The South Brunswick Vikings made it three area teams with state titles on High School Football Championship Weekend, as the second-seed beat undefeated top-seed Manalapan Saturday night at Rutgers' High Point Solutions Stadium 33-22, in a game heard on WCTC. Dahrae Ford rushed for three touchdowns for the Vikings, who won their first-ever state title in their first-ever finals appearance, led by first-year head coach Joe Goerge, who'd previously won two titles in the mid-90s at Franklin.
The Sayreville Bombers also won a title - the Central Jersey Group 4 crown - holding on to defeat 7-seed Middletown South 35-28 in a thrilling contest heard Saturday afternoon on WCTC. The top-seeded Bombers held off a game Eagles squad, which closed to within a touchdown with 2:25 left but ran out of time. Sayrevile never trailed, and senior QB Isaiah Cureton had a great rushing game, with 18 carries for 173 yards.
Saturday morning, the first title winner of the weekend was Carteret, which came from behind to win its first state title since 2007, as the top-seeded Ramblers defeated #6 Weequahic 13-12 at MetLife Stadium at the Meadowlands in the Central Jersey Group 2 championship game, heard on WCTC. They also finished the season undefeated (12-0) for the first time since 1992. Carteret fell behind 12-0, and trailed by that score going into the lockerroom. But in the third quarter, QB Tyler Rodriguez hit Naji Thompson for a 6-yard TD reception. Johnson then added a 9-yard TD run in the fourth quarter, and - depsite the missed extra point - it provided the final margin.
But not everyone was victorious. Immaculata - the top seed in Non-Public Group 2 - lost to second-seed Holy Spirit of Absecon 30-6. The game was the last for Pierce Frauenheim, who announced at the start of the year he'd retire at the end of the season, the only coach the Spartans have ever known, after starting the program in 1966.
In last night's action, there was no three-peat for Piscataway. The first of five area high school football teams to vie for state titles was stunned by top-seed Elizabeth 37-33 Friday night in the North 2, Group 5 final at Kean University in Union, as heard on 1450 WCTC. The Chiefs led a wild, back-and-forth affair that saw no turnovers and no punts by a 33-31 score with over a minute to play when they were stopped on 4th and goal at the one. The Minutemen then marched down the field on three plays in 39-seconds to take a four-point lead, though their 2-point conversion attempt failed. Piscataway got the ball back with 33 seconds to play, but with no timeouts, and ran out of time.