Category: Football

Team Marisa beats Team Rose, but everybody wins, in inaugural Marisa Rose Bowl

High school football all-star games typically feature a lot of fireworks, apropos for being played in summertime.

The fireworks in the inaugural Marisa Rose Bowl – to benefit the Marisa Tufaro Foundation, which helps pediatric patients and families in need throughout the greater Middlesex County area – were mostly between the two sides, with high-intensity throughout.

But the scoreboard was as cold as the air conditioning in the locker rooms on a night where the game was played in mid-90-degree temperatures at North Brunswick Township High School’s Steve Libro Field, where Team Marisa topped Team Rose 14-7.

The first and last scores of the game – which only saw three touchdowns – came from Monmouth-bound Christian Solino of St. Joseph-Metuchen, who was named the inaugural game’s MVP.

The first came just over two minutes into the second quarter, when Solino connected with Metuchen wideout Aidan Holloway for a 23-yard touchdown strike that made it 7-0. But the teams retreated to their locker rooms tied at 7-7 after Piscataway senior Rocco Bellamy ran eleven yards for a score with 95 seconds left in the first half.

After the break – which featured two dance routines by the cheer squads led by Spotswood’s Colleen Meyers, who’s been with the game since its inception as the Snapple Bowl in 1998 – Team Marisa – which never trailed – was more methodical with the ball, playing it conservative, keeping it on the ground, and eating clock.

A more than six minute drive after Team Rose’s opening possession results in an eight-yard run from Solino, to make it 14-7 with the extra point.

Team Marisa’s defense held, then held the ball again, draining almost the rest of the game clock before the defense held one more time.

Click below for postgame reaction from Team Marisa’s 14-7 Marisa Rose Bowl win over Team Rose:

Marisa Tufaro Rose Bowl MVP Christian Solino, QB from St. Joseph-Metuchen (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)
QB Christian Solino
Winning Marisa Rose Bowl coach Andy Steinfeld of East Brunswick and Team Marisa (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

CJSR thanks Marisa Rose Bowl sponsors, will donate proceeds to Marisa Tufaro Foundation

With all the great work the Marisa Tufaro Foundation has done across Middlesex County and beyond over the last several years, there’s always more to be done.

Central Jersey Sports Radio is honored to be the exclusive broadcast home of the inaugural Bellamy & Son Paving Marisa Rose Bowl – which will be played by Middlesex County seniors Thursday night at 7:00 at North Brunswick Township High School – and so we pooled together a number of our regular sponsors, in order to make a contribution to the organization.

Thanks to the following businesses and organizations for their continued support of CJSR, and – in this case – the Marisa Tufaro Foundation, which helps families in need throughout the county:

  • Woodbridge Township
  • Dayton Toyota Service
  • Dayton Collision
  • SportsPlex at Metuchen
  • Edison Boys Baseball
  • Ideal Tire of Edison

Marcus Borden talks about the genesis of the inaugural Marisa Rose Bowl

For well over two decades, Marcus Borden has run a charity all-star football game in the summer.

For the longest time it was the Snapple Bowl. Other sponsors also have put their name on the game. For the last two years, there’s been no game at all due to COVID-19.

This July 21st, it will make its return, at North Brunswick Township High School’s Steve Libro Field, where it will be known as the Marisa Rose Bowl, with Bellamy & Son Paving – a founding and regular sponsor of Central Jersey Sports Radio – as its primary benefactor.

Proceeds from the game will support the Marisa Tufaro Foundation, which helps children in need – and their families – in Middlesex County and beyond.

The game can be heard live on Central Jersey Sports Radio, with Mike Pavlichko and Korbid Thompson calling all the action, starting with pregame at 6:45 pm, and kickoff at 7:00. Click here to listen on gameday.

Click below to hear CJSR’s Mike Pavlichko talking with game organizer Marcus Borden about the inaugural Marisa Rose Bowl:

Nearly 130 football players and cheerleaders are gearing up for the inaugural Marisa Rose Bowl; here are the complete rosters

One week from tonight, early 80 graduating seniors from high schools throughout Middlesex County will take part in an annual tradition, the newest incarnation of what was started decades ago by then-East Brunswick High School football coach Marcus Borden: the inaugural Marisa Rose Bowl.

It will be the first such senior all-star-game involving players from Middlesex County since 2019, as the game was on hiatus in 2020 and 2021 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Players will be divided into two squads – Team Marisa and Team Rose – for the game on Thursday, July 21 at North Brunswick Township High School. There also are nearly 50 cheerleaders participating

You can hear the game live on Central Jersey Sports Radio, the official home for the Marisa Rose Bowl, with Mike Pavlichko calling the game alongside Korbid Thompson of the King James Radio Network.

Click here to listen on gameday.

The game will benefit the Marisa Tufaro Foundation, begun by longtime local sportswriter Greg Tufaro, formerly of The Home News Tribune/ The foundation is “a nonprofit whose mission is to assist pediatric patients and other children in need throughout the greater Middlesex County area.” It also gives out scholarships to local student-athletes, and the week of the game, a walk at St. Joseph High School in Metuchen will benefit local food pantries.

For more on the game and the Marisa Rose Foundation, click here.

Check back here in the coming days for more stories and details on the 2022 Marisa Rose Bowl.

Below are the rosters, by school, for each team. Please note rosters and positions may differ by the day of the game:

Team Marisa

  • Dunellen: Nasir Tippet (RB), Oscar Wasilewski (DE)
  • East Brunswick: James Sparrow (WR), Romeo Diaz (LB), Noriano Smith (RB), Kraig Wade (DE), Jason Soliman (OT)
  • Edison: Chase Priester (CB), Jordan White (LB), Zahir Huffin (DT)
  • JP Stevens: Clarance Dixsoin (WR), Jahwill Palmer (C)
  • Metuchen: Aidan Holloway (WR)
  • Monroe: Jeremiah Vessel (DE), Tyler Scott (LB), Ryan Zurawiecki (OT)
  • Old Bridge: Jake McAleavy (WR)
  • Sayreville: Osei Bonsu (FS), Denzel Osae (LB), Santana Fonseca (DT), Claude Blagogee (DT), Nicholas Scabilon (OT)
  • South Plainfield: Bryce Hollis (LB), Gregorio Zambrana (DE), Jake DelVecchio (SS), Jason DelPaoli (C), Michael Kurilew (LB)
  • St. Joseph-Metuchen: Christian Solino (QB), Anthony Roige (WR)
  • St. Thomas Aquinas: Kenny Coghan (LB)

Team Rose

  • Carteret: Jordan McQueen (LB) Kanye Groover (RB), JayQuan Elliott (OT), Jehu Andrews (DT)
  • Colonia: Lamont Hampton (SS), Joshua Prophete (RB), Mike Testa (CB), Cross Carrion (OG)
  • Highland Park: Faizon Morris (DT), Nigel Bailey (LB)
  • JFK: Justin Suero (WR), Emmanuel Akinrolabu (DT)
  • Middlesex: Bobby Ulmer (C)
  • North Brunswick: Marquis Perry (WR), Jayden Myers (WR), Brandon Harrison (DE)
  • Perth Amboy: Matthew Fernandez (OG), Francisco Sierra (OT)
  • Piscataway: Jaiden Parks (WR), Samir Croley-Battle (FS), Rocco Bellamy (LB), Jerrick Hargrove (DE)
  • South River: Marcus Granadiero (LB), Matt Marchesi (C), Daquan Colbert (DT)
  • Spotswood: AJ Legakis (CB), Ethan Williams (RB), Brandon Curnal (LB), Derek Santora (OG)
  • Woodbridge: Isaiah Allen (WR), Matt Stanton (QB), Jayson Bradley (OT), Dylan Bradley (OG)


Team Marisa

  • Dunellen: Lauren Mann, Kayla Roberts
  • Edison: Rylie Adams
  • JFK: Christina Burroughs, Lucy Yanak, Stephanie Yu
  • Metuchen: Amber May Cardillo, Amelia Gehring, Olivia Varga
  • New Brunswick: Beyania Dover, Nia’Marra McFarlane, Kaijah Smith
  • Old Bridge: Kayla Lance, Julia Leonhardt
  • Sayreville: Emily Calantoni, Jessica Redding, Jenna Wrubel

Team Rose

  • Carteret: Carley Belli, Savannah Doda, Alexandra Perez
  • Colonia: Faith Johnson, Alexa Leviten, Erika Pannone, Deanna Shinski
  • Middlesex: Anna Hommas
  • North Brunswick: Crystina Cofer
  • Perth Amboy: Yavely Marrero, Ivanie Mercado-Cepeda
  • Piscataway: Tiyanna Buitrago, Dacia Henry, Nia Lowery
  • South Brunswick: Naomi Bell, Alexandra Elmoudden
  • South River: Madison Sporer
  • Spotswood: Amy Bachetti, Failen Conroy, Alison Forsell, Mya Rogando-Lynch
  • Woodbridge: Colleen Kester, Margaret McNee, Alisa Perez

INSTANT REPLAY-Basilone Bowl: Devil Dogs 21, Leathernecks 7

The Devil Dogs got touchdown runs from Franklin’s Nasan Colson and Hillsborough’s Tyler Michinard after the Raiders’ Jay Mazuera hooked up with Hunterdon Central’s Owen Bill for the first score of the game just two plays in, as the Devil Dogs beat the Leathernecks 21-7 in the 9th annual Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone Bowl in Bridgewater.

Dave LePoidevin scored the lone touchdown for the Leathernecks on a two-yard quarterback keeper on the opening drive of the second half.

Click below to listen to Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino call all the play-by-play on June 14, 2022:

Audio highlights from the 2022 Basilone Bowl

Click below to listen to all four scoring plays from the 2022 Basilone Bowl, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio with Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino:


11:12/1st – Jay Mazuera 65 yd TD pass to Owen Bill (kick good)

2:00/2nd – Nasan Colson 10 yd TD run (kick good)

4:57/3rd – Patrick LePoidevin 2 yd TD run (kick good)

8:19/4th – Tyler Michinard 10 yd TD run (kick good)

Devil Dogs strike early, defeat Leathernecks in 2022 Basilone Bowl

After two plays, it looked like the ninth edition of the Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone Bowl might have a score in the 30s or 40s. Jay Mazuera of Hillsborough hit Owen Bill of Hunterdon Central for a 65-yard touchdown strike to put the Devil Dogs up 6-0, plus the PAT by South Hunterdon’s Trevor McLoughlan, and it looked like we might be off to the races.

Things settled down a bit though, with a good deal of the first half played between the 30-yard lines, and it wasn’t until two minutes left in the first half before the fans on hand would see another score. That came from Franklin’s Nasan Colson, who ran in a ten-yard score on his eighth carry of the game to make it 14-0 with the extra point.

And it turned out that was all the Devil Dogs needed to beat the Leathernecks, in a game played every year in honor of Raritan’s favorite son, John Basilone. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic efforts at the Battle of Guadalcanal, only to be killed in action after re-upping and joining the fight in the battle of Iwo Jima, at the age of 28.

Colson was named the Devil Dogs’ Offensive MVP, while Jacob Ventura of Pingry was named Defensive MVP and Bill was named the overall Basilone Bowl MVP.

In the second half, the Leathernecks cut it to a touchdown on a two-yard run by Bound Brook’s Patrick LePoidevin that capped an 80-yard drive, but that was as close as they would get. With 8:19 left in the fourth – a period that started with only ten minutes on the clock on humid night – Hillsborough’s Tyler Michinard took a handoff from Mazuera and ran ten yards for the score, and the final one of the night, making it 21-7.

In the losing cause, the Leathernecks were led by Offensive MVP Alex Benitez and Defensive MVP Andre Soumeillant, both from Montgomery.

Listen below to postgame reaction from the 2022 Basilone Bowl champion Devil Dogs:

Hunterdon Central’s Owen Bill. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)
Owen Bill
Franklin’s Nasan Colson. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)
Nasan Colson
Devil Dogs and Hillsborough head coach Kevin Carty, Jr. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Basilone may be a local hero, but his legend lives throughout the Marines

Sometimes it seems like you can’t go five feet in Raritan Boro without seeing a plaque, sign, monument, or running into someone where the name John Basilone is involved.

Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic efforts at the Battle of Guadalcanal, only to be killed in action after re-upping and joining the fight in the battle of Iwo Jima, at the age of 28.

But his legend isn’t just known to us locals. He is a national hero, with a story Captain Kevin Keyser says “every good Marine should know.”

And that’s why – for the ninth year – they’re playing the Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone Bowl, presented by the United States Marine Corps and the Somerset County Coaches Association over at Bridgewater-Raritan High School.

Central Jersey Sports Radio will be broadcasting the game – involving high school seniors from throughout Somerset and, this year, Hunterdon Counties – and all the pomp and circumstance that goes with it, including a halftime show featuring the Marine Corps Quantico southern Lousiana stlye brass band.

Dom Savino and Mike Pavlichko will call all the action, with pregame starting just after 6:30, with kickoff just after 7:00. Click here to listen live, for free.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko speak with Captain Kevin Keyser of the Marines’ Recruiting Station New Jersey about the Basilone Bowl and the Marines’ involvement in the game for the past decade:

For Soumeillant, Cruz, Basilone Bowl takes on a little extra meaning

For the 80 players on the two rosters for the 9th annual Basilone Bowl at Bridgewater-Raritan’s Basilone Stadium Tuesday night, the game is one last chance to take the field, and for a good cause – the Basilone Memorial Foundation – which helps support the Robert Wood Johnson Cancer Center and the Fisher House Foundation for military families.

For some of those 80, it’s not their last time on a football field; they’ll be playing in college.

But for defensive end Andre Soumeillant of Montgomery and wide receiver Marvin Cruz of North Plainfield, the game is something even more special. They will be serving in the military before too long.

Soumeillant is joining the Army ROTC down at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. Cruz will be joining the Marines.

These are not snap decisions. These are plans that have long been in the works for both of them. A lot of hard work, and a lot of discipline, and they’re 110-percent ready for it.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko speak with both seniors as they get ready to strap it up one last time before they embark on life in the military:

Montgomery’s Andre Soumeillant
North Plainfield’s Marvin Cruz

Central Jersey Sports Radio will carry the 9th Annual Basilone Bowl live Tuesday night, with kickoff from Basilone Field set for 7 pm. Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino will call all the action; click here to listen.

Prep underway for 2022 Basilone Bowl, as Leathernecks and Devil Dogs get set to battle Tuesday

Sure, baseball season is heading into its final week or so, with several area teams still alive in the state playoffs, but that doesn’t mean it’s not time for football.

The 2022 Basilone Bowl – featuring graduating seniors from Somerset and, this year, Hunterdon County – will take place at Bridgewater-Raritan’s Basilone Field on Tuesday, June 14th at 7 pm.

The U.S. Marine Corps sponsors the game, whose honoree hailed from Raritan. World War II hero John Basilone earned the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in the Battle of Guadalcanal in October 1942, after which he reinlisted and was killed at age 28 on Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945.

Central Jersey Sports Radio will broadcast this year’s Basilone Bowl for the first time ever, with complete live coverage of the game, and a number of activities around it. We’ll be featuring stories leading up to the game, so be sure to check back here.

Coaches wrap up the first practice for the 2022 Basilone Bowl on June 8, 2022. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Players will be broken up into two teams: the Leathernecks and the Devil Dogs.

A Leatherneck is is a military slang term for a member of the Marine Corps, widely generally believed to originate in the wearing of a “leather stock” that went around the neck. Marine Corps legend – and American media reports at the time – say the name “Devil Dogs” was used by German soldiers to describe U.S. Marines who fought in the Battle of Belleau Wood in 1918, that they fought with such ferocity that they were likened to “Dogs from Hell.”

For now, take a look below to see who will be representing their schools in the game:


  • Bound Brook: Patrick LePoidevin, Jayden Brimage, Sharrod Tedder, Bryce Cobb, Leo Azcona, Amsony Desir, David Alvarez, Aidan Mott, Jesus Sanchez
  • Delaware Valley: Tim Torrey, Logan Blake, Scott Pursell, Jaden Corbin, Matt Schneider
  • Mongtomery: Alex Benitez, David Walsh, Mark Jenkins, Liam McManus, Andre Soumeillant, Brandon Furey, Jalen McDaniel
  • North Hunterdon: Ryan Drwal, Nick Glucksman, Winston Hess, Tom Markovich, Schris Schenkel
  • North Plainfield: Keiahn Grenald, Giovanni Threatt, Marvin Cruz, Jason Agyemang, Michael Knight, Jordan Bird
  • Voorhees: Will Letters, Daylen Joyce, Josh Reid, Brody Shaner
  • Watchung Hills: Chris Huljack, Sean Krug, Brian Hayward, Andrew Scopel

Coaches: Zoran Milich, Sean Carty, Brian Santaniello, Mark Priebracha, Chris Sima, Dan Aguilar, Joe Riccardi from Montgomery; Rich Seubert of Watchung Hills; Michael Haughey of Delaware Valley


  • Bridgewater-Raritan: Dylan Corsi, Sammy El Hadidi, Brady Kurdyla, Ryan Driscoll, Joseph Carroll, Matthew Messing, Reilly Stevens
  • Franklin: John Nwachukwu, Moshood Babalola, Nasan Colson
  • Hillsborough: Jay Mazuera, Andrew Santa Barbara, Tyler Michinard, Sal Volpe, Marc Gulla, Will Dixon, Luke Moleski, Ethan McLaughlin, Leo Schiro
  • Hunterdon Central: Owen Bill, Frank Lentine, Nick Lewis
  • Immaculata: Brandon McNab, Anthony Ruscetta, Christian Martell, Shahkai Matthews, Stephen Dowe, Josh Farrell
  • Manville: Anthony Yakobchuk, Brandon Flores, Jason Gonzalez, Nico Ayala-Biondi
  • Pingry: Niles Luke, Zach Ventura, Jacob Ventura, Matt Caruso, Herb Toler
  • South Hunterdon: Trevor McLoughan, Nick Venettone

Coaches: Kevin Carty, Don Adams, PJ Jankowicz and Justin Balunsat from Hillsborough; Jon Simoneau of Bernards; Rick Mantz and Joe Cahill from Bridgewater-Raritan; Ian Pace of Somerville