough red zone on the ensuing possession, but quarterback Jayson Bryant fumbled a snap at the 20, giving the ball back to the Raiders.

But the Cardinals looked to swipe momentum right back as Jaleel Simmons picked off Schultz on the second play of the drive and appeared to have a return touchdown, but it was wiped out due to a penalty and on 4th down, after two false start penalties, Bryant threw incomplete and turned it back to Hillsborough with 6:44 left.

The Raiders needed only three minutes from there to take their first and only lead of the day, as Schultz hit on four straight attempts on the drive, the final one coming to Suseck in between two defenders in the corner of the end zone.

Plainfield’s last gasp effort got across midfield, but stalled when Bryant missed on three straight passes, including fourth down, sealing it for the Raiders.

“We just had to know that if we played the way we’re capable, we were going to come back in this game,” Carty Jr. said. “We played really tough on defense; Plainfield got a couple of big plays on us, but we put our defense in some bad spots because of turnovers, and when they had to go the whole field, our defense was able to lock down.”

Bryant set up all three Plainfield touchdowns in the first quarter, starting with hitting Simmons for a 64-yard catch-and-run on the game’s opening play before Jason Cisson dove in from 1 yard out. Bryant scrambled for a 13-yard score on 4th-and-goal from the 13 and hit Simmons for 35 to set up another Cisson score, this one from 3 yards out.

Bryant finished with 157 yards passing and 40 more rushing, and Simmons has 137 yards receiving on five catches for Plainfield, which lost its seventh straight.

HILLSBOROUGH (3-6) 0-0-15-7—22

PLAINFIELD (1-7) 18-0-0-0—18

P—Cisson 1 run (kick fails)

P—Bryant 13 run (pass fails)

P—Cisson 3 run (kick fails)

H—Kauffman 1 run (Eilbacher kick)

H—Kauffman 18 pass from Schultz (Parham pass from Schultz)

H—Suseck 17 pass from Schultz (Eilbacher kick)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Passing — H: Schultz 15-24-196-1, Fisher 7-13-61-2; P: Bryant 9-23-157-1.

Rushing — H: Kauffman 13-43, Parham 1-3, Schultz 7-2, Melillo 1-1; P: Cisson 13-77, Kennedy 9-42, Bryant 7-40.

Receiving — H: Parham 8-93, Zimmerman 7-81, Suseck 3-54, Kauffman 2-18, Williams 1-12; P: Simmons 5-137, Kennedy 1-10, Cordoba 1-7, Woodard 2-3.

Barneys leads Colonia to GMC White Division title

COLONIA – With the score tied at 7-7 going into the half, the Colonia High School football team had 24 minutes to earn a divisional title and continue a winning streak heading into the state playoffs.

Senior quarterback Chase Barneys made sure that his team remained hot and accomplished those goals. Barneys posted three third-quarter touchdown runs in an eight-minute span, helping Colonia (7-2) edge South Plainfield 28-14 Friday night, wrapping up a second-straight Greater Middlesex Conference White Division title.

Barneys capped a six-play, 65-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run to open the third quarter, and after South Plainfield went three-and-out, the dual-threat signal caller finished off a 10-play possession, running the final four yards to put the Patriots ahead 21-7.

“We just kept on going. We never give up. The linemen did a good job and I had running lanes the whole second half,” he said.

But following Barneys’ second score of the game and seventh rushing touchdown of the season, Ruben Torres returned the kickoff 94 yards for a score, bringing South Plainfield (6-2) back within seven.

The Patriots were whistled for a personal foul on the following kickoff, pinning themselves back at the 10-yard line. After Barneys was sacked, Bashir Lauderdale busted outside for a 24-yard run and Brandon Benedicks picked up six yards with a punishing run, setting up Barneys for another score. This time the speedy quarterback got to the edge and raced 66 yards for the touchdown, capping the scoring and delivering a division championship in a year when it wasn’t always a lock.

“The line pulled outside well and blocked the guys they were supposed to and I just saw the open cut-back and hit it,” Barneys said of his third score on the night. “But this is a great feeling because a lot of people didn’t think we’d be so great this year, losing so much from last year’s team. But we just keep on working and we got the job done.”

Barneys finished with 97 yards on 10 carries and added 97 more yards through the air on 9 of 14 passing, but did throw an interception in the red zone to kill an early drive. Lauderdale topped the century mark for the Patriots, rushing for 106 yards on 15 carries, including a 3-yard touchdown. The Patriots’ tailback is now over 1,000 yards rushing for the season.

After the Patriots took the 14-point lead with 2:45 left in the third quarter, South Plainfield embarked on a 15-play drive that carried into the fourth quarter, but it stalled out on the Colonia 10 after more than eight minutes. It was the second drive of the game of at least 14 plays for the Tigers that did not result in any points – a 14-play drive was cut down at the end of the first half.

“We didn’t play a clean game. South Plainfield’s plan was to eat the clock and run the ball and they did that in the first half,” Colonia head coach Tom Roarty said. “They chewed up the clock there in the second quarter, but the kids pulled together. It was a great night and a great way to win the division.”

South Plainfield’s Jason Lee was the game’s top performer, rushing 27 times for 164 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown in the first quarter, but the Tigers offense couldn’t make enough plays around Lee to mount a comeback.

“These kids never quit. We were 3-2 and I think a lot of people kind of wrote us off with the toughest part of our schedule coming up, but these are the types of kids we get here,” Roarty said. “They are tough and they don’t give up and give 150 percent every day. It showed with the defense tonight, not giving in and coming up with a couple of big fourth-down stands.”

Colonia will host a first-round playoff game in North 2 Group IV next Friday while South Plainfield looks to be heading out on the road in Central Group III.

SOUTH PLAINFIELD (6-2) 7-0-7-0-14

COLONIA (7-2) 0-7-21-0-28

SCORING SUMMARY

SP – Lee 26 run (Lee kick)

C – Lauderdale 3 run (Ribiero kick)

C – C. Barneys 2 run (Ribiero kick)

C – C. Barneys 4 run (Ribiero kick)

SP – Torres 94 kick return (Lee kick)

C – C. Barneys 66 run (Ribiero kick)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Passing – SP: Waldrop 8-14-54, Lee 0-1-0; C: C. Barneys 9-14-97-1.

Rushing – SP: Lee 27-164, Delvecchio 8-40, Gonzalez 2-4, Waldrop 3-minus 7; C: Lauderdale 15-106, C. Barneys 10-97, B. Barneys 5-37, Piro 4-30, Santos 2-14, Benedicks 1-6.

Receiving – SP: Sapini 3-24, Delvecchio 2-19, Lee 2-7, Adams 1-6; C: Santos 3-34, B. Barneys 2-27, Benedicks 3-21, Manning 1-15.

Spotswood sets pace in win over Middlesex

SPOTSWOOD – Momentum can last just a matter of seconds, the Middlesex High School football team learned on Saturday afternoon. At the end of the first half, the Blue Jays snuck in a 19-yard fake field goal for a touchdown, as Michael Cresitello dove in with the score with 11 seconds left.

But on the ensuing kickoff, Spotswood’s Marlon Hart raced 80 yards for a touchdown as time expired, sending “Uncle Mo” back to the Chargers’ side and upping the hosts lead to 31-20 at the half.

Hart would ice the game with a 33-yard touchdown catch from Shawn O’Connor in the fourth quarter and a fumble recovery on the following play, leading Spotswood to a 45-28 victory over Middlesex.

Spotswood (6-2) did its part to remain in control of the Greater Middlesex’s Blue Division race, setting up a win-and-celebrate scenario against Metuchen next Saturday. It would be the Chargers’ second straight Blue Division title.

“We were all pissed about that bad call, you might say,” Hart said about the fake field goal run being awarded a touchdown on the field when it appeared Cresitello didn’t cross the goal line. “So I told Chance Fee who was back there with me, ‘if you get it, toss it back to me and we’ll run a reverse.’ But they ended up kicking it to me so I was surprised and I just had the momentum to go up the field and score.”

The Chargers didn’t score again until Hart left his defender in the dust with 6:34 to play, essentially putting the game on ice, but he didn’t have to, as the Spotswood defense stepped up and made the necessary plays to emerge victorious, including having Hart be in the right place at the right time when Middlesex’s James Esposito fumbled with 6:26 to go.

“We kept motivating ourselves and hopefully we could get a couple of stops on defense,” Hart said. “I was surprised when that pitch came and I saw him fumble it and I just jumped on the ball.”

Hart exploded for a 70-yard catch-and-run touchdown on the second play in the second quarter, running away from the secondary and putting the Chargers up 21-14. Middlesex (5-3) had tied the game one offensive play earlier when Joe Ffriend raced home from 48 yards out. But after the kickoff, O’Connor lofted a perfectly-thrown pass to Hart and the speedy senior did the rest.

“I like to run the ball, but you better be balanced. Marlon allows us to be balanced. We have a lot of threats and Shawn can run, but Marlon is very good. Clearly,” Spotswood head coach Andy Cammarano said. “Marlon has earned everything he’s gotten here from the get-go and he’s had to learn from the start.”

O’Connor finished 7-11 passing for 218 yards and the two touchdowns to Hart, and added 80 yards on four carries for Spotswood, which got another big game from bruising tailback Joe Hayford.

Hayford punished the Middlesex defense for 110 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns. Jake Keenan chipped in with 61 yards on three catches and 55 yards on seven carries, including a 25-yard touchdown run.

But the star of the day was Hart, who had 149 yards on three catches, plus the momentum-swinging kickoff return, which is something Cammarano is happy his squad can finally rely on.

“I have never had a kid on kick and punt returns that can change the game like that. As a coach, you prepare for so many things, so finally we have a guy that can wreck it for us. He does a heck of a job and he follows his blocks,” he said.

Ffriend piled up 119 yards on offense, rushing eight times for 72 yards and catching two balls for 47 yards. He scored twice, on a 48-yard run and an 18-yard reception. Ryan Coke rushed 17 times for 89 yards and a touchdown for Middlesex.

MIDDLESEX (5-3) 7-13-8-0-28

SPOTSWOOD (6-2) 14-17-0-14-45

M – Coke 3 run (Semon kick)

S – Keenan 25 run (Szatkowski kick)

S – Hayford 1 run (Szatkowski kick)

M – Ffriend 48 run (Semon kick)

S – Hart 70 pass from O’Connor (Szatkowski kick)

S – Szatkowski 23 field goal

M – Cresitello 19 run (kick failed)

S – Hart 80 kickoff return (Szatkowski kick)

M – Ffriend 18 pass from Cresitello (Ffriend run)

S – Hart 33 pass from O’Connor (Szatkowski kick)

S – Hayford 1 run (Szatkowski kick)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Passing – M: Cresitello 3-9-60-1; S: O’Connor 7-11-218-1.

Rushing – M: Coke 17-89, Ffriend 8-72, Cresitello 8-40, Esposito 2-6, Kressbach 1-2; S: Hayford 24-110, O’Connor 4-80, Keenan 7-55.

Receiving – M: Ffriend 2-47, Esposito 1-13; S: Hart 3-149, Keenan 3-61, Schneider 1-8.