Schmelzer’s big plays in a big game earn him Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week honors

Montgomery’s Michael Schmelzer, Jr., talks to Central Jersey Sports Radio after a 27-21 win at Somerville on September 15, 2023. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

When Montgomery and Somerville played Friday night, quarterbacks Michael Schmelzer, Jr. and Brenden Pacheco of the Pioneers combined for 565 passing yards.

Pacheco threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns, while Schmelzer threw for 223 yards and two scores, plus an interception. But Schmelzer’s team came out on top, and having seen the game in person, it was clear that whoever won the game, that QB would likely be the Player of the Week.

And so, the Week Three Bellamy & Son Paving honors go to Michael Schmelzer, Jr., of Montgomery.

Last year, as a junior, he threw for 1,658 yards and 21 touchdowns. This year, he’s at 763 and 8 touchdowns in four games, on a pace to throw for about 1,900 if he plays in as many games as he did last year (10).

What was impressive against The ‘Ville is he got the ball to four different receivers, three of whom had at least four catches apiece. Matt D’Avino is typically his favorite target; he had 4 grabs for 95 yards and a touchdown, but he also involved Trey McFadden (4 catches for 54 yards) and tight end Ethan Golubitsky (4 catches, 54 yards and a touchdown) while Brian Giambra caught two passes for 18 yards.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko’s interview with Week Three Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week Michael Schmelzer, Jr. of Montgmery after Friday night’s thrilling win over Somerville:

The Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week is chosen from nominees by Big Central coaches. At the end of the season, one player will be chosen to receive a $500 scholarship courtesy of Bellamy & Son Paving. As we did last year, we will recognize a few “Honorable Mentions,” and include all other all nominees in our weekly story.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Jake Caldwell, Bernards: Caldwell did everything put play the tuba during the halftime show. At wide receiver, he caught seven passes for 63 yards and a touchdown, and also rushed for 10 yards. On defense, he logged four tackles from his strong safety position, and also had 57 yards on punt returns.
  • Owen Chait, Governor Livingston: In Thursday’s 34-0 win over JP Stevens, the senior runningback carried 12 times for 80 yards, while he also had a 25-yard catch. But his best work may have been done on defense, where he contributed nine tackles, seven solo, with 2 1/2 tackles for loss, all part of a team effort that allowed just 83 yards of offense to the Hawks.
  • Na’Quavere Thomas, Manville: In a 41-7 win against Dayton on Thursday night, Thomas carried 14 times for 177 yards and touchdown runs of 16 and five yards, with a long run of 57. From his middle linebacker position, he contributed five tackles, three solo.
  • Laivon Balthazar, Perth Amboy: The junior quarterback/wide receiver literally did it all on offense: he threw 2-for-3 for 45 yards, caught a pass for a 15-yard touchdown, and carried six times for 61 yards and a touchdown. Then, at defensive end, he made seven tackles, had two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
  • Will Deady, Ridge: The senior fullback rushed 25 times for 185 yards against previously undefeated Hillsborough en route to a 28-7 Red Devil win. He had a 21- and a one-yard touchdown run, plus a 21-yard touchdown catch for 2016 yards of total offense.

Other Nominations:

(in alphabetical order, by school)

  • Kyle Blew, Belvidere: The junior quarterback was 8-for-13 for 175 yards and three touchdowns in a 44-25 loss to Dunellen last Friday. He also carried seven times for 107 yards and a touchdown.
  • Jack Garbolino, North Brunswick: The junior linebacker was a force on defense again, making 14 tackles – including one for a loss – while also getting some touches on offense, The tight end carried twice for five yards, and made three catches for 72 yards.
  • Quinn Carran, Somerville: The senior had four catches for 190 yards in a 27-21 home loss to Montgomery Friday night, including a 64-yard conversion on fourth-and-long on the final drive of the game that ended in a goal line stand by the Cougars. The safety also had an interception on defense.
  • Jeylon Billups, South Brunswick: The sophomore runningback carried 13 times for 170 yards and three scores, including a long run of 74, giving him av average of 13.1 yards per carry. He was part of an overall 389-yard performance by the Vikings’ offense.
  • Trey Lazar, Spotswood: In a 34-0 win over Highland Park last Thursday night – a rare home game under the lights for the Chargers – the senior QB threw 3-of-4 for 95 yards, including touchdown passes of 25 and 30 yards. He also rushed ten times for 115 yards, including a 67-yard TD run.
  • Christian Magliacano, St. Thomas Aquinas: In a 44-20 win at Summit last weekend, he recorded an eye-popping 21 tackles, five for a loss, and also forced a fumble.
  • Carter Shallcross, Summit: The senior rushed for 136 yards and had 109 receiving yards – scoring a touchdown both ways – against a solid St. Thomas Aquinas defense in a 44-20 loss last weekend. IN fact, he scored more points himself (12) than Aquinas had given up in its first three games (7).
  • Brayden Kelly, Watchung Hills: In a come-from-behind 31-24 win at Morris Knolls, Kelly had six catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns, while also contributing six solo tackles on defense. He also forced two fumbles, and had one recovery.

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