Garbolino brothers lead North Brunswick to victory over Edison

North Brunswick Township High School wide receiver Jack Garbolino emphatically signals first down after making a catch for a first down during a game against Edison on Sept. 9 in Edison. North Brunswick defeated Edison, 13-10, to improve to 2-0 on the season.

North Brunswick Township High School football players Frankie and Jack Garbolino grew up playing football on the grounds of Edison High School where their father, Justin, once shined on the gridiron for the Eagles.

The two brothers stepped onto the field at Edison High School once again on Sept. 9 as their Raiders took on the Eagles in a huge early-season Big Central Football Conference-National Silver Division showdown.

Just like the days of playing football with their extended family in Edison, the brothers created another special memory on the field they grew up playing on to help lead North Brunswick to its second victory of the 2022 season.

Both Garbolino brothers made clutch plays in the fourth quarter to propel the Raiders to a 13-10 victory over Edison.

What made the victory even more special for each brother was sharing it with their father after the game.

“It felt awesome,” said Frankie Garbolino. “My dad was so excited. He thinks it’s great for us (me and my brother) to come back and play at his home field at one point. He loves the whole environment.”

Trailing 10-6 entering the fourth quarter, Frankie shot the Raiders back into the lead by coming up with a huge completion on third down and 15.

The senior quarterback rolled out of the pocket and delivered a perfect pass on the run to a wide open Alani Ajigbotosho in the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown to put North Brunswick up 13-10 with 10:26 left to play.

“It was an awesome play,” Frankie Garbolino said of his 30-yard touchdown pass. “I rolled right and saw him (Alani Ajigbotosho) coming the opposite way of where I was rolling. I threw the ball the opposite way behind the corner, and he made a great catch.”

Frankie threw for 209 yards and had two touchdown passes in the victory over Edison. His first touchdown pass of the night came with 9:15 to play in the second quarter, and who else but his brother, Jack, was on the other end of his 17-yard touchdown pass.

“We called verticals, and I was able to find the seam in the middle of the field and just kept going (towards the end zone),” Jack Garbolino said of his first touchdown catch of the season. “It felt great.”

Two game-saving plays on both defense and special teams in the final four minutes of the contest helped North Brunswick hang on for the victory.

Jack came up with the crucial defensive play for North Brunswick with 3:06 left to play by making a one-handed catch to haul in his first interception of the season. The sophomore also tallied two tackles for the loss in the contest on defense.

On offense at the wide receiver position, Jack hauled in four catches for 61 yards to go along with a 17-yard touchdown catch. All four of his catches resulted in a first down or a touchdown.

“Right now, this is my favorite game of all time,” said Jack Garbolino after the game.

The pivotal play on special teams for North Brunswick came with 2:38 left to play after the Raiders were forced to punt following three quick stops by the Edison defense.

On the pursuing punt, Edison’s return man Aidan Woomer muffed the kick, and it led to North Brunswick’s Amanuell Gray jumping on the loose ball for a fumble recovery to get the ball back for the Raiders.

With Edison out of timeouts, North Brunswick was able to run out the clock after senior running back Justin Batts picked up a first down on an 11-yard carry to clinch the Raiders’ come-from-behind victory.

“I couldn’t be prouder of this group,” said North Brunswick coach Mike Cipot after the victory over Edison. “We made some big plays when the lights were the brightest. This was like a playoff game. We have to win games like this if we want to get to where we want to go.”

North Brunswick (2-0) has now won six straight meetings against Edison over the last five years.

The Raiders will next host Old Bridge on Sept. 16. Edison (2-1) will look to bounce back on Sept. 16 when they go on the road to face Sayreville.

A host of North Brunswick Township High School defenders bring down Edison running back Nyekir Eato in the backfield for no gain during a game played on Sept. 9 in Edison. North Brunswick is 2-0 to start the season.
North Brunswick Township High School wide receiver Zahmir Dawud catches a swing pass in the backfield and runs up field for a first down during a game against Edison on Sept. 9 in Edison. North Brunswick won 13-10.
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