The AL Johnson Crusader football team woke up Saturday to a lot of good playoff news. Residuals from Friday night helped push them from 17th place all the way up to 11th.
Then, with a convincing 48-0 win at Spotswood – played in a nearly constant downpour – they moved up even more.
Without factoring in any other area games or residuals from Saturday, ALJ (5-2) rose all the way to eighth in the current playoff projections from Central Jersey Sports Radio, and we believe they’ve wrapped up a playoff berth, regardless of whether they host or go on the road in the first round.
But in what we figured might have been a must-win game for both schools to get in the playoffs, it looks like the Chargers (7-1) may still have a chance to make it, even by beating a JP Stevens team next week that will either have one or no wins after this Saturday’s contest at Metuchen.
Our unofficial playoff calculations peg Spotswood at 14, thanks to losses by teams that were behind them, namely Delran, Oakcrest and Monmouth, who are in 15th, 16th and 17th. Ahead of them, 13th place Raritan and 12th place Delaware Valley also lost Friday night. Collingswood also lost last night, and Lower Cape May won, but over a weak Buena team.
Regardless, Johnson dominated the Chargers right from the start, en route to a 42-0 lead and a running clock to start the second half.
Joshua Maltez-Torres returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Ryan George got a seven-yard touchdown run, then a six-yarder with just over a minute to go in the first half to make it 21-0 Crusaders.
The second quarter began just as the first one ended, with another Johnson score, this time a 44-yard touchdown pass from Robert Gallagher to Maltez-Torres, then another went to George midway through the quarter to make it 35-0. George ran in a second score with under three minutes to go before the break for a 42-0 Crusader lead.
Dylan Mulroy added a fourth quarter TD run to make the final 48-0