Tag: Aidan McLaughlin

Cookie Monster! Somerville’s Desiderio named Big Central Offensive Player of the Year

In the end, there was no debate, little surprise: Cookie Desiderio was the top offensive player in the Big Central Conference.

The 6-1, 215-pound senior runningback was a dominant force on offense, right from the get-go.

In the Pioneers’ opener, Desiderio touched the ball only six times, four of them resulting in touchdowns. He had two rushing touchdowns on two carries, totaling 113 yards. Desiderio also had four catches, “only” two of them resulting in touchdowns, and a total 98 receiving yards.

LISTEN: Whitaker and Desiderio postgame reaction after Somerville knocks off Woodbridge

Of course, it could only go “downhill” from there, and it did. All the “Cookie Monster” did the rest of the season was score a touchdown every 5.8 carries, the best rate in the state of New Jersey. And he led the entire Garden State scholastic scene with 26 rushing touchdowns, adding four more TD grabs.

Click below to hear Cookie Desiderio and Defensive Player of the Year A.J. Pena of Somerville talk together about their undefeated 7-0 season:

Three others earned Honorable Mention status on offense: New Providence runningback Charlie Barth, Monroe quarterback Aidan McLaughlin, and North Brunswick signal caller Frankie Garbolino.

McLaughlin is the only senior of the bunch. He threw for 1,433 yards and 13 touchdowns this season, with only 5 INTs. That was good for an average of 238.8 yards per game, and he tossed for over 300 yards three times. In a Week 2 win over Perth Amboy where the Falcons scored a school record 63 points, McLaughlin was not to be outdone: he tossed for an all-time program best 315 yards on 14-of-23 passing, with three touchdowns. He eclipsed his own mark later in the season in a win over a solid South Brunswick team, tossing for a cool 370 yards.

LISTEN: Monroe senior QB Aidan McLaughlin credits his teammates for his record-setting performance

Barth is just a junior, so the Central Jersey Sports Radio Two-Way Player of the Year will be back for another year to defend his title. He rushed for 1,702 yards and 25 touchdowns on 186 carries, and was the closest of anyone in the Big Central – even the state – to Desiderio’s pace: scoring on every 7.4 carries. He scored 25 of the team’s 34 rushing touchdowns, and had multiple scores in all but one game, notching four TDs in a game twice.

Garbolino is the youngest of the bunch, a sophomore thrust into a starting role who came up roses. He went 124-for-215 for 1,685 yards, tossing 17 touchdowns and only 6 picks. The only game where he didn’t throw for at least 100 yards was his varsity debut, a 93-yard passing effort in an 18-9 win at Sayreville. And he spent his best offensive output on one of the Raiders’ toughest opponents, in a 32-7 home win over state-ranked Passaic Tech.

LISTEN: Garbolino appears on “Tuesday Night Quarterback” to talk about being one of the rising sophomore QBs in the Big Central

Episode 4: The Big E

Mike Pavlichko returns with another episode of “Tuesday Night Quarterback,” recapping Week Two action, and looking ahead to Top Ten teams in action in Week Two.

The story of the week was the upset of co-No. 1 Union by Bridgewater-Raritan. Panthers’ head coach Scott Bray talks about the effort, along with postgame reaction from wins by Woodbridge, Bernards, Old Bridge and South River. Monroe senior QB Aidan McLaughlin joins Mike to talk about his school-best 315-yard passing performance against Perth Amboy.

Mike speaks with John Tuohy of founding sponsor Fundraising University, which runs fundraisers in states across the country helping athletic teams raise money in the shortest time possible. John discussed how some hour-long, socially-distant fundraisers have netted over $10,000.

Then, it’s time for the headline guest, Eric LeGrand, the former Rutgers and Colonia standout who was paralyzed making a tackle on special teams in a game against Army ten years ago this week. “Big E” talked about his time home during COVID, a new venture he has that’s raising money for charitable organizations, and his realtionship with Woodbridge head coach Joe LaSala, a childhood friend from their days on the Colonia football team.

Eric LeGrand takes the field with his teammates in a late-season game against West Virginia, not long after being paralyzed in a game against Army at then-New Meadowlands Stadium.

The new Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten and Big Central Media Polls are unveiled following a topsy-turvy week, where four teams in the CJSR rankings lost, and two dropped from the Top Ten altogether.