Dunellen tops Brearley, 34-28, to inch closer to top 16 in playoff chase

Dunellen’s Chiekezie Ogbuewu scoops and returns a Brearley fumble 60 yards for a score in the second half of a 34-28 win over Brearley at Columbia Park in Dunellen on October 19, 2023. (Photo: Marcus Borden)

Dunellen star Chiekezie Ogbuewo scored all five Destroyer touchdowns in a 34-28 victory over visiting Brearley Thursday night, to help keep his team alive in the playoff chase.

This one wasn’t a win-and-you’re-in scenario for either team, it was a lose-and-go-home.

The Destroyers (5-3) didn’t move up in the standings from 17th in North Group 1, just out of the top 16, but they did inch closer in UPR. They were 3.8 points behind 16th-seed Pennsville entering the evening, but now are just one UPR point behind, at 16.2, compared to 15.2 for Pennsville (4-3) which visits Pitman (2-4) tomorrow.

A Pennsville loss would help the Destroyers, and move them into 16th not counting any other results. They might still need help to get in. A Pennsville win, and Dunellen still could make it, but they may need several losses to play their way.

Brearley (3-5) fell to 21st in the North 1 standings and is out of playoff contention.

The teams traded touchdowns in the first half and went into the locker room tied 14-14.

In the second half, Dunellen went ahead by two scores for the first time all night on a pair of touchdowns – two and 40 yards – by Ogbuewu.

When Brearley got within another score at 28-20, Ogbuewu scored what looked like insurance, but turned out to be the winning points with 2:51 to play, recovering a bad snap by his team and turning a lemon into lemonade, going 60 yards for a touchdown to make it 34-20.

That would keep the Bears at bay as they scored once more with 1:33 left to make the final 34-28.

Click below for postgame reaction with Marcus Borden presented by Sportsplex at Metuchen:

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