NJSIAA Football Finals Scoreboard, 12/3/16
Results from the NJSIAA sectional finals where 10 Shore Conference teams will try to bring home a state championship.
At RUTGERS UNIVERSITY
CENTRAL JERSEY GROUP V
Senior running back Elijah Barnwell ran for 185 yards and three touchdowns and the defense limited Manalapan to 154 yards of offense to give the Chiefs their ninth sectional title and deny the Braves their first undefeated season.
Barnwell had 111 yards and two touchdowns at halftime as Piscataway (10-2) built a 14-0 lead. The Chiefs drove down the field on the first possession of the second half to take a 20-0 lead on an 11-yard touchdown run by Nahjir Woods on fourth-and-two.
Manalapan scored on the following drive to cut the deficit to 20-7 as junior running back Naim Mayfield capped a 92-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. Manalapan had no answer for Piscataway’s ground game, however, and the Chiefs drove 48 yards over 12 plays to take a 27-7 lead on Barnwell’s two-yard touchdown run.
Piscataway tacked on a touchdown late in the fourth quarter when Keshawn Grant blocked a punt and Nick Recine recovered in the end zone. Mayfield ran for an 18-yard touchdown on the final play of the game, and finished with 160 yards on 25 carries.
NORTH 2, GROUP IV
Sayreville scored the final 41 points in the game to rally from a 14-point deficit and claim the North 2, Group IV state title just two years after having its season cancelled due to a hazing scandal. The Bombers (10-2) forced five second-half turnovers and pulled away with a punishing ground attack led by Jaquae Roberts, who rumbled for 159 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.
Middletown North took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on a 19-yard touchdown pass by senior quarterback Donald Glenn to senior wide out Brendan Kube and a 17-yard touchdown run by junior running back Connor Welsh.
Sayreville closed the gap to 14-7 on a 2-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Jayson DeMild and the score remained that way through halftime. A 10-yard touchdown run by Roberts in the third quarter pulled the Bombers within one after the extra point was missed, and a 41-yard interception return for a touchdown by Brandon Cenci put Sayreville up for good. DeMild’s 1-yard touchdown run made it 27-14 before touchdown runs by Roberts and Ciyro McMoore in the final four minutes polished off the victory.
Glenn, who concluded his career as the Shore Conference’s all-time leading passer with 7,498 yards and a record 71 touchdown passes, threw for 191 yards and a score on 17 of 38 passing with two interceptions. Senior Dwight Wilkerson had seven catches for 108 yards.
CENTRAL JERSEY GROUP IV
CENTRAL JERSEY GROUP III
AT KEAN UNIVERSITY
NON-PUBLIC GROUP II
The Seraphs won their first state title and capped a 12-0 season in epic fashion as senior quarterback George Pearson and wide receivers Kyle Devaney and Eddie Lewis combined on a 50-yard hook-and-lateral for a touchdown with three seconds left in the game.
THE MATER DEI MIRACLE! Pearson to Devaney then to Lewis on the hook and lateral for a 50 yard TD with 3 secs left for a 26-20 lead. pic.twitter.com/PzZH6rR2rh — Scott Stump (@Scott_Stump) December 3, 2016
Pearson finished with four touchdown passes on scoring strikes to Lewis, Marvin Pierre and Izaiah Henderson before the wild ending completed the greatest season in Mater Dei history on the heels of a 3-7 year in 2015.
A 67-yard touchdown pass to Lewis on the first play of the game put Mater Dei up 7-0, and an 18-yard scoring strike to Henderson made it 13-0. Reggie Jean-Charles got Holy Spirit (9-3) on the board with a 7-yard touchdown run, but Pearson’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Pierre with 1:15 left in the first half gave Mater Dei a 20-6 lead at halftime.
Jean-Charles scored on an 11-yard run to cut Mater Dei’s lead to 20-13 with 9:23 left in the third quarter and a 35-yard fumble return for a touchdown by James Marcheski tied the score at 20 with 6:14 left in regulation. Mater Dei’s defense was able to come up with a stop on fourth down to give Pearson and company the ball back for one last play before overtime, and they capitalized in a way that will go down in history.
CENTRAL JERSEY GROUP I
CENTRAL JERSEY GROUP II
AT ROWAN UNIVERSITY
SOUTH JERSEY GROUP III
SOUTH JERSEY GROUP V
3-Millville 22, 1-Toms River North 16
The Thunderbolts raced out to a 20-0 halftime lead and stifled a Toms River North rally to beat the previously unbeaten Mariners and win Millville’s first football sectional title since 1975.
Toms River North cut Millville’s lead to 20-14 and drove to the Thunderbolts nine yard-line midway through the fourth quarter thanks to a 42-yard run by senior running back Parker Day. The Mariners set up a 2nd-and-goal from the three after a Millville penalty, but lost a yard on second down, were called for a false start on third down and ran an incomplete pass on the next play. A wide-receiver pass on fourth down resulted in a 10-yard loss and Millville took over at the 18 yard-line with 5:40 left.
After consecutive false start penalties on fourth down, Millville elected to take a safety rather than punt the ball out of the end zone, making the score 20-16 with 3:12 left. Punter Zack Douglas then pinned Toms River North at its own 20 on the ensuing free kick, but the Mariners threatened by driving to the Millville 45 on a 31-yard pass from Mike Husni to Bryce Watts.
The game unravelled for Toms River North on the next play, when the snap flew past Husni and resulted in a 27-yard loss. The Mariners could not recover – they turned the ball over on downs with 1:14 left and did not get the ball back until there were only seven seconds left on the clock and began the drive at the four yard-line. The game’s final play ended with a safety for Millville.
Jermer Downing and Darius Porter each picked off Husni in the first quarter, with Porter returning his 60 yards for a touchdown to put Millville ahead, 12-0, with 3:06 remaining. Downing returned his interception 29 yards to the 18 yard line and Bruce Williams punched in a three-yard score to open the scoring with 5:04 left.
Day finished with 102 yards on 12 carries, including a 22-yard touchdown run on the first drive of the third quarter to get Toms River North on the board. Husni rushed for 78 yards on 23 carries with the other Toms River North touchdown – a two-yard plunge.
Husni finished his senior season with 44 combined touchdowns, which ties Mater Dei’s Christian Palmer for the single-season Shore Conference record. He also finished the game 4-for-14 passing with 50 yards.