Scores and recaps from the NJSIAA sectional semifinals as 16 Shore Conference teams look to advance to the finals.

NJSIAA SEMIFINALS

FRIDAY, NOV. 17

CENTRAL JERSEY GROUP V

1-Manalapan 63, 4-Freehold Township 22

Senior running back Naim Mayfield ran for 176 yards and five touchdowns on 13 carries to set the state record for points in a season as the Braves (11-0) wallopped the Patriots (8-3)  to reach their second straight sectional championship game.

Mayfield had touchdown runs of 8, 3, 30, 1 and 13 yards to give him a state-record 46 touchdowns (45 rushing) and a state-record 276 points to eclipse the previous marks of 44 touchdowns and 272 points set by Shawnee's Chris LaPierre in 2008. Mayfield now has 2,535 yards rushing to leave him 44 yards shy of breaking the Shore Conference record of 2,589 set by Long Branch's Dahmiere Willis in 2014.

Senior fullback Chris Maksimik added a 1-yard touchdown run, senior quarterback Luke Corcione threw a 55-yard touchdown pass to senior wideout Scott Scherzer and offensive lineman Trevor Radosevich even found the end zone with a 3-yard touchdown run. Anthony Camarad had a 1-yard touchdown run in the second half.

Justin Reilly and Scherzer each had interceptions and Antonio Deieso had a fumble recovery for Manalapan's defense.

Manalapan will go for its second state title and first undefeated season when it takes on South Brunswick in the Central Jersey Group V title game on Saturday, Dec. 2 at Rutgers University.

 

CENTRAL JERSEY GROUP IV

8-Freehold 35, 5-Brick 28

Senior quarterback Ashante Worthy ran for 130 yards and three touchdowns and threw for 117 yards and a touchdown as the Colonials (8-3) scored 21 straight points to open the second half and held on to beat the Dragons (6-5) and reach their first sectional final since 2010.

Worthy had touchdown runs of 3, 32 and 24 yards and threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Quincy Davis, while freshman Ahmad Dixon had a huge 79-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to start the second half. Dixon's touchdown run gave Freehold a 21-14 lead, and Worthy added a pair of dazzling touchdown runs in the third quarter to open up a 35-14 lead.

Junior quarterback Jimmy Leblo and junior Cole Groschel scored rushing touchdowns in the final three minutes to give Brick a chance at an epic rally, but Freehold recovered the onside kick with 25 seconds left to clinch the victory.

Freehold capitalized on an early Brick turnover and fumble recovery by Jahvonte Hair to take a 7-0 lead on Worthy's 3-yard touchdown run, but the Dragons responded with two scores to take a 14-7 lead. Groschel scored on a 1-yard run to cap an 84-yard drive and then busted loose on a 43-yard touchdown run.

Worthy's 28-yard touchdown pass to Davis on fourth down tied the score at 14 with 3:59 left in the first half.

Worthy now has 2,589 yards rushing and 35 touchdowns along with 1,967 yards passing with 20 touchdowns this season. His 55 combined touchdowns and 4,551 combined yards are both state records. He is now tied with Long Branch's Dahmire Willis (2014) with a Shore Conference single-season record 2,589 yards rushing and is 227 yards shy of the modern state record of 2,815 set last season by Salem's Jonathan Taylor. Worthy also needs just 35 yards passing to become the first player in state history to throw for 2,000 yards and run for 2,000 yards in a single season.

Freehold will take on Long Branch in the Central Jersey Group IV championship game on Saturday, Dec. 2 at Rutgers University.

 

3-Long Branch 28, 7-Jackson Memorial 3

Jah'Kwan Gordon had two touchdown runs, Jermaine Corbett ran for a touchdown and Juwan Wilkins threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Fosque as the Green Wave (8-2) shut down the Jaguars (6-5) to reach their first sectional final since 2007.

Fosque's touchdown catch on the first play of the second quarter gave Long Branch a 7-0 lead, but Jackson cut the deficit to 7-3 at halftime when Justin Burkert connected on a 24-yard field.

A goalline stand with seven minutes left in the third quarter preserved Long Branch's four-point lead, and the Green Wave then went up by two scores when Corbett capped a 95-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run. A 9-yard touchdown run by Gordon with 7:59 left made it 21-3, and his 50-yard touchdown run iced the game with five minutes left.

Long Branch will play eighth-seeded Freehold in the Central Jersey Group IV final on Saturday, Dec. 2. It will be a rematch of Freehold's 27-20 win over the Green Wave in the regular-season finale.

 

CENTRAL JERSEY GROUP III

1-Rumson-Fair Haven 28, 5-Wall 13

Senior running back Peter Lucas ran for 157 yards and three touchdowns and Dan Harby threw a touchdown pass to tight end Ian O'Connor to send the Bulldogs into their fifth straight sectional championship game.

Lucas went over the 2,000-yard mark in the game and now has a school-record 2,110 yards rushing and 30 touchdowns on the season. He broke the old mark of 2,108 set by current Princeton University standout Charlie Volker. Lucas had scoring runs of 12, 73 and 4 yards while Harby had a 37-yard touchdown pass to O'Connor in the first quarter.

Senior running back Brady McNally had a pair of touchdown runs in the first half for Wall. Senior quarterback Eddie Scott ran for 109 yards and threw for 111 yards to lead the Crimson Knights.

Rumson will play Somerville in the Central Jersey Group III final on Saturday, Dec. 2 at Rutgers University. The Bulldogs are trying to become the second Shore Conference program to win five consecutive state titles, joining Manasquan's teams from 1998-2002.

 

2-Somerville 33, 3-Monmouth 24

The Falcons (7-4) saw their bid to reach the first sectional final in school history dashed by the high-scoring Pioneers (10-1), who scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to rally for the victory.

A 1-yard touchdown run by Ian Fitzgerald gave Monmouth a 24-12 lead with 2:26 left in the third quarter, but Fitzgerald injured his knee on the play and did not return. A 24-yard touchdown run by Robert Florentino, a 6-yard touchdown run by Marcus Burnside and a 1-yard touchdown run by Jalahn Dabney gave Somerville a 33-24 lead.

Fitzgerald ran for 197 yards and touchdowns of 46 and 1 yards on 26 carries to lead Monmouth. Ryan Convery threw for 132 yards and a touchdown and Devon Johnson had three catches for 62 yards. Johnson also kicked a 27-yard field goal.

 

CENTRAL JERSEY GROUP II

1-Point Boro 27, 5-Manasquan 6

Senior running back Brandon Cipriano accounted for 149 total yards and scored four touchdowns and Point Boro's defense recorded five turnovers to oust the defending-champion Warriors and reach a sectional final for the first time since 2007.

Cipriano had three catches for 102 yards, scoring on passes of 66 and 10 yards from senior quarterback James Fara. He also ran for 47 yards on eight carries with a 10-yard touchdown run and a 9-yard touchdown run. Fara ran for 130 yards on 12 carries and was 3-for-3 passing for 102 yards and the two touchdowns to Cipriano. Senior fullback Tanner Gordon ran for 70 yards on 15 carries for the Panthers (11-0).

Point Boro's defense had four of its five turnovers in the first half, including a game-changing fumble recovery in the end zone by senior linebacker Tyler Sanchez. Manasquan was set to finish off an 87-yard scoring drive, but senior linebacker Jarrett Howey jarred the ball loose from Manasquan running back Connor Morgan just before he crossed the goal line. Gordon and John Callander also had fumble recoveries while Callander and Kyle Komanitsky had interceptions.

Morgan ran for 145 yards for Manasquan (6-4) and junior Canyon Birch ran for 70 yards and a touchdown.

Point Boro will play the winner of Saturday's game between A.L. Johnson and Hillside for the Central Jersey Group II title on Saturday, Dec. 2 at Rutgers University.

 

CENTRAL JERSEY GROUP I

7-Point Beach 22, 3-Bound Brook 19

The Garnet Gulls did it again with a second-half surge on the road, rallying from a 19-7 halftime deficit to edge the Crusaders and advance to the sectional final for the third time in history and the first time since 2013.

Senior quarterback Luke Frauenheim threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to senior wideout Josh Yates and a 79-yard touchdown pass to Jean Verrier, the latter coming with 2:24 left in the third quarter, to complete the comeback.

The game-changing play came in the fourth quarter when Bound Brook had a 54-yard touchdown run called back because of a personal foul at the 5-yard line. Instead of a touchdown, Bound Brook had the ball at the Point Beach 20-yard line. Three players later Point Beach recovered a fumble and then Fraunenheim connected with Verrier for the go-ahead touchdown.

Senior John Nista had a 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and also ran for a 2-point conversion after Yates' touchdown catch in the third quarter. Nista ran for 48 yards on 12 carries while senior Chris Webber ran for 59 yards on 15 carries. Frauenheim threw for 186 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 42 yards. Yates had two receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown.

Point Beach's defense was tremendous in holding Bound Brook to 178 yards of offense, a third of which came on the long run where the touchdown was negated. Nista recorded eight tackles with two for a loss and 1.5 sacks to give him a Shore Conference-best 16 sacks this season. Webber added six tackles with two hits for a loss, a blocked extra point and a forced fumble. Liam Buday and Aidan Conway each had five tackles and a fumble recovery.

Point Beach will play Middlesex for the Central Jersey Group I championship. The two teams played on Sept. 29 with Middlesex coming away with a 28-12 win.

 

SOUTH JERSEY GROUP V

1-Lenape 63, 4-Howell 28

The Rebels (9-2) had no answer for Lenape senior running back JoJo Kellum, who ran for 280 yards and five touchdowns and also returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown to lead the Indians (9-1) into the sectional final.

Howell senior quarterback Eddie Morales and senior wideout Naseim Brantley were tremendous in defeat to account for all four Howell touchdowns. Morales threw for 314 yards and two touchdowns on 29 of 35 passing and also ran for two touchdowns. Brantley had 10 receptions for 135 yards and touchdown catches of 31 and 25 yards.

Morales went over 2,000 yards passing in the game and finished his season with 24 touchdowns passes.

Lenape will play Rancocas Valley in the South Jersey Group V final.

 

NON-PUBLIC GROUP III

1-DePaul 42, 4-St. John Vianney 21

Zyaire Sterling and Johnny Buchanan had touchdown runs and Haaziq Daniels threw a touchdown pass to Sam East, but the Lancers (10-1) saw their season come to an end at the hands of the Spartans (8-3).

DePaul jumped out to a 28-0 lead and pulled away after St. John Vianney had cut the deficit to 28-13. Ta'Quan Roberson had a huge game for DePaul with a career-high six touchdown passes.

 

NON-PUBLIC GROUP II

3-Mater Dei Prep 35, 2-Holy Spirit 34

Senior quarterback George Pearson threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Clarence Lewis with 56 seconds left and Gavin Toth connected on the extra point to complete a sensational comeback for the defending-champion Seraphs (8-1) on the road against the Spartans (8-2).

Down 34-28 with 2:37 left in the game, Mater Dei went 53 yards in 2:29 to pull off another stunning playoff win after being down 20-7 at halftime and 28-14 in the third quarter. The game was a rematch of last season's Non-Public Group II final which Mater Dei won, 26-20, on a hook-and-lateral in the closing seconds to claim the program's first sectional championship.

Pearson had a 9-yard touchdown run, two short touchdown runs and the go-ahead touchdown to Lewis in the final minutes. Sophomore running back Malik Ingram had a 3-yard touchdown run after a 31-yard catch by Gunnison Bloodgood to tie the score at 28 with 6:52 left.

Quarterback Josh Zamot had a 15-yard touchdown run, a 39-yard touchdown pass to Alvaro Lora and an 8-yard touchdown pass to Brown for Holy Spirit. Lee Dawson had two kickoff return touchdowns for the Spartans, taking kicks back 91 and 90 yards for scores.

Holy Spirit went for a 2-point conversion when it scored with 2:37 left but did not convert, opening the door for Mater Dei to take the lead with a touchdown and extra point, which it did.

Mater Dei will play the winner of Saturday's game between St. Joseph (Hammonton) and Immaculata.

 

SATURDAY, NOV. 18

SOUTH JERSEY GROUP III

2-Woodrow Wilson 46, 6-Lakewood 25 

Senior quarterback Zyheir Jones threw a touchdown pass to twin brothers Jyheir Jones and also returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown, but the Piners could not overcome a big day by Woodrow Wilson running back Muheem McCargo and fell to the Tigers in Camden.

McCargo ran for 225 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Tigers into the final where they will face Delsea. Zyheir Jones ran for 90 yards and threw for 85 yards and a touchdown. Jyheir Jones' 30-yard touchdown reception was his conference-leading 13th of the season. Zyheir Jones' interception was his conference-best ninth of the year.

Khari Jenkins added a 32-yard fumble return for a touchdown and Dante Morris had a 10-yard touchdown run late in the game.

The Piners (5-5) will conclude their season with the 99th meeting all-time against Toms River South on Thanksgiving.

 

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