Things are looking up on the gridiron for the Bordentown Regional High School football program and Coach Skip Edwards was thrilled to watch history unfold this past season.
Bordentown recorded its first 10-win season in program history by going 10-1 in a 2021 campaign that was filled with many highlights.
“I’m still trying to understand what happened out there,” Edwards said. “Ever since the second game of the season, the team kept improving each week. We peaked at the right time towards the end of the season.”
The second game of the season for Bordentown marked its only loss of the fall, losing 40-7 to Gloucester City.
After that loss, Edwards watched his Scotties take their game up a notch in every contest going forward. Bordentown won its final nine games of the season, outscoring its opponents 369-69 in the process.
Leading the offensive charge for the Scotties was junior tailback Kerry Nicholas. He had a banner 2021 campaign, rushing for over 1,700 yards and tallying 20 total touchdowns.
In his career, Nicholas has been a barn burner in the return game for Bordentown. He currently has four kickoff returns for touchdowns, Edwards said.
It’s been a joy for Edwards to watch Nicholas develop into a stellar running back in the Bordentown backfield during his three years at the varsity level.
“He’s a humbled young man that leads by example,” Edwards said of Nicholas. “He’s fast and has great vision. He’s running the record books for Bordentown right now.”
Nicholas was joined by a host of fellow tailbacks in the Bordentown backfield that had stellar seasons for the Scotties this fall.
Senior Omari Owes was one of those backs, rushing for 800 yards and 10 touchdowns. Junior fullback Michael Poinsett and sophomore tailbacks Myles Hansford and Elijah Dean each recorded three rushing touchdowns over the course of the season for the Scotties.
Bordentown’s success running the football this season came with improvement each week along the offensive line that was led by Cameron McDuffie and Kevin Santana.
An offensive line that was a work in progress at the start of the season did a good job coming together as a unit over the course of the fall, Edwards said.
“The offensive line got better week by week,” Edwards said. “Coach Mike Smith did a nice job working with the kids and getting them to work as a unit.”
The man at the controls of the Bordentown offense was three-year starting quarterback Dennis Morolda.
Morolda tallied seven touchdowns this season for the Scotties and did a good job operating the offense, the coach said.
In addition to its explosive offense, Bordentown was even more physical and lights out on defense.
Bordentown recorded five shutouts this season and held its opponents to under an average of seven points a game in each of the team’s 10 victories this season.
Trotman Kertes, Christian Montalvo and Liyu Chen led the way in the trenches for Bordentown on the defensive line. Poinsett quarterbacked the defense in the middle at linebacker, while Shane Griffin and Maurice Cicca held down the fort on the back end with great seasons for Bordentown in the secondary.
Edwards credits the defense’s success to the coaching of defensive coordinator Rich McGlynn.
“Coach McGlynn did a good job working with the secondary and getting our defense prepared for each game,” said Edwards. “Every defensive day in practice we teach tackling and it really helped the kids in the games.”
Bordentown won the final six games of its regular season schedule to earn a 7-1 record heading into the state tournament seedings.
Unfortunately for the Scotties, their 7-1 mark wasn’t enough for them to accrue enough power points to make the state playoffs.
Edwards said that his group was disappointed that they didn’t make the playoffs after a great regular season.
With two crossover games and its annual Thanksgiving Day game against New Egypt remaining in the 2021 season, Edwards and his coaching staff put a challenge up to their players to make the rest of the games their postseason.
Bordentown responded to that challenge in a thunderous way. The Scotties roared to a 35-0 victory over South River High School and then took down Steinert High School by a score of 37-14.
When his team arrived for the 21st annual Turkey Bowl Game against rival New Egypt on Nov. 25 in Bordentown, Edwards knew his squad was ready to go and make history on its home turf.
Led by Nicholas and its stellar defense, Bordentown rolled to a 30-0 victory over New Egypt to become the first team in program history to win 10 games in a single season.
It was a great way to cap off an amazing turnaround by Scotties, who just two years ago in 2019 went 0-10.
Now, the Scotties are coming off two straight winning seasons and with a host of starters coming back next year, Bordentown is lined up to have an even better season in 2022.
“Our senior class next year is very talented,” Edwards said. “They’re very focused on what they need to do on the field to win. There’s a couple things we will need to get better at, but we can be just as good or better next year.”