Tag: Jay Mazuera

Perfection! Hillsborough caps 13-0 season with milestone win over Kingsway

In the end, Hillsborough did what Hillsborough has done all season long.

Highlight reel catches by Thomas Amankwaa, pressure by Will Dixon and Andrew Santa Barbara, a pounding rush from Tyler Michinard, and the arm of Jay Mazuera were just some of the reasons – not all by a long shot – why the Raiders are the South Jersey Group 5 Regional Champions for 2021, as well as a perfect 13-0.

Hillsborough beat Kingsway 28-7 Saturday afternoon at Rutgers’ SHI Stadium in Piscataway in the Big Central Game of the Week driven by Autoland, and in the process became the first Somerset County team in history to win 13 games in a regular season.

The win also was a personal milestone for Kevin Carty, Jr., the Hillsborough skipper, who picked up the 100th win of his career, now 99-63 in 16 seasons overall, 35-17 in the ‘Boro.

It looked for a while like Kingsway would put up a fight.

The Raiders went three-and-out on their first possession of the game, and Kingsway marched downfield to get a first-and-goal at the eight. But after a five yard rush on first down, Hillsborough forced a no gain on the ground, allowed a one yard rush, then set Kingsway back a yard on fourth down, to take the ball over at the three.

And that was the beginning of a glorious afternoon for the Raiders. They would take the next drive 97 yards on 14 plays, eating up 6:14 of game clock, to go ahead 6-0 on a 7-yard touchdown run by Tyler Michinard.

Hillsborough was off an running at that point.

The next two drives only took eight plays total, but each resulted in touchdown passes from Jay Mazuera to his childhood friend Thomas Amankwaa, 42- and 53-yards, and the second one even more amazing than the first,.

The first was an outstretched arm to make the ball reach the pylon.

On the second, Amankwaa made a two-handed grab down the left sideline, stretched the ball away from his defender with his left hand while on the run, and stiff-armed him away with the other, running it into the end zone once he got some distance.

It might have Greg Schiano rethinking that whole using him as a d-back thing, once Amankwaa – a Rutgers commit – signs on the dotted line in about 11 days.

Anmankwaa finished with five catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns, as well as 111 yards on 12 carries. He also had a big tackle in the first half that kept a Kingsway drive from being extended.

The receiving yards put him over Jackson Parham’s school record 2,069 receiving yards, giving Amankwaa 2,194; he now owns four career records, including TD receptions (28), total touchdowns (50), and total points scored (304).

Hillsborough clinched its first-ever perfect season, besting its 1973 record of 8-0-1, which saw them awarded a state championship by the state, sharing with Warren Hills, in the final year before the advent of the playoffs.

The Raiders also are the first Big Central Conference team – as a member of the league – to win 13 games in a season. Piscataway did it in 2018, but the Big Central was still two years away from beginning play as a conference.

Click below to hear postgame reaction from Hillsborough’s 28-7 win over Kingsway in the South 5 championship game with Central Jersey Sportrs Radio’s Max Scheiner:

WR/CB Thomas Amankwaa
QB Jay Mazuera
Head coach Kevin Carty, Jr.

This Week in the Big Central – Episode 15: The Cartys

There’s just one more team left!

On Episode 15 of “This Week in the Big Central,” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland – our final regular weekly show – Mike Pavlichko takes a quick look back at Cranford’s loss in the North 3 regional championship, then has a full-on preview of Hillsborough’s South 5 regional title game against Kingsway out of the West Jersey Football League.

First, we hear from senior wide receiver and defensive back Tommy Amankwaa – the Rutgers commit – and senior quarterback Jay Mazuera.

Then, a very special segment on head coach Kevin Carty, Jr., and his father, Kevin Senior, who’s on his staff, working with the wide receivers. They talk about their time together as player and coach at Somerville, winning their championship in 1994 over Manasquan, and what it’s like with a life of football, including the younger Carty’s siblings, Ryan and Sean, who also are in coaching.

Then, it’s on to Saturday’s matchup at SHI Stadium at Rutgers, as we hear from Kingsway head coach Mark Hendricks and Carty Junior.

Finally, Mike gives his breakdown of the game.

Elite Performers from the opening round of the playoffs with Elite QB’s Matt Bastardi

We’re in the playoffs now! And we’re back with Central Jersey Sports Radio sponsor Elite QB, highlighting Coach Matt Bastardi’s “Elite Performers of the Week” for the opening round of the postseason.

Run by Matt Bastardi, a former high school and college quarterback who has either played the position or coached it for over 40 years, Elite QB trains players at all position levels, with an emphasis on QBs.

Once again this week, Matt highlights the key stats for players under his tutelage, and looks at their statewide rankings, including Jay Mazuera of Hillsborough, Matt Stanton of Woodbridge, Weston Fischer of Scotch Plains-Fanwood, and Ben Solimini of East Brunswick.

Click below to listen to the Elite QB “Elite Performers of the Week” for the first round of the postseason:

Click here to visit Elite QB’s website and find out more about how to train with Matt Bastardi at Elite QB.

Elite Performers and state rankings for Week Nine with Elite QB’s Matt Bastardi

Here we are again with Central Jersey Sports Radio sponsor Elite QB, highlighting Coach Matt Bastardi’s “Elite Performers of the Week.”

Run by Matt Bastardi, a former high school and college quarterback who has either played the position or coached it for over 40 years, Elite QB trains players at all position levels, with an emphasis on QBs.

Once again this week, Matt highlights the key stats for players under his tutelage, and looks at their statewide rankings.

Click below to listen to the Elite QB “Elite Performers of the Week” for Week 9:

Click here to visit Elite QB’s website and find out more about how to train with Matt Bastardi at Elite QB.

Highlighting Elite Performers for Week Eight with Elite QB’s Matt Bastardi

We’re back again with Central Jersey Sports Radio sponsor Elite QB, highlight Coach Matt Bastardi’s “Elite Performers of the Week.”

Run by Matt Bastardi, a former high school and college quarterback who has either played the position or coached it for over 40 years, Elite QB trains players at all position levels, with an emphasis on QBs.

Each week for the rest of the 2021 campaign, Matt will highlight the key stats for players under his tutelage.

Click below to listen to the Elite QB “Elite Performers of the Week” for Week 8:

Click here to visit Elite QB’s website and find out more about how to train with Matt Bastardi at Elite QB.

Elite QB’s Matt Bastardi debuts highlights of his Elite Performers for Week Six

In a new feature to continue for the remainder of the season, Central Jersey Sports Radio sponsor Elite QB will be highlighting the program’s “Elite Performers of the Week.”

Run by Matt Bastardi, a former high school and college quarterback who has either played the position or coached it for over 40 years, Elite QB trains players at all position levels, with an emphasis on QBs.

Each week for the rest of the 2021 campaign, Matt will highlight the key stats for players under his tutelage.

Click below to listen to the Elite QB “Elite Performers of the Week” for Week 6:

Click here to visit Elite QB’s website and find out more about how to train with Matt Bastardi at Elite QB.

It’s 6-0 for Hillsborough, as No. 2 Raiders pull away from Westfield for 28-7 win

Quarterback Jay Mazuera threw two touchdown passes, and Tommy Amankwaa had a touchdown run and a touchdown catch, as No. 2 Hillsborough remained undefeated with a 28-7 road win over Westfield Saturday afternoon, on the Big Central Game of the Week, driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland.

Amankwaa opened the scoring with a 63-yard touchdown reception from Mazuera, then gave Hillsborough some insurance with a 93-yard touchdown run down the Raiders’ sideline, his breakaway speed making the difference, and giving his team a 21-14 lead.

Tyler Michinard had a four-yard touchdown rush, while slot receiver Shane Donaghue added a 27-yard touchdown catch, the second of Mazuera’s two TD passes. He unofficially threw for 161 yards and was named the Autoland Player of the Game. He’ll receive a custom football at the end of the season courtesy of Autoland.

Hillsborough is now, 6-0, and their challenging schedule continues next week with a home game against No. 6 Old Bridge. And after a Week 8 visit to Piscataway, they return home for No. 5 North Brunswick.

Westfield dropped to 2-3 with the loss.

Click below for popstgame reaction from down on the field with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko:

HIllsborough quarterback Jay Mazuera

HIllsborough head coach Kevin Carty Jr.

This Week in the Big Central – Episode 2: The Sitkowskis

Week Zero is in the books, and the bulk of the Big Central opens up this weekend on Week One, unless Ida’s aftermath has anything to say about it.

Either way, it’s time for Episode 2 of “This Week in the Big Central,” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland.

This Week on TWiBC, Mike Pavlichko talks to former Rutgers and Old Bridge quarterback Art Sitkowski, who came off the bench to rally Illinois to a season-opening win over Nebraska.

Then, he’s joined by NJSIAA Executive Director Colleen Maguire to talk about her first year at the helm as we head into 2021-22.

Finally, it’s a look at the official NJSIAA football classifications, released Wednesday, and a peek ahead at the weekend’s games.

Hillsborough has its sights set high with 1-2 combo of Mazuera and Amankwaa

With 37 career touchdowns and over 3,100 yards rushing, plus a solid career at linebacker with over 120 tackles, Sean Levonaitis will be missed at Hillsborough.

But those who haven’t graduated and remain on the Raiders’ roster still have a good feeling about the 2021 season, which begins next on Friday, September 3rd, when they host Hunterdon Central.

That’s because they have a significant amount of talent back at key positions on the field.

Not the least of which are two young men who have known each other since their ages were single digits: quarterback Jay Mazuera and wide receiver Tommy Amankwaa.

They not only are a potent combo, but one that is made up of a pair of kids virtually on the same wavelength, an intangible that’s difficult to counter for any defense.

Click below to hear Amankwaa, Mazuera, and their head coach Kevin Carty, Jr., talk about the upcoming season with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko:

Seniors Tommy Amankwaa and Jay Mazuera:

Head Coach Kevin Carty Jr.:

Levonaitis caps stellar career, leaves Hillsborough in good hands with Amankwaa and Co.

Hillsborough High School’s football team enters every season with the same two goals.

The obvious one, like most teams, is a winning season that ends with a state title.

But equally as important in the football-loving town? Beat Bridgewater.

Though it didn’t get the chance to play for a championship in 2020, Hillsborough (4-4) defeated rival Bridgewater-Raritan during this year’s makeshift postseason, the capstone in a season that has the returning Raiders hungry for improvement.

Hillsborough finished in third place in Big Central Division 4 with a 3-2 league record. All four of its wins came by at least twenty points. Yet, two of its four losses — to Edison and top-10 Watchung Hills — came by a combined four points. The Raiders also dropped games to No. 3 Phillipsburg and No. 6 Ridge by two-touchdown margins.

Those narrow defeats have junior WR/CB Thomas Amankwaa already eager for the start of a new season. The pass-catcher’s close friendship with first-year starting QB Jay Mazuera led to a career year, hauling in a career-high 32 receptions for 637 yards and a career-best nine touchdowns. Mazuera threw for 1265 yards and 16 touchdowns, both among the top 10 in the Big Central.

When the classmates target a state title next year, they will do so without the steady services of RB/LB Sean Levonaitis. Even with the shortened season, the veteran nearly completed a third straight 1,000-yard campaign, rushing for 958 yards and a career-high 13 touchdowns to cap one of the finest careers in the program’s history.

Levonaitis and Amankwaa spoke to Central Jersey Sports Radio about the season. Click below to hear their comments:

Sean Levonaitis

Thomas Amankwaa