Young’s career day leads Trojans to second victory of the season

Saint Thomas Aquinas High School quarterback Jayden Young rolls to his right and throws a pass to wide receiver Jared Gardner for a first down during the team's game against Spotswood on Oct. 17. Young threw a career-high five touchdown passes in the team's 54-14 victory over Spotswood.

SPOTSWOOD – 122 points. That’s the amount of points the Saint Thomas Aquinas High School football team has scored through its first three games of the season.

The Trojans recorded over 50 points for the first time this season on Oct. 17 against Spotswood High School, rolling to a 54-14 victory to improve its record to 2-1 this fall.

The catalyst of the Edison team’s electrifying offense on Oct. 17 in Spotswood was sophomore quarterback Jayden Young, who threw a career-high five touchdown passes in the victory.

“I just want to do whatever helps us win,” Young said. “(Today) it was through the air. Last week it was on the ground. It’s just fun to be out here. The fact that we can lose this chance at any time, because of COVID-19, makes it even better.”

Young started his career afternoon with his favorite throw of the day, a 46-yard touchdown pass up the left sideline to junior wideout Jonathan Wyatt on the opening drive of the game to give the Trojans an early 8-0 lead.

The sophomore quarterback made another great throw on the team’s third offensive possession of the contest, capping a six-play, 49-yard drive with a 23-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Jamie Hamilton.

Hamilton also had an interception for the Trojans later on in the first half.

Young recorded his third touchdown pass of the day in the final seconds of the first quarter.

Set up with great field position at the Spotswood 27-yard line with five seconds left in the quarter, Young threw a quick wide receiver screen to Wyatt, who then took it to the house for his second touchdown of the game to give St. Thomas Aquinas a 22-0 lead going into the second quarter.

Knowing he had a mismatch on the outside, Wyatt told his quarterback, who he calls his “best friend on the field,” that if he threw the ball to him they would come down with it.

“I told Jayden to just throw the ball up to me,” Wyatt said. “I trust him. He trusts me. We were able to capitalize on it and score (touchdowns).”

Wyatt had five catches for 107 yards in the victory.

Young continued to dazzle on the field when the Trojans’ offense got the ball for the first time in the second half.

Facing a fourth and goal from the 5-yard line, Young extended the St. Thomas Aquinas lead to 30-0 with his fourth touchdown pass of the game.

Sprinting out to his left, the sophomore threw a bullet on the run to the back of the end zone where senior wide receiver Jalen Jones stood alone to catch his second touchdown of the season.

After Spotswood got the board on the following possession, Young helped the Trojans respond with his final score of the afternoon.

The sophomore connected with senior wide receiver Jared Gardner on a short pass in the flat, and Gardner then turned the play into a touchdown by scampering up the sideline for a 28-yard score to give the Trojans a 38-7 lead.

Four of Young’s five touchdown passes were over 20 yards.

Young threw for 214 yards on his career day and now has eight touchdown passes on the season. The sophomore has nine total touchdowns through the first three games this fall.

“Last year as a freshman it was hard to make deep throws, so in the offseason I got bigger to make it easier for me to launch it,” Young said. “I put trust in my receivers to make plays, and we did. We have the best receivers and line in the area to do what we want.”

Sophomore running back Joel Marellis ran for 166 yards in the victory for the Trojans, including the team’s last score of the day on a 63-yard touchdown run.

Junior running back Kenny Coghan had a one-yard touchdown run in the contest for the Trojans and also had a sack on defense.

St. Thomas Aquinas was six-of-seven on two-point conversions in the game.

Seeing his team win two of its first three games of the season has been a great sight to Coach Brian Meeney.

With all the uncertainty surrounding this season because of COVID-19, Meeney hopes his Trojans can continue their strong play each time they step onto the field.

“You just want to keep working to get better,” Meeney said. “It builds confidence when you are producing between the lines during games. We just want to keep getting better.”

Both Spotswood touchdowns came from senior players as the school honored all senior fall sports athletes before the game.

Senior running back George Hayford reached the end zone for the fourth time this season to score Spotswood’s first touchdown of the game in the third quarter.

Classmate Caden Esser showcased his tough-nose running ability on a 49-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter for the Chargers, who dropped to 1-2 on the season.

Not sure if his players were going to be able to experience Saturday afternoon home games this fall back in April, Coach Andy Cammarano is happy to see his guys get the opportunity to do what they have hoped for all along and that is to play football.

“Our guys want to play football and they’re happy to be able to come out and play football,” Cammarano said. “We’re very fortunate that we’re getting the chance to play.”