Wargo and Phillipsburg have gotten through dings and dents, but are ready for North 2, Group 5 finals battle with Union City

Phillipsburg’s John Wargo scores a touchdown against Hillsborough in the Rumble on the Raritan at Rutgers University’s SHI Stadium in Piscataway on September 24, 2023. (Photo: Marcus Borden)

Every football team has injuries to deal with during the course of a season.

Phillipsburg is no exception, but unlike many of the others, they are one of the two public schools in the Big Central Conference left standing in the state playoffs.

On a team that – when healthy – has so many offensive weapons, and does a good job spreading it around, that added depth has been key, like when senior runningback John Wargo was out. He credits sophomore Sam Dech with holding down the fort.

Just for a sample: Wargo is the team’s leading rusher, with 829 yards and 13 touchdowns for the run-heavy Stateliners. And yet he still only accounts for about a third of his team’s total rushing yards this season.

But when top-seed Phillipsburg (9-1) takes on second-seed Union City (9-1) Friday night at Maloney Stadium for the North 2, Group 5 title (follow Marcus Borden on Twitter for live updates) Wargo knows defense will be just as important as the offense.

Union City plays the Wing-T, which is rare to see, but Wargo and the Stateliners have seen it twice this season already with Sayreville and Ridge, both of whom they’ve beaten. Wargo says there are some variations, but they may have more experience than most.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko talk with Phillipsburg senior John Wargo:

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