St. Thomas Aquinas is on an unprecedented shutout streak, still not having allowed a point all season through six games, following a 41-0 win at Middlesex Thursday night.
That’s 26 full quarters of football without anyone scoring on the Trojans.
Colonia quarterback Josh Oluremi was the last person to score on Aquinas, coming in the second quarter of a 16-14 Trojans win in the second round of last year’s postseason pod play.
It’s the most shutouts a Middlesex County school has pitched since Piscataway’s dominant 2004 season, one of the program’s – and the area’s – best ever. That year, Dan Higgins’ second as head coach of the Chiefs, led them to their third straight state championship, and a 12-0 record, logging seven shutouts along the way.
They blanked JP Stevens, South Brunswick, Edison, North Brunswick, Union, Linden and Franklin (on Thanksgiving) by a combined 274-0. Perhaps what was most impressive is that the whitewashes against Union and Linden came in the first and second rounds of the playoffs.
No, that’s not even it. The most impressive part of that team was that if featured three – yes, three! – future NFL first round draft picks: Anthony Davis, Kyle Wilson and Malcolm Jenkins.
The Chiefs in 2012 allowed ten or more points just three times, including 26 in an epic overtime win over Phillipsburg in the North 2, Group 4 title game. Piscataway won 27-26 when they stopped a Stateliners’ two-point conversion to win the game on their possession.
They outscored opponents that year by a combined total of 405-66.
In fact, Piscataway has had the most seasons with the most shutouts in recent times under Dan Higgins. To wit, they logged six in 2008 when they went 11-1 and beat Hunterdon Central for the North 2, Group 4 title.
And they logged five 2018, when they won the first-ever North 5 regional championship and became the first Middlesex County team to win 13 games in a season, going 13-0.
They also shutout five opponents each in 2014 and 2011. The only one of those years they did not win a title was 2014, falling in the North 2 Group 5 semis 16-6 to Elizabeth,
Among other Middlesex County schools, Sayreville shut out five in 2003 when they went 10-1, but lost in the sectional semifinals to Scotch Plains-Fanwood.
Dunellen had a dominant defense in 2010, though its ball-control offense was its best defense, known to sometimes hold the ball nearly an entire quarter. They had five shutouts that year – over Cardinal McCarrick, Keansburg, Mater Dei, South River and New Egypt. The Destroyers lost to Shore in the Central Jersey Group 1 title game at Rutgers that year.
And New Brunswick, in its heyday under John Quinn, logged five shutouts once, but in 2004, a year they didn’t win a title. The 2003 championship team with Dwayne Jarrett blanked four opponents.
Most Shutouts in a Season since 2000 by Middlesex County schools:
- Piscataway, 2004 – 7
- Piscataway, 2008 – 6
- St. Thomas Aquinas, 2021 – 6 (all consecutive)
- Piscataway, 2018 – 5
- Piscataway, 2014 – 5
- Piscataway, 2011 – 5
- Dunellen, 2010 – 5
- New Brunswick, 2004 – 5
- Sayreville, 2003 – 5
St. Thomas Aquinas will have a chance to tie that mark by Piscataway next week when the Trojans host Governor Livingston, which has been shutout itself in two straight games heading into Saturday’s home contest against North Plainfield.
Should they pick up their seventh then, they’ll face a stiff challenge to make it eight in a row, as they face currently-undefeated and 10th-ranked Delaware Valley on the road in their regular season finale.