A year after paying his way into a sectional championship game, Piscataway High School senior running back Cameron Nash played his way into the North 2 Group V final.
Nash was born and raised in Piscataway, but moved to Delaware while in middle school.
He returned to the township before the start of this season to rejoin former Pop Warner teammates on a Piscataway squad that will vie for its third consecutive sectional title in Friday’s meeting with undefeated Elizabeth.
The game is a rematch of last year’s North 2 Group IV final which the Chiefs won 41-34 on Tevin Shaw’s touchdown run in the closing minute.
Nash drove up to Piscataway and bought a ticket to that contest, which he attended as a spectator.
Now, as Shaw’s successor, he led the Chiefs into the title game in record-setting fashion.
Piscataway, one of four Greater Middlesex Conference teams to reach the sectional finals, set a single-game school record with 401 rushing yards in Saturday’s 49-0 drubbing of Bridgewater-Raritan.
The team’s 471 yards of total offense was a school single-game playoff record.
Nash carried 17 times for 100 yards, becoming the 12th player in school history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season (Shaw eclipsed the mark twice), according to Piscataway assistant coach John Thompson, the team’s historian.
“It feels good to come back and play with my brothers that I used to play with back when I was young, like 8 years old,” Nash said. “To come back and play with these guys is a dream come true.”
Piscataway coach Dan Higgins, whose club is vying for its ninth sectional title and 35th postseason victory, calls Nash “special.”
“He’s an amazing kid,” Higgins said. “He fits right in with the family. He grew up here and played with the guys. It’s really been a perfect fit. We are really very lucky to have Cameron Nash.”
Sayreville is looking for its third consecutive Central Group IV title and to finish undefeated for the first time since 1949. The Bombers face Middletown South 4 p.m. Saturday at High Point Solutions Stadium.
The Central Group V final between South Brunswick and Manalapan will follow at 7 p.m. The Vikings are looking for their first sectional title, while the Braves are trying to rebound from a loss to Sayreville in last year’s Central Group IV championship.
Carteret is attempting to go undefeated for the first time since 1996 and to claim its second sectional title in five years. The Ramblers face Weequahic in the Central Group II final 10 a.m. Saturday at MetLife Stadium.
The Ramblers advanced with a 20-14 victory over Shabazz in which senior quarterback/cornerback Tyler Rodriguez rolled his ankle and was used sparingly on defense in the second half.
Junior Terell Merricks played well in Rodriguez’s place, making significant contributions against a Shabazz team known for lighting up the scoreboard with its passing game.
Carteret coach Matt Yascko said Rodriguez has already recovered from the injury.