Tag: Player of the Week

Tropeano’s 400+ passing yards power Elizabeth to huge win, earns Week 4 Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week honors

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:

Honorable Mentions

  • 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.

Other Nominations

  • 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.

Converted RB Jones gets it done through the air, on the ground, and on D, wins Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week honors for Week 3

Jaeden Jones was never a quarterback, but you might not know it to look at his stat line.

The Colonia junior threw for 132 yards and a touchdown on 10-of-16 passing Friday night in a 28-25 win over Linden. But that’s not what earned him Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week Honors for Week 3 of the high school football season.

There were also the 31 carries he had for 151 yards and three touchdowns, plus the ten tackles and a forced fumble he had from his safety position on defense.

Colonia mentor Tom Roarty approached Jones in the off-season, after the departure of Josh Oluremi, who rushed for 1,594 yards and 20 touchdowns last season, while throwing for 954 and 6 touchdown passes, and was named “Mr. Dynamic” in Central Jersey Sports Radio’s postseason awards last year.

This year, Jones has taken the baton and run with it.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Colonia junior quarterback/safety Jaeden Jones:

Honorable Mentions

  • Michael Schmelzer, Montgomery – In a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio (which means we got to see it) the junior quarterback ran a masterful offense, knowing when to hold ’em, fold ’em, or pass ’em. In a 27-21 win over Somerville, he was 11-of-18 passing for 190 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw a two-point conversion pass and rushed six times for 72 yards.
  • Chiekezie Ogbuewu, Dunellen – Just a junior on a team with fewer than two dozen players, Ogbuewu – a runningback/d-back – played both sides of the ball with energy to spare. An impact right from the jump, he scored an 80-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, and added a five-yard run and a pair of two point conversions in a 51-13 win over Belvidere on Thursday. He carried 11 times for 144 yards, while logging ten tackles – 7 solo and 2 for a loss – on defense against the County Seaters.
  • Caidan Holmes, Sayreville – The senior quarterback only threw six times against Edison, but in a 14-6 win, he completed five fo those passes for 134 yards and a touchdown, while scoring the other TD himself on the ground, part of a 21-carry, 66-yard night on the ground for the Bombers.
  • Shawn Purcell, Manville – What doesn’t the kid do? In a 46-7 win over Dayton, Purcell – a senior – rushed for four touchdowns, rattling off 195 yards on just nine carries. Among his TDs on the ground: a 63-yarder and a 59-yarder. He also had a 44-yard touchdown reception, and logged four tackles on defense. For those counting, that’s five of the Mustangs’ seven TDs in the game.
  • Khiri Summers, South Brunswick – The senior was all over the field Friday night – in his first game back from an ankle injury – to be the sparkplug in a 29-16 win over East Brunswick. He did a little bit of everything, and played every snap on offense, defense and special teams. He hauled in two passes for 14 yards, rushing 12 times for 68 – including a touchdown – and as a safety, registered 6 tackles and two pass breakups. He also had a 70-yard kick return for a touchdown.
  • Patrick Smith, South Plainfield – In a 53-30 win over rival North Plainfield Friday night, the junior runningback needed just seven carries to amasss 155 yards and four touchdowns, of 60, 55, 18 and 1 yard. On defense, he had eight tackles and two pass breakups.
  • Matt Sims, Brearley – In a 46-26 home win over Roselle Park Thursday night, the QB continued his big number senior season for unbeaten (3-0) Brearley. He was 11-of-16 for 203 yards and three touchdowns, while also eclipsing the century mark on the ground: 101 yards on 10 carries, and three trips to the end zone. On defense, Sims logged seven tackles and two pass breakups.

Other Nominations

  • Laivon Balthazar, Perth Amboy – In a narrow, 10-8 win over JFK Friday night, the Panther sophomore was 11-of-15 passing for 182 yards, and carried three times for 65 yards – and the only touchdown of the game for Amboy.
  • Patrick Garlinghouse, Delaware Valley – The senior carried the ball 27 times for 176 yards and scored three times, while registering 13 tackles at linebacker in a 33-13 win over New Providence. Down the stretch, he had several key first down gains to secure the win, and came up with big stops on D.
  • Trey Lazar, Spotswood – The junior, who plays both QB and wide receiver on offense, had 18 rushes for 135 yards and two touchdowns – which came in the fourth quarter to put the game away – in a 28-6 win at Highland Park on Friday night.
  • Ben Solimini, East Brunswick – The senior signal caller tried to will his team to victory Friday night, but fell short 29-14 against South Brunswick, despite his 17 carries for 1997 yards and two touchdowns, including a 75-yard score.
  • Zahmir Dawud, North Brunswick – In a 33-7 win over Old Bridge Friday night, the senior wide receiver had five catches for 81 yards.
  • Gabe Perez, JFK – In a tight, 10-8 loss to Perth Amboy Friday night, Perez had five catches for 62 yards. Though they didn’t win the game, a fourth-quarter pick in the end zone and a 4th-and-long pass in the fourth quarter set up a touchdown for the Mustangs to pull them within two, but they missed the two-point try for the tie.
  • Jakir Thomas, Carteret – In a 25-11 Friday night win over Plainfield, the sophomore runningback was a workhorse: 23 carries for a hard-fought 113 yards and two touchdowns. On defense, he had three pass breakups from his cornerback spot in the fourth quarter.
  • Jonathan Lobello, Hillsborough – As the Raiders have formed a strong defensive identity in 2022, Lobello has been a big reason why. The senior had seven tackles, two interceptions, and another two passes broken up in an active night, part of a 21-11 home win over Ridge.
  • Connor Laverty, Bernards – In a 35-0 win over Voorhees Friday night, the junior quarterback had four touchdowns, all in the first half, going 16-of-20 passing for 179 yards.
  • Kente Edwards, North Hunterdon – The senior runningback gave it all he had in a 48-21 loss to No. 1 Phillipsburg Friday night: 13 carries fro 189 yards and a touchdown, plus 12 tackles and an interception on defense.

Hall stands tall after teammate’s tragic passing to win Week 2 Bellamy & Son Player of the Week Honors

There are moments in life that put things in perspective, that make us all remember that, sometimes, it’s “just a game.”

The sudden passing of Rahway backup center Ali Muhammad, who died in his sleep sometime Thursday morning, could no doubt be one of those moments.

Then again, sometimes those moments make us value “the game” more, which is what Muhammad’s teammates did.

Skipping Thursday practice, they decided to play their game against Lincoln High of Jersey City at Caven Point Friday night, dedicating not only the game, but the entire rest of the season, to their fallen teammate.

And the entire squad played inspired football, led by senior Kyle Hall, venting their way to a 45-16 road win.

Hall had nine carries for 162 yards – a whopping 18 yards per carry – and two touchdowns, with a longest run of 60. He had a two-point conversion run, as well as two catches for 70 yards another of which went for 60 and a touchdown.

And Hall was busy on defense, too: six tackles, four solo, and 3 TFLs, plus, a forced fumble, and a 67-yard scoop-and-score.

It may not have set any records, but in the face of such heartbreak, Hall stood tall, and earned Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week honors for Week Two of the season.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Rahway senior Kyle Hall

Honorable Mentions

  • Dylan Wragg, Westfield – In the Blue Devils’ first win over Union since 2017, the senior runningback was a workhorse: 30 carries for 162 yards and a touchdown in a 20-14 victory. He actually left the game before halftime with an ankle injury, but got fixed up and came back after the break to lead the team to a pair of scoring drives.
  • Dan Hennessey, Old Bridge – The dramatic finish against South Brunswick for a 27-22 win that’s still got the land of the Knights buzzing was amazing enough, but San Hennessey had 21 rushes for 152 yards and three touchdowns, adding in three catches for 25 yards.
  • Caidan Holmes, Sayreville – As the Bombers rebounded from a season-opening loss to Phillipsburg with a 22-7 win over New Brunswick at Memorial Stadium Friday night, senior quarterback “athlete” Caidan Holmes was busy all over the field, defining the word. He was 2-of-5 passing for 25 yards, rushed 23 times for 141 yards and a touchdown, plus two conversions. He had a 36-yard punt return on special teams, while also breaking up a pass and registering two assisted tackles on defense.
  • Jeremy DeCaro, St. Joseph-Metuchen – Just a junior, from his halfback position, he carried five times for 110 yards and three touchdowns, also grabbing three passes for 110 yards and a fourth score. He also had six tackles from his outside linebacker position, four of them solo, also breaking up a pass, in a strong 31-15 win over Somerville at Brooks Field Friday night.
  • Derek Vaddis, North Hunterdon – The wide receiver had some big-yardage catches. He had seven receptions for 207 yards and two touchdowns, for 76 and 68 yards with most of those yards after the catch. Then, on defense, he had six tackles and an interception, returning it 38 yards.
  • Jaeden Jones, Colonia – Last week a nomination, this week an honorable mention, the junior dual-threat quarterback may be the top non-senior signal caller in the BCC. He threw 8-of-13 for 78 yards and a touchdown, while rushing 29 times for 144 yards and a score. Then, on defense, he racked up nine total tackles, and a pick.

Other Nominations

  • Joey Witkoski, Hillsborough – The senior outside linebacker was part of a defense that harassed junior quarterback Jack Bray – and his runningbacks – all night long, registering eight sacks. Witkoski had 3 1/2 of them, as well as five TFLs, and 8 tackles.
  • Zahmir Dawud, North Brunswick – The senior d-back, registered nine tackles, 1.4 TFLs and two pass deflections in a narrow, 13-10 win at Edison. On offense, where he can line up as a receiver or a runningback, he grabbed four passes for 65 yards, and had nine carries for another 35 yards.
  • Michael Schmelzer, Montgomery – The junior QB – a big reason the Cougars are off to a hot 3-0 start out of the gate – had a monster passing game: 12-of-20 for 229 yards and three TDs, plus a two-point conversion pass. One of the TDs went for 70 yards. We’ll get to see him Friday night on the Big Central Game of the Week when the Cougars entertain Somerville.
  • Enzo Britez, Bernards – The senior wide receiver made the most of his two catches in a 35-0 win at South River; both went for touchdowns.
  • Joshua Penic, Elizabeth – The senior wide receiver/defensive back did a bunch for the Minutemen in a touchdown loss to a rising Hunterdon Central team. He had 60 yards rushing and also threw a touchdown pass for 19 yards to Leonicio Remigio, while adding six tackles and three pass breakups on defense. He also had a 40-yard punt return.
  • Caleb Salters, Hillside – In a 45-0 shutout win at Metuchen Saturday, the senior QB was an effiecient 11-of-14 for 198 yards, with three touchdown passes.
  • Aidan Lane, Monroe – In a big win for the Falcons over East Brunswick, Aidan Lane registered four tackles on defense, had two catches for 25 yards – both for TDs – on offense, and a 70-yard kick return for a touchdown. He accounted for all three touchdowns in a 28-14 victory.
  • Evan Richardson, JFK – The senior linebacker was active, amassing 19 tackles and two TFLs in a 21-13 loss to Colonia Friday night.
  • Michael Green, South Plainfield – The senior runningback had 151 yards on the ground and a touchdown, but also 65 yards receiving, including a second touchdown, in a 13-12 win over Carteret, to get the Tigers off to a 2-0 start.
  • Te’Quan Thomas, Linden – In a 31-0 shutout of Woodbridge at home, the QB threw 5-of-8 passing for 89 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing 17 times for 140 yards and another score.
  • R.J. Hart, Hunterdon Central – The Red Devils’ QB threw for 211 yards and three touchdowns, adding 91 yards rushing with a score, in a 28-21 home win over Elizabeth, helping his team get off to a 2-1 start.

Woodbridge’s Rosato fuels the Barrons’ offense, is named Week One Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week

Fitting in with new teammates isn’t always easy, but for Woodbridge senior quarterback Antonio Rosato – a transfer from St. John Vianney down in the Shore Conference – it’s gone pretty well.

After a tough season-opening loss to Irvington – coming off its first ever state championship – Rosato accounted for 451 of his team’s 492 total offensive yards back on Friday night, in a 34-27 barnburner against Summit.

He went 17-of-24 passing for 212 yards with three TD passes, running 23 times for 239 yards and another two scores.

And that has earned him Week One Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week Honors.

Rosato is a good student, too. Make that an excellent one, with a 4.0 GPA, according to head coach Joe LaSala.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Week One Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week Antonio Rosato:

Honorable Mentions:

  • Patrick Smith, South Plainfield: In a 33-13 season-opening home win over JFK, he just about did it all: 79 yards on the ground with a touchdown, 55 yards receiving and a score, and a 90-yard kick return for a touchdown. That’s 224 total yards and three touchdowns.
  • Shane Donoghue, Hillsborough: The Raider tight end had only three catches, but he made them count: for 98 yards and two touchdowns, while also being active on
  • Jeremy DeCaro, St. Joseph: The junior made an impact in all three phases in a 30-6 season-opening victory over New Brunswick in Metuchen Saturday. At halfback, he carried five times for 57 yards. From his outside linebacker spot he registered seven tackles, one TFL, and had two pass breakups, as well as a pick-six. He had a punt return for 35 yards and made two tackles on special teams.
  • Matt Sims, Brearley: At QB, he went 7-13 for 91 yards and a touchdown, but was even more impressive on the ground, carrying 29 times for 248 yards and four scores. He also scored a pair of two-point conversions and had 6 tackled and an interception on defense from his safety position in a 34-20 road win at Manville.
  • Kyle Hall, Rahway: The senior wide receiver had two catches for 30 yards , both for touchdowns, but also had seven rushes for 40 yards in a 21-20 home win over Linden. From his linebacker position on defense, he registered six tackles, 3 TFLs, and a QB hurry. On special teams he punted three times for an average of 27.3 yards, with one inside the 20 yard line.
  • Brayden Kelly, Watchung Hills: In a 17-7 season-opening win over Westfield, the cornerback had a 50-yard interception return and two fumble recoveries, as well as two tackles.

Other Nominations:

(in no particular order)

  • Frankie Garbolino, North Brunswick: The senior QB kept the offense steady in a 19-0 blanking of rival South Brunswick in the Raiders’ opener. He threw 12-of-17 for 126 yards and a touchdown, while carrying 13 times for 101 yards and a TD.
  • Jaeden Jones, Colonia: The QB went 11-of-19 for 175 yards and a touchdown in a 34-24 home win over Scotch Plains-Fanwood, while also carrying 19 times for 275 yards and three scores. He also had an INT on defense.
  • Xavier Moore, Phillipsburg: The Stateliners’ top returning rusher from 2021 went for 162 yards and 18 carries in a 14-7 season-opening win at Sayreville.
  • James Williams, Plainfield: In a tough, one-point loss, 23-22 at Elizabeth, QB Ala-Meen Watkins completed 17 of 20 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns.
  • Ryan Tasetano and Joey Witcoski, Hillsborough: Tasetano was minimal, but efficient, under center: 7-of-8 passing for 143 yards and three touchdowns, while Witcoski registered six tackles, two for loss, 1 1/2 sacks, and had a fumble recovery on defense in a 42-6 blowout of East Brunswick in their opener.
  • Christian Maglicano, St. Joseph: On offense, the junior had three catches for 46 yards. On defense, playing both inside linebacker and D-end, he had nine tackles, one for a loss, a sack and a QB hurry. He also had a tackle on kickoff coverage.
  • Alex Uryniak, North Hunterdon: A team captain, Uryniak had a busy night on offense, with 18 tackles, 2 TFLs, a sack and an interception. On the other side of the ball, he carried nine times for 58 yards and a score in a 34-7 victory that gets the Lions to 2-0. He also made an impact on special teams.
  • Darius Armstrong, South River: The sophomore running back was a workhorse, carrying 24 times for 190 yards in the Rams’ season-opening 28-21 win over Metuchen, their first win to start a season since 2019.
  • Kyon Simonson, Hillside: The Army-bound runingback carried 21 times for 167 yards and three touchdowns, also adding two catches for nine yards in a nice opening-game road win at Bernards, 35-20.
  • Isaac Levitan, Justin Wistuba of Voorhees: Levitan threw 8-of-11 passing for 139 yards and three touchdowns, while also running for 97 yards, and adding six tackles from his linebacker position on defense. Wistuba had five catches – two of which went for touchdowns – for 96 yards, then added 2 INTs from the defensive backfield.
  • Napolean Williams, Carteret: The senior outside linebacker had four sacks in the Ramblers’ big 13-0 win over their arch-rivals Perth Amboy.
  • Lucas Stocks, Summit: The runningback carried 17 times for 133 yards and 1 TD in a one-touchdown loss at Woodbridge.
  • Mehki Parks, Middlesex: The senior runningback had five carries for 39 yards and two catches for 87 yards and a touchdown in a 27-0 season-opening shutout win at home over Bound Brook. On special teams, Parks also returned a punt 70 yards for a score.

Yascko’s senior performance earns QB Week Zero Bellamy & Son Player of the Week Honors

Note: This year’s weekly awards will also include honorable mention picks, and list all nominations made by coaches.

With 23 starts at quarterback under his belt, dating back to his freshman year, Matt Yascko is a veteran. So, heading into his 24th start – six more would tie a school record – Yascko was expected to do things that senior quarterbacks do.

After a two-hour plus bus ride down to Ocean City, on a hot night, in front of a hostile crowd, at the statewide “Battle at the Beach” showcase with a media contingent worthy of a state championship game, Yascko did senior quarterback things.

He guided his team through a 14-14 first half, one where the typical August mistakes cropped up, then hit the gas on the up-tempo offense in the second half, leading his team to the next 28 points in the game after Cedar Creek – winners of 15 straight and last year’s South Group 34 regional championship – went up 21-14.

Final score: Edison 42, Cedar Creek 21.

And the final stat line for Yascko was just as impressive: 12-of-22 passing for 126 yards and a touchdown, with 20 carries for 102 yards and four more scores.

But it wasn’t just the numbers. It was that he did it in that environment, against that team. For that, Yascko is the Bellamy & Son Big Central Player of the Week for Week Zero.

The kid doesn’t shy from contact, and loves running it as much as he does putting it in the air. And it led the Eagles to one of the biggest victories for a Big Central team of the opening weekend.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Matt Yascko, the Edison senior quarterback:

Honorable Mentions:

  • Anthony Tittanegro, Scotch Plains-Fanwood: The runningback carried 18 times for 156 yards and a touchdown, while adding two catches for 50 yards and another score in his first career start on offense in a 38-16 win over North Plainfield.
  • Shawn Purcell, Manville: Shawn did it in all phases: 15 carries for 100 yards and a TD, 4 receptions for 54 yards and 2 TDs, as well as 64 return yards, a blocked punt for a safety, and a blocked PAT.
  • Ben Gullo, New Providence: The runningback carried 23 times for 258 yards and two scores, adding a catch for 26 yards in a win over Governor Livingston. His was the best rushing total in the state in Week Zero.
  • Kente Edwards, North Hunterdon: It was the Kente Edwards show in a 29-8 season-opening win over Hunterdon Central: 31 carries, 241 yards, 2 scores. He had the second-highest rushing total in the state in Week Zero, only behind Ben Gullo of New Providence.
  • Brady Cavallaro, Old Bridge: The quarterback expertly led the Old Bridge offense, going a very efficient 15-of-17 passing for 281 yards – that’s a lot of long balls at 18.7 yards per completion – and four touchdowns. It was the most passing yards by a Big Central QB in Week Zero, fourth best total in the state.

Other Nominations:

  • Dan Ferguson, Bernards: The defensive back had two of the team’s four interceptions on Overbrook quarterback DeAngelo Conquest in a 21-7 win. The sophomore, making only the second start of his career, also had four pass breakups.
  • Weston Fischer, Scotch Plains-Fanwood: The quarterback threw for 157 yards on 8-of-12 passing, with three TD strikes, while running for another.
  • Evan Baureko, Spotswood: The QB threw 4-for-10 for 96 yards, with three of those completions going for touchdowns. He also rushed 16 times for 103 yards, a touchdown and a two-point conversion in a 28-14 home win over Bishop Eustace.
  • Chris Eubanks, Montgomery: The senior runningback went for 194 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Even without his 66-yard TD on the first-play from scrimmage, he still averaged 7.1 yards per carry. Alex who?
  • Jaeden Jones, Colonia: The QB rushed for 166 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries, while also going 10-for-15 through the air for 78 yards. For good measure, he had six tackles on defense in a 17-7 win over New Brunswick.
  • Joe Vecchio, Watchung Hills: At linebacker, he had four tackles and a pick-six in a 31-0 whitewash at Bayonne. At fullback, the senior paved the way for a team 142-yard, two rushing touchdown night.
  • Mike Miller, Somerville: The numbers are good for a game, but stellar when you look closer and see the senior QB threw 11-of-14 for 193 yards and three touchdowns in just about 18 minutes of football before the Pioneers called off the dogs against Mastery Charter HS of Camden.
  • Wes Hack, Somerville: The senior wide receiver – also in limited action – had four catches for 163 yards – that’s almost 41 per catch – and a touchdown against Mastery.

Just for kicks: Big-time boot earns Governor Livingston’s Quigley Week 9 Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week Award

Sometimes it’s a big interception, or five or six touchdowns, or an outstanding performance in all three phases.

Sometimes, it’s just a kick.

And sometimes, it’s a really big kick, as was the case for Governor Livingston junior Liam Quigley on Saturday afternoon.

See, the Highlanders hadn’t won a game all season. So it wasn’t as if the playoffs were on the line, but it was still a really big kick.

Knotted up at 21-all with A.L. Johnson, with 2.8 seconds left and the ball on the 23 yard line, out came Liam Quigley to try a 40-yard field goal attempt.

By the time the clock read :00, the Highlanders had their first win of the season, and Quigley and his teammates ran all over the field celebrating.

Click below to see Quigley’s game-winning 40-yard field goal against A.L. Johnson, as well as some of his other long kicks in the game:

Click below to hear Liam Quickly talk about his game-winning 50-yard field goal against A.L. Johnson:

At the end of the season, all the Bellamy & Son Players of the Week will receive a custom football, and one of the winners will receive a $500 scholarship from Bellamy & Son Paving.

Honor Roll:

All season long, Zaon Laney has been a workhorse for Rahway, and in a big 40-21 win Saturday at Hillside it was no different. Laney – a Week 6 winner – rushed 35 times for 293 yards and three touchdowns – with a long of 65 – and had two catches for 11 yards as well. He had a 31-yard kick return, too, and was involved in four tackles on defense, adding a pass breakup and a 21-yard interception return.

You certainly couldn’t ignore Hashym Hobbs-Harris’ performance for No. 1 Somerville in the swirling rain Friday night, in a 45-22 win over Summit. He ran for 200 yards on just 13 carries, but more impressively, took over the game after Ethan MacNair left with an ankle injury. On Somerville’s next offensive play from scrimmage, he ran 63 yards for a score. And on the Pioneer’s next touch he went 72 yards to paydirt.

There were a lot of big nights on the ground Friday, with the weather hampering passing games all over the state. Lucas Hudkins rolled off 226 yards on just 20 carries in a 35-13 win over Elizabeth, scoring three touchdowns. Ridge could be a dark horse in the upcoming state playoffs, and Hudkins is a big reason why.

Robinson’s big game in a big moment earns him Week 8 Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week Award

Coming up big in a big spot.

That’s what senior Anthony Robinson did last Friday night – all over the field – for Scotch Plains-Fanwood.

Not only did he help his unranked Raiders knock off No. 5 Woodbridge on Homecoming 34-33, but it earned him Week 8 Bellamy & Son Player of the Week honors.

Robinson carried 21 times for 212 yards and three touchdowns in handing the Barrons their second straight loss (after they started the season 6-2), while also catching two passes for 55 yards.

He contributed on defense, with seven tackles and one TFL, and amassed 74 kick return yards in the game as well.

Robinson will receive a custom football at the end of the year, and be eligible for a $500 scholarship courtesy of Bellamy & Son Paving, a founding sponsor of Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko of Central Jersey Sports Radio talk with SPF’s Anthony Robinson:

Honor Roll…

Other players who had outstanding games in Week eight included Zaon Laney, who also was a Week 6 winner. In a 35-28 win at South Plainfield, Laney was a workhorse, carrying 32 times for 287 yards and four touchdowns. He also added two catches for 67 yards, for a total of 354 yards from scrimmage.

Nasir McGlone had another outstanding game for North Plainfield, a consistent player for the Canucks all season. In a 35-10 win over Johnson, McGlone carried 18 time for 355 yards and five touchdowns, giving him back-to-back games over 350 yards rushing and with five scores.

McGlone’s effort was the top rushing performance in the Big Central in Week 8, and number two in the state last week behind only Zach Palmer-Smith of Delran, who carried for 373 yards and five scores.

And then there’s the Autoland Player of the Game from our Big Central Game of the Week Friday night, Shawn Purcell. In a 51-27 road win over Bound Brook – in which Manville scored a program record number of points in their series with the Crusaders – Purcell rushed for a career high 224 yards, with three touchdowns.

And Edison’s Matt Yascko had a nearly perfect game for the Eagles; the junior quarterback was 20-for-23 against Hunterdon Central, for 320 yards, four touchdowns and no picks in a 42-7 victory in Flemington.

Benitez runs and catches, kicks and picks his way to Week 7 Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week Award

Throwing a pass was about the only thing Alex Benitez didn’t do Friday night for Montgomery. And he’s even done a little of that this season.

But everything else he did helped him pick up Week Seven Bellamy and Son Paving Player of the Week Honors, while helping the Cougars to their second straight victory.

What didn’t Benitz do? He had 16 carries and a rushing touchdown, as well as five catches on offense. He also kicked three PATs. On defense he had not one, but two pick-6s, and he also had a pair of 55-yard punts on special teams.

His two interception returns for touchdowns came on back-to-back possessions defensively, and were part of a four-minute spurt that saw Benitz score three times – the first of the TDs coming on offense – to put the nail in the coffin on Scotch Plains-Fanwood.

And the win has Montgomery – now just 2-4, but winners of two straight – on the cusp of a playoff berth. They moved from 20th to 19th with the win, and have a chance to get to .500 if they can pick up a win this week against JFK, and next week against Cranford. That’s a tall order – even at home – but even a loss might still get them in due to Cranford’s high SI value, currently at 79.51. Montgomery’s OSI is 39.61, meaning even if they lose and get just half of Cranford’s value, that would keep them even.

Click below to hear Alex Benitez talk with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko about his Week 7 performance:

Honor Roll…

Sayreville’s Zaimer Wright – who won the award in Week Three – gets some “also ran” recognition in Week Seven. He was a workhorse going for 270 yards on 33 carries, scoring four touchdowns and adding a two-point conversion in a critical 29-16 win against South Brunswick that was the Bombers’ fourth straight victory.

Nasir McGlone of North Plainfield ran for even more yards on fewer touches Friday night. He averaged a whopping 21.5 yards per carry in a 42-26 win at Governor Livingston, the Canucks’ third straight win following a three-game skid.

Of his five touchdown runs, only one went for less than 40 yards – a ten-yard spring in the second quarter. The others were 70, 61, 48 and 44 yards. That’s a total of 233 yards on touchdown runs alone.

That’s a game for most good runningbacks.

Continuing the runningback theme, the final honorable mention goes to Ethan MacNair of Somerville, who had 300 rushing yards on 30 carries and three touchdowns in the Saturday Big Central Game of the Week driven by Autoland, a 47-26 win over St. Joseph in Metuchen.

Rahway’s Laney excels in all three phases, wins Week 6 Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week Award

When your team scores four touchdowns, wins the game, and you had three of them, that’s not a bad resume for a Player of the Week award.

Rushing for 255 yards, with a long of 87, plus another two catches for 11 yards shows some versatility.

But then add to it ten tackles on defense, six solo, plus an interception.

Then, pile on with a 24-yard punt return, and you have the makings of a definitive Bellamy & Son Paving Big Central Player of the Week Award. And that’s just what Rahway senior Zaon Laney got.

In a Week Six win over previously 4-1 Warren Hills, Laney helped the Indians to their second straight win, a 27-7 victory over the Blue Streaks.

READ MORE: Rahway wins second straight, knocking off 4-1 Warren Hills 27-7 with strong second half

Laney says he and his teammates were jacked up for Senior Night, the last home game of their high school careers, as the Indians finish with three straight on the road, including this wekeend against Donovan Catholic.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko talk with Rahway’s Zaon Laney:

Honor Roll…

Another Big Central player had a versatile performance last week, Montgomery’s Alex Benitez, who has played a both quarterback and runningback for the Cougars, and can help the Cougars wherever he is on the field.

He helped lead Monty to its first win of the year, a 28-13 decision over Franklin. Though his numbers weren’t gaudy, he did it with his arm, feet and hands.

On offense: 22 rushes for 71 yards, five catches for another 71, a 16-yard touchdown. Defensively, he had ten tackles – eight solo – and two TFLs. He also kicked all four of his team’s extra points.

To add to it, Benitez’ ground game put him past the 2,000-yard milestone for his career. Congrats!

South Brunswick’s Brian Rawls also had a nice night in a 47-6 win over JP Stevens. He had 105 yards from scrimmage – 58 rushing, 47 receiving – and also had a pick six on defense. Not a bad night!

And then there’s East Brunswick’s Ben Solimini. The quarterback only threw three times – completing two passes for 14 yards – but he carried ten times for 168 yards and two touchdowns. We love a QB who likes to run the ball.

Solimini has been instrumental in the Bears’ 5-1 start, their best since 2004, when they went 9-1 before a 21-0 Thanksgiving loss to Old Bridge. East Brunswick rebounded with a 17-14 win against Jackson at Rutgers for the Central Jersey Group 4 championship.

Summers makes the most of his opportunities on both sides of the ball to nab Week 5 Bellamy & Son Player of the Week honors

He didn’t have a dozen catches and a dozen tackles, or even a dozen of one or the other.

In fact, South Brunswick’s Khiri (pronounced like Kyrie, as in Irving) Summers only had five catches and five tackles in a 40-25 win over Monroe last Friday night.

But he made the most of what he got.

On offense, three of those catches went for touchdowns.

On defense, in addition to those five tackles, he had two interceptions, as part of what head coach John Viotto called the best performance his Vikings have turned in to date this season.

All that earned Summers Bellamy & Son Paving Big Central Player of the Week honors for Week Six.

Summers will receive a custom football to mark the accomplishment, and one Player of the Week will be awarded a $500 scholarship.

Click below to listen to Khiri Summers talk with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko about his performance against Monroe:

Honor Roll:

New Providence’s Charlie Barth was back playing defense again after sitting out that side of the ball in a 40-8 home win over Bound Brook heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio two Fridays ago.

And the senior RB/LB didn’t disappoint, with an outstanding two-way performance in a 42-14 win over Brearley: 16 carries for 176 yards and three touchdowns, while recording 12 tackles, a TFL and a QB pressure. Those numbers are what put him at the top of the Big Central leaderboard in tackles last fall, and made him one of the most active defenders in the league.

Few players record four touchdowns in a game; that’s reserved for the elite. But senior Logan Blake turned the trick for Delaware Valley Friday night, recording all four of the Terrier’s touchdowns in a solid 28-14 home win over Bernards. He had 11 catches in the game for 172 yards, with hauls of 13, 4, 26 and 16 yards.

North Plainfield’s Taeshaun Mallard a sophomore wide receiver had a nice four catches for 32 yards and two scores, but it was a trick play that boosted the prominence of his offensive game. It was a pass completion for a 39-yard touchdown to Jordan Bird in the fourth quarter. That have the Canucks enough cushion to hold on for a 28-19 win over Voorhees to move their record to 2-3 on the season and move them up one spot in the latest North 3 UPR rankings; the Canucks are two spots out of the top 16 at the midway point of the season.

And what would an honor roll be without Hillsborough’s Thomas Amankwaa. The senior – who won the award in Week 2 – is running the ball now in addition to catching it. He went for 103 yard and three touchdowns on five rushes while also catching three passes for 68 yards in a 42-14 win at No. 5 Ridge last Friday night.