Jaeden Jones was never a quarterback, but you might not know it to look at his stat line.
The Colonia junior threw for 132 yards and a touchdown on 10-of-16 passing Friday night in a 28-25 win over Linden. But that’s not what earned him Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week Honors for Week 3 of the high school football season.
There were also the 31 carries he had for 151 yards and three touchdowns, plus the ten tackles and a forced fumble he had from his safety position on defense.
Colonia mentor Tom Roarty approached Jones in the off-season, after the departure of Josh Oluremi, who rushed for 1,594 yards and 20 touchdowns last season, while throwing for 954 and 6 touchdown passes, and was named “Mr. Dynamic” in Central Jersey Sports Radio’s postseason awards last year.
This year, Jones has taken the baton and run with it.
Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Colonia junior quarterback/safety Jaeden Jones:
- Michael Schmelzer, Montgomery – In a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio (which means we got to see it) the junior quarterback ran a masterful offense, knowing when to hold ’em, fold ’em, or pass ’em. In a 27-21 win over Somerville, he was 11-of-18 passing for 190 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw a two-point conversion pass and rushed six times for 72 yards.
- Chiekezie Ogbuewu, Dunellen – Just a junior on a team with fewer than two dozen players, Ogbuewu – a runningback/d-back – played both sides of the ball with energy to spare. An impact right from the jump, he scored an 80-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, and added a five-yard run and a pair of two point conversions in a 51-13 win over Belvidere on Thursday. He carried 11 times for 144 yards, while logging ten tackles – 7 solo and 2 for a loss – on defense against the County Seaters.
- Caidan Holmes, Sayreville – The senior quarterback only threw six times against Edison, but in a 14-6 win, he completed five fo those passes for 134 yards and a touchdown, while scoring the other TD himself on the ground, part of a 21-carry, 66-yard night on the ground for the Bombers.
- Shawn Purcell, Manville – What doesn’t the kid do? In a 46-7 win over Dayton, Purcell – a senior – rushed for four touchdowns, rattling off 195 yards on just nine carries. Among his TDs on the ground: a 63-yarder and a 59-yarder. He also had a 44-yard touchdown reception, and logged four tackles on defense. For those counting, that’s five of the Mustangs’ seven TDs in the game.
- Khiri Summers, South Brunswick – The senior was all over the field Friday night – in his first game back from an ankle injury – to be the sparkplug in a 29-16 win over East Brunswick. He did a little bit of everything, and played every snap on offense, defense and special teams. He hauled in two passes for 14 yards, rushing 12 times for 68 – including a touchdown – and as a safety, registered 6 tackles and two pass breakups. He also had a 70-yard kick return for a touchdown.
- Patrick Smith, South Plainfield – In a 53-30 win over rival North Plainfield Friday night, the junior runningback needed just seven carries to amasss 155 yards and four touchdowns, of 60, 55, 18 and 1 yard. On defense, he had eight tackles and two pass breakups.
- Matt Sims, Brearley – In a 46-26 home win over Roselle Park Thursday night, the QB continued his big number senior season for unbeaten (3-0) Brearley. He was 11-of-16 for 203 yards and three touchdowns, while also eclipsing the century mark on the ground: 101 yards on 10 carries, and three trips to the end zone. On defense, Sims logged seven tackles and two pass breakups.
- Laivon Balthazar, Perth Amboy – In a narrow, 10-8 win over JFK Friday night, the Panther sophomore was 11-of-15 passing for 182 yards, and carried three times for 65 yards – and the only touchdown of the game for Amboy.
- Patrick Garlinghouse, Delaware Valley – The senior carried the ball 27 times for 176 yards and scored three times, while registering 13 tackles at linebacker in a 33-13 win over New Providence. Down the stretch, he had several key first down gains to secure the win, and came up with big stops on D.
- Trey Lazar, Spotswood – The junior, who plays both QB and wide receiver on offense, had 18 rushes for 135 yards and two touchdowns – which came in the fourth quarter to put the game away – in a 28-6 win at Highland Park on Friday night.
- Ben Solimini, East Brunswick – The senior signal caller tried to will his team to victory Friday night, but fell short 29-14 against South Brunswick, despite his 17 carries for 1997 yards and two touchdowns, including a 75-yard score.
- Zahmir Dawud, North Brunswick – In a 33-7 win over Old Bridge Friday night, the senior wide receiver had five catches for 81 yards.
- Gabe Perez, JFK – In a tight, 10-8 loss to Perth Amboy Friday night, Perez had five catches for 62 yards. Though they didn’t win the game, a fourth-quarter pick in the end zone and a 4th-and-long pass in the fourth quarter set up a touchdown for the Mustangs to pull them within two, but they missed the two-point try for the tie.
- Jakir Thomas, Carteret – In a 25-11 Friday night win over Plainfield, the sophomore runningback was a workhorse: 23 carries for a hard-fought 113 yards and two touchdowns. On defense, he had three pass breakups from his cornerback spot in the fourth quarter.
- Jonathan Lobello, Hillsborough – As the Raiders have formed a strong defensive identity in 2022, Lobello has been a big reason why. The senior had seven tackles, two interceptions, and another two passes broken up in an active night, part of a 21-11 home win over Ridge.
- Connor Laverty, Bernards – In a 35-0 win over Voorhees Friday night, the junior quarterback had four touchdowns, all in the first half, going 16-of-20 passing for 179 yards.
- Kente Edwards, North Hunterdon – The senior runningback gave it all he had in a 48-21 loss to No. 1 Phillipsburg Friday night: 13 carries fro 189 yards and a touchdown, plus 12 tackles and an interception on defense.