McDaniels snags key pick, and Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week honors for Week 6

Ibn McDaniels (in black, near the down marker) of Elizabeth grabs an interception he would bring back for a score in the second half of a 28-26 win against Union on October 6, 2023. (Source: @ibnmcdaniels1 on Twitter)

If big players make big plays in big games, Ibn McDaniels’ picture should go up right underneath that saying.

On a team with an 0-6 record, having lost no game by more than a touchdown, McDaniels made sure his Minutemen got in the win column last Friday night.

He had a pick six in the second half that put gave Elizabeth a cushion in a tight game against Union, a 28-19 lead. Then, with 51 seconds left, after the Farmers had pulled to within two later in the half, McDaniels saved the game by sprinting 20 yards to the end zone to break up a pass that would have put Union on top.

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

He has picked up his game of late on the offensive side as well, catching touchdown passes in four straight contests. On the year, he has 34 receptions for 592 yards.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko’s interview with Week Five Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week Ibn McDaniels of Elizabeth:

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:

  • Elijah White, Belvidere: The County Seaters have won two of their last three games, and Friday it was White – a freshman – who figured big in the victory. White made an impact right from the jump, with an 80-yard TD return off the opening kick. He then scored on an 85-yard reverse on their first offensive drive, and threw a 40-yard TD pass two possessions later. He also had two catches for 12 yards and four tackles on defense, along with two pass breakups.
  • Jaeden Jones, Colonia: In a 35-23 win over Perth Amboy, the senior signal caller was 6-of-10 through the air for 132 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing 17 times for 126 yards and another score. On defense, at safety, he had seven tackles and an interception.
  • Dom Parenti, Middlesex: The Blue Jays’ senior QB/defensive back was a star on both sides of the ball in a 14-6 win over Roselle Park Friday night. He rushed 15 times for 70 yards and was perfect in six pass attempts for 105 yards and both his team’s touchdowns. On defense, he logged seven solo tackles.
  • Travis Cryan, Voorhees: The senior was instrumental in a 41-14 win at South Plainfield Friday. A linebacker, Cryan not only had seven tackles, he also blocked two punts, and recovered two fumbles, scoring a touchdown off one of them.

Other Nominations:

(in alphabetical order, by school)

  • Logan Ritchie, Bernards: The senior offensive lineman got a turn at runningback and scored a rushing touchdown, but also helped pave the way up front for a 47-7 win over Bound Brook on Homecoming.
  • Matthew D’Avino, Montgomery: In a 49-6 win over North Hunterdon on Friday, the senior wide receiver had nine catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns, including a highlight reel catch over a defender.
  • Sal Marchione, Monroe: The senior wide receiver and outside linebacker kept Monroe in the game Friday, logging five tackles, a sack, three TFLs and a forced fumble in a 14-7 loss to Old Bridge. He also had eight catches for 71 yards.
  • Samaad Hicks, North Brunswick: The senior scored two touchdowns on nine carries for 100 yards. On defense, he recorded two tackles, and a tackle for loss.
  • Aaron Potts, North Plainfield: In the Canucks’ first win of the year, a 20-8 victory at JP Stevens on Friday, the junior runningback rushed 21 times for 170 yards and two scores.
  • Ryan Turner, Ridge: The junior halfback carried just four times, but amassed 148 yards and had two scores – for 70 and 68 yards – while also hauling in a pass for another 18 yards.
  • Anthony Venettone, South Hunterdon: The senior QB has been a key in the Eagles’ nice season so far, and in a 40-22 win over Dunellen, had 19 carries for 260 yards and two rushing touchdowns.
  • Derek Anderson, Woodbridge: The junior quarterback was 9-of-9 for 281 yards and six touchdowns in a 56-0 win at JFK Friday night. He also added 23 rushing yards.

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