Yascko’s senior performance earns QB Week Zero Bellamy & Son Player of the Week Honors

(Edison QB Matt Yascko (submitted photo)

Note: This year’s weekly awards will also include honorable mention picks, and list all nominations made by coaches.

With 23 starts at quarterback under his belt, dating back to his freshman year, Matt Yascko is a veteran. So, heading into his 24th start – six more would tie a school record – Yascko was expected to do things that senior quarterbacks do.

After a two-hour plus bus ride down to Ocean City, on a hot night, in front of a hostile crowd, at the statewide “Battle at the Beach” showcase with a media contingent worthy of a state championship game, Yascko did senior quarterback things.

He guided his team through a 14-14 first half, one where the typical August mistakes cropped up, then hit the gas on the up-tempo offense in the second half, leading his team to the next 28 points in the game after Cedar Creek – winners of 15 straight and last year’s South Group 34 regional championship – went up 21-14.

Final score: Edison 42, Cedar Creek 21.

And the final stat line for Yascko was just as impressive: 12-of-22 passing for 126 yards and a touchdown, with 20 carries for 102 yards and four more scores.

But it wasn’t just the numbers. It was that he did it in that environment, against that team. For that, Yascko is the Bellamy & Son Big Central Player of the Week for Week Zero.

The kid doesn’t shy from contact, and loves running it as much as he does putting it in the air. And it led the Eagles to one of the biggest victories for a Big Central team of the opening weekend.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Matt Yascko, the Edison senior quarterback:

Honorable Mentions:

  • Anthony Tittanegro, Scotch Plains-Fanwood: The runningback carried 18 times for 156 yards and a touchdown, while adding two catches for 50 yards and another score in his first career start on offense in a 38-16 win over North Plainfield.
  • Shawn Purcell, Manville: Shawn did it in all phases: 15 carries for 100 yards and a TD, 4 receptions for 54 yards and 2 TDs, as well as 64 return yards, a blocked punt for a safety, and a blocked PAT.
  • Ben Gullo, New Providence: The runningback carried 23 times for 258 yards and two scores, adding a catch for 26 yards in a win over Governor Livingston. His was the best rushing total in the state in Week Zero.
  • Kente Edwards, North Hunterdon: It was the Kente Edwards show in a 29-8 season-opening win over Hunterdon Central: 31 carries, 241 yards, 2 scores. He had the second-highest rushing total in the state in Week Zero, only behind Ben Gullo of New Providence.
  • Brady Cavallaro, Old Bridge: The quarterback expertly led the Old Bridge offense, going a very efficient 15-of-17 passing for 281 yards – that’s a lot of long balls at 18.7 yards per completion – and four touchdowns. It was the most passing yards by a Big Central QB in Week Zero, fourth best total in the state.

Other Nominations:

  • Dan Ferguson, Bernards: The defensive back had two of the team’s four interceptions on Overbrook quarterback DeAngelo Conquest in a 21-7 win. The sophomore, making only the second start of his career, also had four pass breakups.
  • Weston Fischer, Scotch Plains-Fanwood: The quarterback threw for 157 yards on 8-of-12 passing, with three TD strikes, while running for another.
  • Evan Baureko, Spotswood: The QB threw 4-for-10 for 96 yards, with three of those completions going for touchdowns. He also rushed 16 times for 103 yards, a touchdown and a two-point conversion in a 28-14 home win over Bishop Eustace.
  • Chris Eubanks, Montgomery: The senior runningback went for 194 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Even without his 66-yard TD on the first-play from scrimmage, he still averaged 7.1 yards per carry. Alex who?
  • Jaeden Jones, Colonia: The QB rushed for 166 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries, while also going 10-for-15 through the air for 78 yards. For good measure, he had six tackles on defense in a 17-7 win over New Brunswick.
  • Joe Vecchio, Watchung Hills: At linebacker, he had four tackles and a pick-six in a 31-0 whitewash at Bayonne. At fullback, the senior paved the way for a team 142-yard, two rushing touchdown night.
  • Mike Miller, Somerville: The numbers are good for a game, but stellar when you look closer and see the senior QB threw 11-of-14 for 193 yards and three touchdowns in just about 18 minutes of football before the Pioneers called off the dogs against Mastery Charter HS of Camden.
  • Wes Hack, Somerville: The senior wide receiver – also in limited action – had four catches for 163 yards – that’s almost 41 per catch – and a touchdown against Mastery.

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