Chait’s big night gets Gov. Livingston off to best start since 2006, earns the Week 5 Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week award

Governor Livingston’s Owen Chait (#4) rushes the ball against JP Stevens in a Big Central Conference game in Berkeley Heights, NJ on September 14, 2023. (submitted photo)

Governor Livingston football is having a bit of a renaissance.

Senior Owen Chait is a big reason why.

The senior and team captain is heating up at the right time, having notched his second straight 100-yard rushing game of the season Thursday night in a 25-6 win over South Plainfield where the Highlanders fell behind early, but scored the next 25 points for the victory, holding the Tigers off the scoreboard the rest of the way.

He carried 16 times for 156 yards and a touchdown, while adding ten tackles and 3 1/2 TFLs from his spot at inside linebacker. It’s his second double-digit tackle game in three games, and on Thursday, it was part of a 331-yard team rushing effort.

For all that, Chait is our Bellamy & Son Paving Big Central Player of the Week for Week Five.

Chait – along with other standouts like junior QB Lucciano Santamaria and senior receiver Matthew Shaffer – have Governor Livingston off to their best start since 2006, when they started 8-1, but dropped their final two games, losing to Raritan in the Central Jersey Group 2 semifinals.

It’s also their first five-game win streak since then, a year they started 1-1 but won their next seven games through the first round of the playoffs.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko’s interview with Week Five Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week Owen Chait of Governor Livingston:

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:

  • Jakir Thomas, Carteret: Playing only in the first half of a lopsided win for the Ramblers, 46-7, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio Friday night, Thomas had ten carries for 154 yards and four touchdowns of 29, 31, 11 and 35 yards. Quite the night!
  • Jaeden Jones, Colonia: Jones was responsible for four out of seven total touchdowns for the Patriots in a 48-24 home win over North Hunterdon, a revenge win after a defeat out in Annandale a year ago. Jones carried 15 times for 136 yards and three touchdowns, adding two receptions for 16 yards and another touchdown, while passing for 100 yards on 3-of-6. At safety, he added eight tackles.
  • Matt D’Avino, Montgomery: D’Avino and his QB, Michael Schmelzer, Jr., have been hot lately, connecting on five of the last eight touchdowns the Cougars have scored in their last two games. This past week, in a 29-21 win at Watchung Hills – a battle of undefeated teams – D’Avino grabbed nine catches – three of them for touchdowns, and none longer than 31 yards – for a total of 122 yards; that’s 13.6 yards per catch!
  • Will Deady, Ridge: In a 30-24 win over Bridgewater-Raritan Friday night, the senior did it all. He scored the first TD of the game for his team on a 75-yard pick-six. At runningback, in addition to a catch for 28 yards, he had 21 carries for 147 yards and a 33-yard touchdown, which put his team up 30-12 with under four minutes to go. It was much-needed insurance, too, as the Panthers rallied for two late TDs to make it 30-24, though they would get no closer.
  • Daniel DeGennaro, St. Joseph-Metuchen: In a 17-14 win over Westfield at home Saturday, the senior QB led two 90-plus yard drives in the fourth quarter that led to ten points and a come from behind win. The first ended on a TD pass to Jeremy DeCaro that tied the game at 14-all with the extra point. The last led to the game-winning field goal as time expired. DeGennaro threw 10-of-12 for 166 yards, and the touchdown.

Other Nominations:

(in alphabetical order, by school)

  • Jax Jarvis, Middlesex: The junior runningback scored four different ways in a 45-0 win over Belvidere Friday night. He had a 58-yard touchdown reception out of the backfield, rushed for a 12-yard touchdown, threw a 24-yard touchdown pass, and had a 24-yard pick-six on defense.
  • A.J. Bosch, Woodbridge: In the Barrons’ 42-7 win over Perth Amboy – their 100 Years of Woodbridge Football Celebration – Bosch played only the first half, but still had six catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns, three punt returns for a total of 66 yard and a kick return for another 18 yards, giving him 181 all-purpose yards against the Panthers.
  • Braden Paulmenn, South Brunswick: In a 21-0 home win over Monroe on Friday night, the senior QB carried 15 times for 158 yards running the triple-option, scoring three touchdowns – including a 40-yarder. A safety, where he calls the defenses for his teammates, he had three tackles and an interception.
  • Patrick Carlisle, Bernards: In a 40-0 win over North Plainfield, the freshman runningback shined, with two touchdowns and just 41 yards on six carries. He’s scored five TDs in his first six games on the varsity squad.
  • Jose Baretto-Martinez, Edison: The senior linebacker had five tackles for a loss, a sack, a pass breakup, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery in a 35-6 win over New Brunswick Friday night.
  • Ala-Meen Watkins, Plainfield: The junior quarterback/defensive end – a rare combo to see! – was big in a 33-0 win over North Bergen last week, throwing 8-of-11 for 207 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 55 yards, scoring two more times, and on defense had nine tackles and a TFL.
  • Shawn Young, St. Thomas Aquinas: The senior linebacker had six tackles and two interceptions in a 17-0 blanking of Hillside up in Union County last Saturday. The first of the picks came on the goal line to stop the COmets’ opening drive. His second came in the fourth quarter to help ice the game.
  • Samaad Hicks, North Brunswick: The senior had six tackles at free safety in a 50-0 shutout of Franklin, while also carrying ten times for 120 yards and two touchdowns on defense from his spot at free safety.

And this week, there was one “team” nomination:

  • Spotswood: Head coach Chris Meagher gives a big thumbs up this week to his entire defense, which pitched a 7-0 shutout against Roselle Park Friday night, fourth of the season for the Charger defense. They held Roselle Park to just 31 yards and three first downs the entire evening.

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