It was a hot night, the season opener, and Te’quan Thomas knew he had to reach down for a little more.
He had already run the ball 18 times for 213 yards. He had distributed the ball on the ground 20 times for another 144 yards.
It was a short yardage situation, but he went for it. Second-and-three from the 23. Dig deep.
Thomas reached the end zone, then ran in a two-point conversion to wrestle back the lead from Elizabeth for the third and final time all night, giving his team a 27-22 lead that would hold for the final 101 seconds of the game.
The final line on Thomas in Week Zero was 19 carries for 236 yards and three touchdowns, 5-of-7 passing for 34 yards.
And now, it includes Week Zero Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week honors.
Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Week One Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week Te’quan Thomas of Linden:
The Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week is chosen from nominees by Big Central coaches. At the end of the season, one player will be chosen to receive a $500 scholarship courtesy of Bellamy & Son Paving. As we did last year, we will recognize a few “Honorable Mentions,” and include all other all nominees in our weekly story.
- Jahad Thompson, Carteret: Next to the word “efficient,” Webster’s put Thompson’s picture. Only playing the first quarter of a 42-7 win over visiting St. Joe’s-Hammonton Friday night, he rushed three times for 105 yards, but two of them went for touchdowns of 55 and 41 yards. Not too shabby.
- Eric Dowden, New Providence: Talk about an answer. Leading 7-0 over Governor Livingston on his 68-yard touchdown catch in the first half, the Pioneers surrendered a game-tying touchdown in the third quarter, but the 7-7 score didn’t last long. Before another play could be made from scrimmage, it was 14-7, thanks to Dowden’s 80-yard kickoff return to the house.
- Anthony Romano, Scotch Plains-Fanwood: In a 25-0 whitewash of Monroe, Romano went 5-of-6 passing for 58 yards, but also ran it 15 times for 149 yards, including touchdown runs of 19 yards and one yard. And it all came in the senior’s first game as captain, and first varsity start at QB.
(in alphabetical order, by school)
- Terrence Hanratty, Bernards: The senior runningback carried 16 times for 125 yards and two touchdowns in a season-opening 47-6 win over Jefferson out of the Super Football Conference. He also had a 35-yard catch and a two-point conversion in the win.
- Jake Saus, Hunterdon Central: In a 44-7 win over defending sectional champion North Hunterdon, the senior runningback carried 24 times for 215 yards, part of a 415 yard effort by the ground game, and overall 650 yard night by the offense. Saus scored four rushing touchdowns, and added a catch for 39 yards.
- James Campbell, Governor Livingston: Despite dropping their opener to New Providence, 14-7, the Highlanders’ defense did its part, holding the Pioneers to just 98 yards of total offense. AS part of that effort, the senior DE Campbell registered six tackles, two TFLs and a sack.
- Brady Post, Montgomery: In a 34-7 win over Robbsinville Friday night, Post racked up 196 yards and three touchdowns on just 17 carries, an 11.5 yard clip. He also had a sack on defense.
- Zaimer Wright, Sayreville: Beset by injuries last year, the senior picked up right where he left off after a sensational sophomore campaign with a 17-carry, 195-yard, three-touchdown performance. He also threw a 46-yard TD pass to Ky’Von Mitchell. Welcome back!
- Trey Lazar, Spotswood: The senior quarterback was a workhouse on the natural grass at Chagrer Stadium in a 14-0 win over Bordentown. He rushed 21 times for 122 yards and two scores (from one- and two-yards out). That second TD came on an eight-minute drive then ended with Lazar sneaking across the goal line on fourth-and-goal.
- Brayden Kelly, Watchung Hills: The junior cornerback had two interceptions in a 37-8 season-opening win over Bayonne, including one that went back 22 yards for a score. He also had a tackle for loss, and made a catch on offense for six yards.