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.

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