Tag: Matt Yascko

Edison’s championship season comes to an end against Toms River North

Coming off its first sectional title in over three decades, Edison had earned a date with the top public school in the state, Toms River North.

And on Saturday evening down at Cherokee High School, just 15 minutes from last Friday’s great night of hundred-yard glory, they met the same fate as every other team to play Toms River North this season, and very likely they next one, too.

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The Eagles’ postseason run came to an end just one game shy of New Jersey’s first-ever public school state finals, losing 42-14 to the Mariners in the Group 4 semifinals.

And as it has been week in and week out for TRN, it was all about Micah Ford. The junior quarterback – who has offers from West Virginia and Maryland – rushed for 289 yards and five touchdowns, while the Mariners rolled off 420 yards of rushing offense.

Down 35-0 in the third quarter, Edison got two touchdowns back, with a Matt Yascko connection to Michael Strachan for 32 yards late in the period, and a Yascko one-yard run early in the fourth after the Eagles recovered an on-side kick, but that was as close as they would get, with Ford’s fifth touchdown of the game providing the final margin.

Click the play button above to hear Edison Councilman Richard Brescher congratulate the Eagles on their Central Jersey Group 5 championship, and wish them luck this week against Toms River North!
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Toms River North (13-0) will go on to play the winner of the North 5 semifinal between West Orange and Passaic Tech, which takes place Sunday at 2:30 pm at Franklin High School. Edison finishes its season 9-4, but with the Central Jersey Group 5 title in its trophy case, the school’s third.

Click below for postgame reaction from down on the field with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Chris Tsakonas:

Edison senior QB Matt Yascko

Edison head coach Matt Fulham

Yascko & Yascko: How the father-son QB-OC tandem united to help bring Edison its first title in 31 years

The Edison Eagles have won three state sectional championships in football.

Two of them have involved Yasckos.

There’s the Matt Yascko who was on the ’91 championship team, later played on Monmouth Universty’s first-ever football team, and then coached Carteret to titles in 2007 and 2012, and now is Edison’s Offensive Coordinator.

Then there’s the Matt Yacsko who brought Edison its first title since that 1991 championship year, here in 2022. The one who loves to run the football as much as he loves to throw it, the one who a true team leader, in word and deed.

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Yes, it’s a family affair in Edison. Has been for a long time now.

Even Yascko’s backup, Anthony Calantoni, is in the family mix. His dad was on the ’91 team and was the starting QB in 1992, the senior Yascko’s senior season.

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But the story of how Matt – the son – became the starting QB three years ago, and how his father became his offensive coach is a long and circuitous one. It goes back to 2019, when Eagles’ starter Lucas Loffredo got injured, and Yascko – a freshman – was pressed into action.

Click the play button above to hear Edison Councilman Richard Brescher congratulate the Eagles on their Central Jersey Group 5 championship, and wish them luck this week against Toms River North!

After a few games of trial by fire – and a couple of wins – the two joined forces on the Boulevard of the Eagles, gutting out two solid years, with their third finally bringing a championship.

And, of course, there’s still more to play, with the Eagles taking on South Jersey Group 5 champion Toms River North Saturday at Cherokee High School in Medford at 5:30 pm, with the winner moving on to the state’s first ever public group finals, to be held at Rutgers University’s SHI Stadium in Piscataway during the first weekend of December.

Click below to hear Central Jersey’s Mike Pavlichko talk with Edison’s Matt Yascko (the QB) and Matt Yascko (the offensive coordinator) – the father and son duo that has helped bring the Eagles to the brink of New Jersey’s first ever football state finals:

Yascko, Edison defense help knock off top-seed Lenape, bring home trophy for first time in 31 years

1976. 1991.

And now, 2022.

Senior quarterback Matt Yascko rushed for a career high 168 yards on 18 carries – that weren’t necessarily part of the game plan – and the Edison defense registered seven sacks, as the 6th-seeded Eagles won at top-seed Lenape Friday night, 28-14, to take home the Central Jersey Group 5 title.

It was the Eagles’ first title since 1991, and they are now 3-0 all-time in sectional finals.

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Edison, now 9-3 on the season, will take on Toms River North next weekend – on either Saturday or Sunday – in the Group 5 semifinals at Cherokee High School, about a 15-minute drive from where they won Friday night. The top-seeded Mariners are now 12-0 after beating 2nd-seed Kingsway 48-14 for their first title since 2015.

Edison took a 13-0 lead in the game, capitalizing on several Lenape miscues, including a bad snap on one punt, and allowing the Eagles to block another.

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The first TD came courtesy of a 13-yard run by Nyekir Eato, with Matt Yascko’s five-yard TD run good for the second score. Tight end Michael Strachan caught a five-yard TD pass after that bad snap by Lenape set the Eagles up with first-and-goal at the five, and Edison took a 20-0 lead into the locker room.

Lenape would make it a game in the third and fourth quarters, capitalizing on some Edison miscues. They got it to 20-14 with just under seven minutes to play, but Yascko would run another score in from 11 yards out to seal the deal with under four minutes to play.

Click below for postgame reaction from Mike Pavlichko with Edison players down on the field after the win:

Edison QB Matt Yascko
Edison LB/K Selbin Sabio
Edison WR Michael Strachan

Edison-North Brunswick lives up to the hype, as Eagles win a wild one to clinch a finals berth for the first time since 1991

It might have been the comeback of the year in the Big Central, and there have been some good ones, including in another sectional semifinal game Friday night in Annandale.

But nothing tops what Edison did in the Central Jersey Group 5 semifinals in North Brunswick.

The 6th-seeded Eagles were down 31-17 with 3:58 left in the game. They scored to make it 31-24 and recovered Selbin Sabio’s onside kick.

Then, like a la Phil Connors in Groundhog Day, the Eagles scored again. Down one, Edison went for the jugular, a two-point conversion to go ahead.

But they didn’t get it.

Why not try another onside kick, down 31-30 with 39-seconds to go?

They did, and recovered again.

What?

Then, aided by two pass interference penalties, Edison got into field goal range, and Sabio booted a clean ball over and through the uprights from 30-yards for the game-winner as time expired, for a 33-31 win.

Now, it’s on the road for Edison, to top-seed Lenape, which got by 5th-seed Atlantic City down in Medford Friday night, 21-20. That game will kick off at 7:00 next Friday night.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Chris Tsakonas break down the final four minutes of the game with Mike Pavlichko as well as postgame reaction from head coach Matt Fulham, quarterback Matt Yascko, and kicker Selbin Sabio:

Edison QB Matt Yascko after a Central Jersey Group 5 semifinal win at North Brunswick on November 4, 2022. (Photo: Chris Tsakonas)

Edison-North Brunswick rivalry is a friends and family affair as they meet again, this time for a chance at a title

Whenever Edison and North Brunswick face each other, especially recently, the games have been epic, knock-down, drag-out battles.

But regardless of whether it’s been close, or not, there’s this fact: the Eagles haven’t won a game against the Raiders since 2014, so there are some streaks involved.

A Mike Cipot-coached North Brunswick team has never lost to Edison (5-0).

And the Eagles’ fourth-year starting QB, Matt Yascko, has never beaten the Raiders in three tries. He became the starter in 2019, when Lucas Loffredo suffered a season-ending injury, but Loffredo started the Edison game that year.

They meet Friday night at Steve Libro Field in North Brunswick in the Central Jersey Group 5 semifinals, with the Eagles (7-3) the 6th seed, and the Raiders (8-1) the 2nd seed, and a lot on the line.

Edison last made a title game in 1991, when they won it all, to go along with their only other title, in their only other finals appearance, in 1976.

North Brunswick has made two finals appearances under Cipot: in 2018 – when they droppee an epic Central Jersey Group 5 title game at Sayreville, 6-0 – and last year, in a loss to Hillsborough’s greatest team ever. They’re 0-3 all-time, their only other appearance coming in the Central Jersey Group 2 finals in 1979 to South River.

But for all that’s at stake Friday in that regard, there’s still more.

Yascko and his North Brunswick counterpart – Frankie Garbolino, a three-year starter in his own right – are good friends. They both play baseball for their respective schools, and play on the same team in the summer. Their families are close.

That’s because their fathers played together when they were in high school – at Edison. So this one has extra juice for them, too.

Justin Garbolino, Matt Yascko (Edison’s offensive coordinator) and Brian Calantoni (Edison’s wide receivers coach and president of the Edison Boys’ Baseball League) were practically inseparable growing up, through their early school years and into high school – where they won the 1991 Central Jersey Group 4 title – and then into college, where all three roomed together – though only Yascko and Garbolino played – at Monmouth University, on the Hawks’ inaugural football team in 1993.

Media guide bios for Matt Yascko and Justin Garbolino, in the inaugural season for Monmouth University football, 1993. (Source: monmouthhawks.com)

This week, Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko visited Edison to sit and talk with Calantoni, about the ties that bind: growing up in Edison, never really leaving, and how that’s fueled the program’s recent success.

Click below to listen:

Edison alum and wide receivers’ coach Brian Calantoni. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

“The Big Central in 2 Minutes” – Week 8: It’s Playoff Time!

Now that the playoffs are upon us, “The Big Central in Two Minutes” with veteran sportscaster Mike Pavlichko takes a look at teams that can do some damage in the postseason, the double-multiplier effect, and how we did with our preseason playoff projections.

Click below to listen to the Week Eight edition of “The Big Central in 2 Minutes”:

Edison looking for consistency when No. 5 North Brunswick comes to town

In one sense, Edison has had consistency at the skill positions.

Returning for the Eagles are two talented receivers in Malcolm Stansbury and Jaden Peart, along with quarterback Matt Yascko, a junior who took over the starting role midway through his freshman season.

On the other hand, Edison has been up and down this season. They opened with a win, then alternated with a loss and a win, then another loss and a win over their next few games.

LISTEN: Shittu, Stansbury are primed to help Edison “finish” in 2021

The Eagles (3-2) will look to put together their first winning streak of the season Friday night when No. 5 North Brunswick rolls into Matthew Drwal Stadium for the “Big Central Game of the Week” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland.

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Kickoff is 7 pm on Central Jersey Sports Radio with Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe on the call; click here to listen live.

Edison also will be looking to avenge a dramatic loss last year to the Raiders.

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With the Eagles driving late in the game down 21-20, Yascko found Stansbury in the left corner of the end zone, but North Brunswick D-back Jelani Devonish-Wynter, in tight coverage, fell to the turf with Stansbury and came out with the ball.

MORE AUDIO: Devonish-Wynter’s end zone heroics help No. 9 North Brunswick edge out Edison

The play was ruled an interception, and North Brunswick hung on to win.

Click here to listen to Edison coach Matt Fulham talk about the Eagles’ season and Friday night’s game against North Brunswick:

No. 7 North Brunswick puts unbeaten mark on the line vs. Edison in Big Central Game of the Week, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving

It will be a battle of sophomore quarterbacks at Drwal Stadium in Edison tonight when the Eagles entertain No. 7 and unbeaten North Brunswick in the Big Central Game of the Week powered by Bellamy & Son Paving (6:50 pm pregame, 7:00 kickoff).

Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino have the call. Listen by clicking the Listen Live button on our page, or here.

The Raiders have won each of the last three years, but before that, Edison had won three straight, and North Brunswick leads the all-time series 9-7. the teams only met for the first time in 1994, 20 years after North Brunswick Township High School first opened.

The game features two tenth-grade quarterbacks. Matt Yascko started six games as a freshman for Edison, compiling 1,065 yards and 7 touchdowns after starter Lucas Loffredo went down to injury. Loffredo eventually moved to and transferred to Piscataway, where he did not play.

READ MORE: Edison coach Matt Fulham talks 2-1 start, Yascko & Yascko, and North Brunswick challenge Friday night

North Brunswick’s sophomore quarterback is less tested. But Frankie Garbolino has helped lead North Brunswick through the first three games of the post-Myles Bailey era with 626 yards passing and 7 touchdowns in just the first three games, most notably including no picks.

Listen below to Dom Savino’s conversation with North Brunswick coach Mike Cipot on the 2020 season, and previewing the Edison game:

Edison coach Matt Fulham talks 2-1 start, Yascko & Yascko, and North Brunswick challenge Friday night

Edison dropped its first game of the year in what some considered to be a shocker to Franklin, 7-6.

Not that anything can be called shocking these days.

But the Eagles responded with a two-point win in Week 2 over Sayreville.

Touche.

This week, it’s a stiff challenge for Edison, which will look to go 3-1 when the Eagles host No. 7 North Brunswick Friday night in the Big Central Game of the Week powered by Bellamy & Son Paving on Central Jersey Sports Radio (7 pm kickoff, 6:50 pregame).

Hear head coach Matt Fulham’s conversation with Mike Pavlichko below: