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Vikings shut out Bears to get over .500 mark

By Warren Rappleyea

South Brunswick High School’s football team returned to familiar ground — the north side of .500 — with a 21-0 victory at East Brunswick High School Oct. 14. The win also marked the 200th of coach Joe Goerge’s career.

The game was a defensive battle for the most part, but the Vikings (3-2) came up big when it counted most, stopping the Bears all three times East Brunswick managed to get inside the South Brunswick 20-yard line.

East Brunswick (1-4) played well throughout the first half, as both teams held each other in check to go into halftime in a scoreless deadlock. The visitors put a pair of touchdowns on the board in the third quarter and never really looked back. South Brunswick survived three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the hard-fought contest.

Vikings quarterback Josh Liao scored the first touchdown of the game on a 1-yard keeper. Later in the third, Liao connected with speedy Anthony Blakely for 12 yards and another touchdown. The senior signal-caller competed 11 of 17 passing attempts for 110 yards on the night. Junior Jaylan Lawson closed out the scoring with a 15-yard run in the fourth quarter.

“That was a tough game,” Goerge said. “Every Red Division game is a tough one. Our defense did an excellent job. Anytime you keep a good team off the scoreboard, you have to be doing something right.”

Marcus Cerminaro and Feliz Quinones both intercepted passes for the Vikings, and Xavier Cargile had a hand in 10 tackles to lead South Brunswick in that department.

The win is the second straight for Goerge’s team, which lost two of its first three games — to Old Bridge High School, 31-28, and to Piscataway Township High School, 26-14, which are both Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Red Division rivals.

Goerge typically passed the credit for his milestone win on to his players. The veteran mentor began his coaching career at Port Richmond High School in Staten Island and has also coached at Franklin High School and Jonathan Dayton High School. Goerge is 42-10 in his four-plus seasons with the Vikings. Under Goerge, South Brunswick won NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group V championships in both 2015 and 2012 and reached the finals in 2014.

Next up for South Brunswick is an Oct. 21 meeting with Sayreville War Memorial High School (5-1). The Bombers’ lone loss was a 27-21 decision against Piscataway Oct. 7. Sayreville came back strong Oct. 14, besting winless Monroe Township High School, 49-0.

At neighboring North Brunswick Township High School, the Raiders will look for their first win when Perth Amboy High School (1-4) comes to visit Oct. 21. North Brunswick (0-6) is coming off a 14-7 loss to John F. Kennedy Memorial High School (4-2) Oct. 14.

Soccer

South Brunswick’s boys’ soccer team improved to 9-5 with a double-overtime victory, 2-1, over Piscataway Oct. 15. Jared Budhu and Kunal Thakral, who had his team-leading sixth tally of the season, scored for the Vikings. Justin Cross made seven saves in the win.

John Bohrer and Sergio Cabellero both hit the net in South Brunswick’s 2-1 triumph over East Brunswick Oct. 10. The Bears had an 11-5 edge in shots, but Cross made 10 saves for the Vikings.

North Brunswick’s boys completed a three-win week by edging Spotswood High School, 2-1, Oct. 15. Zavier Hernandez and D.J. Cobb scored in the win. Goalkeeper Pawel Dzielski made seven saves to keep a clean sheet Oct. 13 in a 1-0 success against Woodbridge High School. Karim Bayoumi scored the lone goal of the match.

The Raiders broke out for four goals Oct. 11 to down Colonia High School, 4-1. Cobb contributed a pair of goals, while Sam Mikhailov and Chris Spataro also found the net. North Brunswick is 11-3-2 overall, and the Raiders have allowed just 12 goals against.

In girls’ soccer, South Brunswick returned to action after a week off with a solid 2-0 victory against Hightstown High School. Adrianna Mouzakis scored her team-leading ninth goal and Riley Ratcliffe provided another. Sydney Schneider made seven saves in the shutout, as the Lady Vikings got over the .500 mark (6-5-1).

Girls’ volleyball

South Brunswick won two of three matches last week to raise its record to 11-7. The Lady Vikings defeated Mother Seton Regional High School, 2-0 (25-19, 25-16), Oct. 14, as Kelly Matuszewski led the way with six kills, two aces and a pair of digs. Olivia Violante pitched in with two aces and 12 digs.

Dakota Apicella’s four kills and two digs keyed a 2-0 (25-8, 25-11) victory over Perth Amboy Oct. 10. South Brunswick fell to East Brunswick, 2-0 (17-25, 21-25), Oct. 13, despite a strong performance by Matuszewski, who had six kills, seven digs and a block. Nina Trach had 11 digs to lead the Lady Vikings in that category.

North Brunswick’s girls’ volleyball team picked up its sixth win, 2-0 (25-17, 25-20), against Piscataway Oct. 11, as setter Nicole Ilicic had five assists to go with a kill and a service ace.

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