NJSIAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES

SATURDAY, DEC. 2

AT RUTGERS UNIVERSITY

Central Jersey Group II Championship

7-Hillside 20, 1-Point Boro 13

Point Boro had its bid for an undefeated season and the program's first state title since 2005 squashed by the Comets, who made big plays in crucial moments to win the program's second state title and first since 1985.

Nahree Biggins had a 2-yard touchdown run and a 36-yard touchdown catch on a screen pass with seven seconds left in the first half. Shadon Willis added a 4-yard touchdown run on the first possession of the third quarter to open a 20-0 lead for the Comets.

Point Boro mounted a late rally to make it a one-score game. Senior quarterback James Fara threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Komanitsky with 6:51 left and then ran for a 7-yard touchdown with 42 seconds left, but HIllside recovered the ensuing onside kick to clinch the win.

 

Central Jersey Group V Championship

2-South Brunswick 18, 1-Manalapan 14 

Feliz Quinones threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Jaylan Lawson with 53 seconds left in regulation to cap a 92-yard scoring drive as the Vikings (11-1) stunned the Braves (11-1) to win their third sectional title.

Manalapan had 29-yard touchdown catch by Naim Mayfield with three seconds left nullified by an offensive pass interference penalty, and the Vikings batted down Manalapan's final Hail Mary attempt to clinch a win where they rallied from a 14-point deficit.

Quinones threw for 179 yards and three touchdowns, connecting with Dylan Kirz on a 14-yard touchdown and Penn State recruit Justin Shorter on a 10-yard touchdown. Shorter finished with seven receptions for 86 yards.

Mayfield ran for 136 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries to set the Shore Conference single-season rushing record with 2,682 yards rushing. He scored on a 34-yard run in the first quarter to give Manalapan a 7-0 lead and added a 61-yard punt return for a touchdown to put the Braves up 14-0 on the final play of the first quarter. He finished the season with a state single-season record 48 touchdowns and 288 points.

 

Central Jersey Group IV Championship

3-Long Branch 43, 8-Freehold 42 (OT)

Long Branch rallied from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win an instant classic over Freehold and claim the program's first state title since 1999.

Senior quarterback Juwan Wilkins threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to senior wideout Pasa Fields and then tossed the championship-clinching 2-point conversion to Elijah Sherin to give the Green Wave (9-3) the walk-off win for the title.

Freehold had scored first to take a 42-35 lead on a 6-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Ashante Worthy.

A 29-yard touchdown run by Worthy gave Freehold a 35-21 lead with 3:15 left in the third quarter. A 12-yard touchdown pass from Wilkins to senior tight end Kaymar Mimes cut Long Branch's deficit to 35-28 early in the fourth quarter, and Wilkins scored on a 1-yard touchdown with 1:07 remaining.

Worthy ran for 271 yards and six touchdowns on 39 carries to set the modern New Jersey single-season rushing record with 2,860 yards, breaking the mark of 2,815 set last season by Salem's Jonathan Taylor, who is currently the starting running back for the University of Wisconsin. Worthy's six touchdowns gave him a combined 61 for the season, which is also a state record.

Worthy also threw for 141 yards to give him 2,106 passing yards on the season and make him the first player in state history to both run and throw for 2,000 yards in a single season.

Wilkins threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns and sophomore running back Jermaine Corbett ran for 152 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries. Matt Clark also had a touchdown catch go along with the scoring receptions by Mimes and Fields.

 

Central Jersey Group III Championship

2-Somerville 20, 1-Rumson-Fair Haven 15 

Quarterback Jahlan Dabney scored on a 3-yard touchdown run with 53 seconds left in regulation as the Pioneers (11-1) stunned the Bulldogs (10-2) to win their first state title since 1994 and deny Rumson a fifth straight state title.

Rumson had taken a 15-14 lead on a 14-yard touchdown run by Peter Lucas and an extra point by Quinn Doherty with 3:13 left in regulation. Somerville's drive for the go-ahead touchdown was keyed by a 45-yard catch and run by Joe Ciempola down to the Rumson 5-yard line.

A 1-yard touchdown run by Dabney and a successful 2-point conversion run gave Somerville an 8-0 lead at 5:12 of the first quarter. Rumson tied the score at eight on a 2-yard touchdown run by junior fullback Alex Maldjian and a 2-point conversion pass from senior quarterback Dan Harby to junior tight end Ian O'Connor.

Somerville took a 14-8 lead with 2:36 left in the third quarter on a 38-yard touchdown pass from Dabney to Kyree Hinton.

Slowed by an injured ankle and an active Somerville defensive front, Lucas ran for a season-low 82 yards on 24 carries. Maldjian ran for 50 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries and Harby threw for 88 yards on 10 of 23 passing.

Dabney threw for 211 yards and a touchdown and ran for 84 yards and two touchdowns to lead Somerville. Ciempola had four catches for 110 yards.

 

AT KEAN UNIVERSITY

Central Jersey Group I Championship

4-Middlesex 33, 7-Point Beach 21

Senior quarterback John Kressbach threw only two passes and sophomore slot back Josh Ramirez carried the ball only five times, but the two Middlesex standouts made an impact in a short sample size to help the Blue Jays (11-1) defeat the Garnet Gulls (7-5) for their first sectional championship since 1984 and fifth overall.

Kressbach completed his only two pass attempts for a total of 87 yards, including 60-yard strike to senior wideout Zach Godfrey to put the Blue Jays up, 27-14, with 5:05 left in the third following a two-point conversion run by senior Anthony Mason. Mason also opened the scoring with a 35-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

Ramirez rushed for 81 yards on only five carries, including a 21-yard touchdown with 34 seconds left in the second quarter and a key 28-yard run on a 4th-and-3 with five minutes left and Middlesex protecting a 27-21 lead.

Senior John Nista led Point Beach with 65 yards on 20 carries, 21 on two catches and a 41-yard completion to senior wide receiver Josh Yates on his only pass attempt. Nista capped Point Beach's scoring with a four-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 27-21 with 8:40 left in the game.

Yates finished with eight catches for 92 yards, including a four-yard touchdown reception on a 4th-down pass from senior quarterback Luke Frauenheim, who ran for the first Point Beach touchdown and finished 11-for-20 with 114 yards through the air.

Point Beach lost senior running back Chris Webber late in the third quarter to a broken collarbone, according to Point Beach coach John Wagner.

 

SUNDAY, DEC. 3

AT ROWAN UNIVERSITY

Non-Public Group II Championship

1-St. Joseph (Hammonton) 30, 3-Mater Dei Prep 14 

The Wildcats (12-0) reclaimed their throne as New Jersey's dominant small-school parochial program by using a 440-yard rushing effort to overwhelming the Seraphs and deny them a second straight title.

Senior running back Qwahsin Townsel ran for 232 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries and running back Jada Byers ran for 199 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries behind a group of linemen that dominated the trenches on both sides of the ball.

Senior quarterback George Pearson threw for 94 yards and two touchdowns to lead Mater Dei, which managed just 193 yards of offense against the St. Joseph defense.

Touchdown runs by Byers and Townsel gave St. Joes a 14-0 lead but Pearson fired a 44-yard touchdown pass to Gunnison Bloodgood with 27 seconds left in the first half to get the Seraphs (8-2) back in the game.

A key stop on fourth down near midfield propelled St. Joes to take a 22-6 lead on Townsel's 19-yard touchdown run and Byers 2-point conversion run. An interception by Byers then led to an 87-yard drive that ended with Byers scoring on a 7-yard touchdown run to give the Wildcats a 30-6 lead with 4:18 left.

Pearson threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to senior wideout Kyle Devaney with 2:17 left.

The state title is the 26th overall for St. Joseph and the 19th since the NJSIAA moved from sectional to group championships for non-public teams.

 

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