Union County found itself in a bad way from the opening kick of Thursday night’s 19th annual MyCentralJersy.com Snapple Bowl.
Will Roach (Middlesex) recovered a fumble on the kickoff at the Union 23 for the Middlesex County All-Stars. Four plays later Middlesex had a lead with Woodbridge’s Isaiah Johnson scoring from a yard out. Union turned the ball over two more times on its next two drives.
Dean Vitale (Spotswood) picked off Chris Witwick’s attempted halfback option pass and Brian Brown (Colonia) intercepted a Dii’jon Allen-Jordan (Plainfield) pass in the end zone.
Union did even the game at 7-7 when Rahway’s Hakeem Kornegay hooked up with Plainfield’s Robert Jackson on a 23-yard pass on the second play of the second quarter. The two had set up the touchdown on a 23-yard pass on the last play of the first quarter.
“It was a zig route,” said Kornegay. “A little post in.”
The two also hooked up again later in the game.
Kornegay will attend Wesley College in Dover, Del., where he’ll play both football and basketball. Jackson said he is scheduled to attend Dean College, a two-year school in Fraknlin, Mass. He said his first goal is to improve his grades.
Union County, which won last year’s Snapple Bowl to stop a five-game skid in the series, was confident it had enough offensive firepower to rally from a 26-7 halftime deficit. Union turned the ball over four times in the first half, with New Providence’s Robbie Fay having to chase a poor snap down around the goal line before barely getting off a punt.
“We better get going quick,” said Jackson at the half. “Hopefully I can catch a few more of those balls.”
Dii’jon Allen-Jordan, who’ll play basketball in college at Western Oklahoma State Junior College, showed off an impressive arm. But Allen-Jordan, likely playing in his final football game, coudln’t find a rhthym with his receivers.
Allen-Jordan ran for a first down to set up a first-and-10 from the Middlesex 22 with 5:20 left in the third quarter and the hosts leading 26-7. He ran for another four., but a poor pitch ended in a no gain.
The Union stars did get something going on the opening drive of the second quarter. Kornegay hit Hillside’s Stephon Scullawl to convert a fourth-and-five. But as was the case all throughout, a turnover — another interception — ruined it.