Somerville’s Desiderio and Pena look back on Pioneers’ undefeated season

Somerville’s Cookie Desiderio talks to Central Jersey Sports Radio before the 2020 season.

There was no championship to be won. No division title to be contended for in this age of COVID-19.

Somerville didn’t care.

They wanted to win every game they played and go undefeated.

And win they did.

The Pioneers finished 7-0 before COVID cut their season short.

It wasn’t the 13-0 possible in a “normal” playoff season, but it counts.

It’s Somerville’s fifth undefeated season in program history, and the Pioneers’ first since 1983, when they went 11-0 and won the Central Jersey Group 2 title over West Windsor.

They also had undefeated seasons in 1979 (11-0) and 1953 (9-0), both state title years, and went 7-0-1 in 1929.

Central Jersey Sports Radio spoke with two of The Ville’s most prominent seniors – RB/LB Cookie Desiderio, and DE/RT A.J. Pena – who looked back at their stellar seasons, and stellar careers.

Desiderio rushed for 1,569 yards in just seven games. That’s actually more than he rushed for in each of the past two seasons: 1,516 last year and 1,465 in 2018.

Desiderio also scored 26 touchdowns this year, and only twice scored fewer than four TDs in a game.

He finished his scholastic career with 5,004 yards and 68 touchdowns.

Pena, meanwhile, was a disruptive force again on defense. Though he was second on the team with 44 tackles, behind only junior Ethan MacNair, Pena recorded 12 sacks, nine more than the next closest teammate. He also had 7 tackles for loss.

Click below to hear Desiderio and Pena reflect on the 2020 season:

Cookie Desiderio

A.J. Pena

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