NJ High School Football Regional Championship Games at SHI Stadium – Day 1
South/Central Group 5 Regional Championship Game
Williamstown (30) vs. Cherokee (14)- Williamstown wasted no time jumping out to an early advantage over Cherokee in the South 5 Regional Championship scoring 13 first quarter points. In the second quarter placekicker Brendan Amico booted home a 26-yard field goal as the Braves took a 16-0 lead into the locker room.
In the third quarter Turner Inge scored his second touchdown of the day on a three-yard run. Cherokee got on the board with three and half minutes left on a 18-yard pass from quarterback Billy Osborn to wide receiver Caden Burti. However, Williamstown quarterback sealed the victory plowing ahead for a one-yard score early into the fourth quarter.
Inge finished with 140 carries on 21 carries while the Braves pounded the rock gaining 310 yards with Brown adding 77 yards on 13 rushes. Williamstown outgained the Chiefs by a whopping margin, 347 to 112. The defense limited to Osborn who entered the game with over 1,900 passing yards to 13 of 27 for 77 yards.
Inge on the win, “Last season ended on a bad note losing to Sayreville and came back and made it right. We had a goal and went out and completed it. We came out strong, pounded the ball and scored right away.”
South/CentralGroup 4 Regional Championship Game
Shawnee (34) vs. Hammonton (0)- After a scoreless first quarter, Shawnee broke the scoreless tie in the second quarter with a pair of touchdowns. Starting with a nine-yard run by Dalton Short, quarterback Matt Welsey tossed a 23-yard scoring pass to Nate Summerville.
The Renegades blew the game wide open in the third quarter tallying 20 points. Wesley blasting through the line for a one-yard keeper on fourth and goal that was confirmed by video replay review. Mixing it up with a couple of reverse plays that ended up with Wesley launching a 44-yard strike to wide receiver Mike Guinta. It was the defense turn to make the highlight reel with defensive end Matt Suriano recovering a fumble and rumbling 36 yards to the end zone.
Wesley completed 9 of 15 passes for 139 yards while Tommy Rebstock rushed 15 times for 94 yards. Shawnee’s defense completely shut down the Blue Devils passing game not allowing Ryan Barts a single yard and yielded just 154 yards of total offense.
Non-Public Group 3 Final
DePaul Catholic (27) vs. Mater Dei (25)- With Mater Dei trimming DePaul Catholic’s lead down to 7-7 in the second quarter, it was Spartans quarterback Andrew Butler that took command of the game throwing a 50 yard touchdown pass to Tedy Afful with less than nine minutes remaining. As the clock dwindled down in the first half and no time outs left Butler displayed no fear on fourth and goal at the one-yard line stretching the ball across the goal line before getting spun around in the air as DePaul Catholic led 20-6 at halftime.
The Seraphs responded in the second half, starting in the third quarter in their second possession with quarterback Alex Brown tossing an 18-yard touchdown pass to Clarence Lewis. Butler threw his third touchdown score of the night to Marshawn Ferguson with less than three minutes left. Seemingly comfortable ahead at 27-12, Mater Dei refused to go away with Malik Ingram barreling ahead for a four-yard score with one minute to go in the quarter.
In the fourth quarter the Seraphs would further cut into the advantage on a 50-yard touchdown run from Naran Butin. However, the Spartans managed to run the clock out due to key running plays from Jordan Sellers and De’Mere White. Butler completed 24 of 34 passes for 363 yards. Afful caught 10 passes for 203 yards.
Butler on the win, “Coach (McKenna) put in a great plan, we had two weeks to prepare for this and really smooth with what we needed to do and came out and executed and how we were able to be so explosive in the first half. Teddy is the best wide receiver in the state no doubt about it and we have tons of talent with our wide receivers and able to spread the ball and let them make plays.”
Head Coach John McKenna on the victory, “We have been preaching we have to play our best ball in November and December and once November hit our play stepped up and came into the playoff now champs. Andrew has had a tremendous season and is one of the best quarterbacks in the state if not the best. We got Andrew and pretty much back for next year and had nine seniors lead the way and give them credit because we are young around them and they taught us the right way.”
Sunil Sunder Raj
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