Dominating 13-0 season sees Hillsborough’s Amankwaa and Carty Jr. sweep Two-Way Player and Coach of the Year awards from CJSR

Hillsborough’s Thomas Amankwaa (center) signs at his NLI ceremony in the high school library on December 15, 2021, with head coach Kevin Carty Jr. on his right. Offensive Coordinator Brandon Water is on the left. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

It was a season of perfection for Hillsborough, and the Raiders took home two honors Thursday night on the Central Jersey Sports Radio postseason awards show.

Standout Thomas Amankwaa – who signed his National Letter of Intent to go to Rutgers this Wednesday – was named Big Central Two-Way Player of the Year, while head coach Kevin Carty Jr. was named Coach of the Year.

And both awards had a lot to do with Amankwaa.

The RU-bound senior had career highs in two major offensive categories, racking up 853 receiving yards at his natural position, along with 13 touchdowns, but he also rolled off 1,125 rushing yards – and 15 more scores – as Carty got Amankwaa involved as a runningback, a stroke of genius that paid off with a 13-0 record, a school record in wins, and the Central Jersey Group 5 title, its first state title in 21 years.

He also came up big defensively. Though he only recorded 25 tackles – some of that due to a solid defense in front of Amankwaa that didn’t give him many chances – he had 5 interceptions for 118 yards and five pass breakups.

One of those picks came in overtime against Phillipsburg, completing a 21-14 comeback win.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlickho talk with Tommy Amankwaa and Kevin Carty, Jr.:

Honorable mentions from the Two-Way Player of the Year category included Charlie Barth of New Providence, Michael Olivo of Ridge and Union’s Davison Igbinosun.

Barth won the inaugural award last season, but sat out defensively at times this year to stay fresh, and after getting dinged up a bit early in the season; he didn’t play a snap on D in a blowout home win over Bound Brook.

But when he was in the game, he was a force to be reckoned with, as evidenced in a first-round playoff game at Delaware Valley, where an early red zone pick got New Providence on the board, and on its way to victory.

Olivo came up 33-yards shy of 2,000 total this season, with 947 passing yards, 961 rushing, and another 59 on returns. He scored 25 touchdowns on offense, then had 44 tackles and 3 INTs on defense.

Igbinosun – who still hasn’t decided on a college but holds more than 30 Division 1 offers – had 76 carries for 903 yards and 12 touchdowns, 20 receptions for 405 yards and four TDs, while amassing 74 tackles and exerting his dominance on defense, adding four interceptions and two tackles for loss.

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