Home E/M Sentinel E/M Sentinel Sports Bishop Ahr football team looks to remain unbeaten in division

Bishop Ahr football team looks to remain unbeaten in division

By Jimmy Allinder

If the Bishop George Ahr High School football team didn’t play outside the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC), the Trojans’ record would be perfect.

Because Bishop Ahr has not lost a Blue Division game in its initial season as a member of the GMC loop, its visit to Spotswood High School (4-0 division, 5-1 overall) Oct. 22 could determine the championship.

The Trojans’ most recent victory was 34-0 over division foe Metuchen High School Oct. 14. Bishop Ahr’s losses have come against the Shore Conference’s Point Pleasant Beach High School, 20-14, and Shore Regional High School, 14-7.

Against Highland Park High School, South River High School, Dunellen High School and Metuchen — all division opponents — the Trojans’ average margin of victory has been a whopping 36.5 points. The final division game is Nov. 4 against Middlesex High School (0-6).

“We’ve had a chance to see [Spotswood] play,” Bishop Ahr coach Joe Vigilante said. “They have speed, size and the quarterback, [senior Nick Mohr], is athletic. We’re very excited to play [them], and we think we match up well.”

Spotswood has an edge in big-game experience, especially since the Chargers met and defeated Metuchen the past two years with the division title at stake. However, it’s not likely Spotswood will field a player more impactful than Bishop Ahr’s two-way star, Andrew Brazicki.

The senior has rushed for 739 yards and 13 touchdowns and has been opportunistic on defense, including an 80-yard return of an interception for a touchdown against Metuchen.

“He’s a special athlete,” Vigilante said. “Andrew has done everything we’ve asked him to do, including playing quarterback when our starter was injured.”

Vigilante is also high about the contributions from his offensive line. Seven players have rotated, including Ricky Peguero, Mike DeSantis, Paul Mbaid, Zack Pandorff, Justin Martinez, Anthony Villavicenzio and Corinthian Burton.

Reminess Funderburk (157 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Metuchen), Christian Cardonna and Joshua Minick have been productive in the backfield, and fullback Ben Prott has been an effective blocker.

The Trojans are headed to the NJISAA Non-Public, Group III playoffs, and their seed and opponent will be determined by power points after the eighth game.

“We should qualify,” Vigilante said. “It’s a power bracket, but we’re only concerned about preparing our team, not the [first-round] opponent.”

Edison

Edison High School (1-3-1) absorbed a 39-14 loss to New Brunswick High School Oct. 14 and faces an uphill battle in qualifying for Central Jersey, Group V. The Eagles play three games before the cutoff date, with the first two at home against East Brunswick High School (Oct. 21) and Freehold High School (Oct. 28). The eighth game is at current Red Division leader Piscataway Township High School Nov. 4.

If Edison doesn’t qualify for the playoffs, it plays a state consolation game against an opponent to be determined either Nov. 11 or 12. The schedule concludes with the traditional Thanksgiving Day game at home to crosstown rival John P. Stevens High School.

St. Joseph of Metuchen

With three games left on the regular-season schedule, Saint Joseph High School of Metuchen (6-0) continues to impress.

The Falcons’ latest victory was Oct. 14 when it shut out Donovan Catholic High School, 42-0. The win comes on the heels of a 37-0 victory against GMC White Division foe South Plainfield High School Oct. 7. The high-flying Falcons have averaged 38.2 points a game and have displayed depth throughout the lineup, especially in the backfield.

Senior workhorse, Luke Yakely (319 yards, 10 touchdowns), is the rushing leader, but close behind is junior Emmanuele Resto (303 yards, seven touchdowns). Meanwhile, senior Mitchel Epstein assumed the quarterback reins three games ago in place of injured Paul Cocozollo and has completed 17 passes for 244 yards and five touchdowns.

The White Division title will likely be decided Oct. 29 when Carteret High School (5-0 division and overall) comes to Metuchen. St. Joe’s will also look to makes its mark in Non-Public, Group IV, which undoubtedly features the most powerful teams in the state.

J.P. Stevens

After ending a three-year winless streak against GMC teams with a 23-14 win over North Brunswick Township High School Oct. 7, J.P. Stevens (1-4 White Division and overall) was shut out, 28-0, by previously winless Perth Amboy High School (1-4) Oct. 14.

The Hawks have a major task ahead in order to finish with a .500 or better record. They play their final regular-season home game Oct. 21 by hosting Colonia High School (2-4). J.P. Stevens will then be on the road for games against Woodbridge High School (2-4) Oct. 28, St. Joe’s Nov. 5 and, after a state consolation game either Nov. 11 or 12 against an opponent to be determined, closes out the season at Edison Nov. 24.

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