Middlesex County Football Playoff Review

Scott Jacobs

 The North Brunswick High School football team soared into the postseason.

North Brunswick was riding a seven-game winning streak and locked up the No. 1 seed in the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 5 sectional playoff bracket.

After defeating Eastern Regional High School, 32-20, in the first round of the state sectional playoffs, the Raiders were just one game away from playing for a sectional title for the second straight year.

But then the upset arrived to North Brunswick in the form of Cherokee High School.

North Brunswick was defeated by fifth-seeded Cherokee, 41-25, in the playoff semifinals on Nov. 15 in North Brunswick. 

Senior running backs Myles Bailey and Chris Arnold each delivered productive seasons out of the backfield for North Brunswick.

Bailey rushed for a team-high 1,658 yards and 14 touchdowns, while Arnold rumbled into the end zone nine times this season.

North Brunswick finished the season with a mark of 9-2. The Raiders have ended with a winning record for  three straight seasons.

Early playoff exit for South Brunswick

 For the second straight season, the South Brunswick High School football team was knocked out in the first round of the state sectional playoffs.

The Vikings lost by the score of 42-17 to Toms River High School North in Toms River  in the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 5 playoffs on Nov. 8.

Prior to the past two seasons, South Brunswick was on a stretch of seven straight seasons of at least advancing to the sectional playoff semifinals.

Senior quarterback Gage Katzenell-Hall threw for 1,324 yards and 17 touchdown passes this fall for the Vikings.

Fellow classmate Ezequiel Johnson led the South Brunswick rushing attacking, racking up 879 yards on the ground with eight touchdowns.

Johnson also had 10 catches out of the backfield for 168 yards and two scores, giving him 10 total touchdowns for the season.

South Brunswick finished with a record of 5-5 for the second straight season.

Saint Joseph’s winning streak snapped in playoff opener

 The Saint Joseph Regional High School football team was on a roll going into the postseason.

After its season opening loss to Woodbridge High School, the Falcons went on an eight-game winning streak to grab the number No. 3 seed in the NJSIAA Non-Public, Group 4 playoffs.

Saint Joseph’s was flying high, however, it fell to Paramus Catholic High School during the first round of the state playoffs.

The Falcons lost to Paramus Catholic, 42-7, on No. 9 in Metuchen, marking the second time the Paladins from Bergen County have knocked out St. Joseph in the first round of the playoffs in the last three years.

Junior running back Jordan Kinsler finished with 11 rushing touchdowns on the season for Saint Joseph.

Quarterback Matt Stanton threw eight touchdown passes this fall for the Falcons, who ended with an 8-2 record. 

Edison’s season come to end in playoff opener

 It was a quick exit this season in the playoffs for the Edison High School football team. The Eagles were bounced out by Lenape High School, 39-6, in the first round NJSIAA South Jersey, Group 5 playoffs on Nov. 8 in Medford.

But it was a successful year for the Eagles.

Edison rallied to make the playoffs, defeating South Brunswick on the road, 26-14, in the final week of the regular season to earn a postseason berth for the second consecutive year.

Freshman quarterback Mathew Yascko recorded over 1,000 yards through the air in just six games under center this fall for the Eagles. Yascko threw for 1,065 yards and recorded seven touchdown passes as a freshman.

Senior Ty Martin was Yascko’s go to guy this season, catching 37 balls for 512 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

Edison finished the season with a mark of 4-6.

Old Bridge’s perfect run ends in playoffs

 The Old Bridge High School football team ripped through the regular season.

The Knights roared to a perfect 8-0 record heading into the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 5 sectional playoffs.

After missing the state playoffs last season for the first time in six years, Old Bridge was back in postseason play and looking to make a run at a sectional title. 

Old Bridge’s season and perfect run, however, was cut short in the first round by Kingsway Regional High School. The third-seeded Knights were upset by the sixth-seeed school from Gloucester County, 32-7, at Old Bridge’s Lombardi Field on Nov. 8.

Senior Bryson Corbett was a dynamic playmaker for the Knights in and out of the backfield. Corbett had 21 receptions for 386 yards and five scores at wide receiver, while registering 281 yards on the ground with a touchdown when playing in the backfield.

Senior tailback Rhyne Smith rushed for a team-high 607 yards and four touchdowns. 

Old Bridge’s sophomore quarterback Owen Haughney led the team with seven rushing touchdowns on the ground. Haughney also had a solid fall through the air, throwing for 951 yards and nine scores, giving him 16 total touchdowns for the season.

It’s the second time in the three years that Old Bridge had finished with a total of eight victories on the season. 

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