Through the first three games of the season, Vito Tropeano, Jr. had not thrown for more than 128 yards in a game, and that coming in a 28-21 loss at Hunterdon Central in Week Two.
One school of thought might say that’s about what to expect, but the other might say he was due for a big game.
Saturday afternoon, he had that big game.
Tropeano threw for 409 yards on 18-of-24 passing in a dramatic 23-21 road win over previously-No. 4 and undefeated St. Joseph-Metuchen, earning him Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week honors for Week Four.
Tropeano will receive a custom football at the end of the year with his statistics from the game, and one of the Player of the Week winners will receive a $500 scholarship from Bellamy & Son Paving.
“Vito was consistent throughout the game,” said first-year Elizabeth head coach John Fiore, who is working to rebuild the Elizabeth program after spending eleven seasons at Montclair, where he won four state title and had three unbeaten teams.
Tropeano had an even game: 193 passing yards in the first half, and 216 in the second. With the score tied at 7 in the third quarter, he engineered a scoring drive that included a stretch of eight straight pass completions for 206 yards.
Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Elizabeth junior quarterback Vito Tropeano, Jr:
- Connor Laverty, Bernards – The junior quarterback helped his team win a big game at Del Val, 17-14, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio Friday night. He threw 12-of-23 passing for 155 yards and a TD to Enzo Britez, but it was his game-on-the-line two-yard dive into the end zone with 2:40 to go that perhaps was even more impressive. Laverty ended up with six carries for 51 yards, including the two-yard score. Read more about the game and hear our postgame interview with Laverty here.
- Chiekezie Ogbuewu, Dunellen – An honorable mention for the second week in a row, the junior RB/DB carried 32 times for 369 yards and six touchdowns in a 43-42 overtime loss to Middlesex. His touchdown runs were 3, 3, 5, 40, 42 and 77 yards, adding a pair of two-point conversions for a total of 40 points scored.
- Kente Edwards, North Hunterdon – The senior runningback and safety carried ten times for 106 yards and two touchdowns in a 42-13 win at Plainfield Saturday. He also had a 52-yard touchdown catch, and an 83-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. On defense, he logged five tackles, plus an interception.
- Will Deady, Ridge – In a 35-7 win over Hunterdon Central Friday night, the junior fullback carried 24 times for 208 yards and three touchdowns, while also hauling in two passes for 64 yards. At safety, he made five tackles, had one TFL and a pick.
- Anthony Christian, Spotswood – The senior was responsible for three touchdowns, three different ways, in a 28-21 win over arch-rival South River Saturday afternoon at Chargers Stadium. He had a 20-yard pick-six, a 31-yard rushing touchdown, and a 55-yard passing touchdown on a throwback to their quarterback Trey Lazar. Overall, he rushed for 81 yards on 17 carries. Hear more about Spotswood’s thrilling win here, as Mike Pavlichko talked with Chargers’ head coach Chris Meagher Saturday afternoon.
- Isaac Levitan, Voorhees – The junior QB/LB stood out on both sides of the ball for the Vikings in a 41-6 win over Bound Brook. He was 2-of-2 passing for 131 yards and touchdown passes of 77- and 54-yards, while also carrying six times for 79 yards and a score. On defense, he had six tackles, and one TFL.
- Gavin Guidette, Montgomery – The Cougars aren’t 5-0 for the first time in program history without players like the senior linebacker/runningback. In a 41-2 home win over Hamilton Friday, Guidette – “the QB of the defense,” according to head coach Zoran Milich – helped hold Hamilton to 117 yards rushing and just four yards passing with his physical play, including four solo tackles, a TFL and a fumble recovery. On offense, he rushed nine times for 84 yards and a score.
- Nino Garcia, Watchung Hills – In a 38-14 win at Bridgewater-Raritan, the senior runningback carried 20 times for 102 yards and a touchdown, while adding two catches for 26 yards.
- Dylan Wragg, Westfield – The senior runningback – in a 30-0 win Saturday at home against Scotch Plains-Fanwood – carried 15 times for 202 yards (that’s 13.5 yards per carry!) and three touchdowns. He also had a 30-yard reception.
- Ryan Schnall, Summit – The junior runningback scored twice in a 20-0 home win over Rahway, the Hilltoppers’ first victory of the season. He carried 17 times for 105 yards in the game, which moved Summit to 1-3 on the season.
- Selbin Sabio, Edison – The senior linebacker impressed on defense and on special teams as the Eagles, kicker in a 34-7 win over Franklin. He registered 16 tackles and 2 TFLs on defense, while kicking three of four extra points and sending two kickoffs for touchbacks.
- Erminal McNaully, Hillside – In a 42-7 win over New Providence, the junior strong safety has 12 tackles, two TFLs, a sack and two pass breakups. Head coach Barris Grant calls him a “tackling machine.”
- Dom Parenti, Middlesex – In a 43-42 overtime win over Dunellen, the sophomore QB aired it out to the tune of 89 yards and two touchdowns that came at critical moments. The first ultimately tied the game in regulation, while the second tied it in OT, winning it on the PAT. He was 5-of-12 passing, while adding a two-point conversion, and rushed eight times for 92 yards and another score.
- Zahmir Dawud, North Brunswick – In the No. 2 Raiders’ 22-0 win over then-No. 4 Sayreville, the senior wide receiver was quite the hybrid. He had a nice five catches for 65 yards but took 12 carries, too, for 71 yards and two touchdowns.
- Michael Green, South Plainfield – In a 48-22 win over JP Stevens on Friday, Green scored three times: twice on the ground, with a third on a kick return.