Tag: Mike Miller

Top-ranked Somerville battles through driving rain, MacNair injury, to win slugfest against Summit

We don’t know yet who Somerville will face in the playoffs, and head coach Dallas Whitaker doesn’t really care until the NJSIAA comes out with its official brackets sometime Sunday.

But he was certainly happy with how his team came through at a very wet and windy Brooks Field Friday night, as the No. 1 Pioneers improved to 7-2beat Summit 45-22 in the Big Central Game of the Week, driven by Mark Montenero and his team, at the world-famous Autoland, heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Ethan MacNair came out of the game late in the first quarter with an apparent ankle injury after rushing for 49 yards and a touchdown on five carries, but Hashym Hobbs stepped up big-time. He scored on Somerville’s next two offensive plays, on touchdown runs of 63 and 72 yards, staking the Pioneers to a 19-3 that would turn into a 19-9 advantage going into the locker room.

Somerville head coach Dallas Whitaker didn’t have an update on MacNair after the game, pending a further medical evaluation.

Hobbs’ performance came at a critical point of the game, with Summit – after a trio of three-and-outs – starting to find its groove a bit on offense. The timing of his big plays earned him Autoland Player of the Game honors.

The loss for Summit (5-4) leaves its playoff hopes in question; they’re likely in the bottom four of the North 3 standings, but may need some help to stay there.

Click below for postgame reaction from Somerville’s 45-22 win over Summit Friday night:

Junior quarterback Mike Miller

Head coach Dallas Whitaker

No. 1 Somerville drops first game of season to Northern Highlands

The Somerville Pioneers, under the new regime that began with Jeff Vanderbeek as head coach, and now Dallas Whitaker, have always liked to challenge themselves.

For their first game, they came out on top, cruising past Olney Charter 25-0 down in the Germantown section of Philly last Friday night in a Week Zero game.

In Week One, they would square off against defending North Jersey, Section 1 Group 4 Champion (2019) Northern Highlands, but the Pioneers would not come out on top.

In the second game of Central Jersey Sports Radio’s “Big Central Game of the Week” doubleheader driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland, the top-ranked Pioneers fell to the Highlanders 32-20.

It was a back and forth affair until midway through the third quarter, when Northern Highlands scored the first of what would be three unanswered touchdowns and 19 unanswered points.

Dynamic senior receiver Jaimen Bryant caught eight passes for 97 yards and an 11-yard touchdown run, but it was Mike Miller who was named the Big Central Player of the Game, completing 21 of 39 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns, though he did throw one interception. Miller will receive a custom game ball courtesy of Autoland at the end of the season.

Click below to hear Tim Catalfamo talk to Somerville head coach Dallas Whitaker after the game:

Miller, Bryant ready to lead Somerville air attack

If you only knew a little bit about the Somerville Pioneers, it would be easy to write them off. After all, they graduated their top player on both sides of the ball – runningback Cookie Desiderio and defensive end A.J. Pena – from last year’s undefeated team.

How, then, do the Pioneers enter the fall as the consensus No. 1 squad in both Central Jersey Sports Radio Top 10 polls?

Enter Somerville’s latest cast of offensive stars – led by quarterback Mike Miller and wide receiver Jaimen Bryant – who are expected to post juggernaut numbers like last year’s 46 points-per-game.

Both players are returning starters who were key pieces of that powerful offense. After transferring in last year, the now-junior Miller racked up 1,600 passing yards – among the top ten in New Jersey – with 17 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Entering his senior season, Bryant is expected to be Miller’s top target once again, coming off a productive 2020 in which he led Somerville with 671 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.

Dom Savino caught up with Miller and Bryant to preview the Pioneers, who are aiming for their fourth straight sectional final appearance. Click below to hear from both of them:

Somerville QB Mike Miller:

Somerville WR Jaimen Bryant