Kyle Boyer-Tucker acted as the starter. Tyrell Best was the closer. In between, the Edison High School defense held firm in defeating Marlboro 21-0 in a Greater Middlesex Conference/Shore Conference crossover Saturday.
The Eagles (5-3) pitched their third straight shutout. More importantly, they secured a NJSIAA North 2 Group V berth as the sixth seed and will play at No. 3 Piscataway next Saturday. Edison defeated Piscataway 34-22 in the season opener on Sept. 15.
Boyer-Tucker rushed for an early 62-yard touchdown run and finished with 81 yards on nine carries. Best caught a 33-yard touchdown from Ibrahim Mosad, and sealed the win with a 30-yard interception return for a score with 16 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Marlboro (1-7) was hoping to get its second straight win over a Middlesex County team after defeating Perth Amboy last week. The Shore Conference school hung tough, but Edison grinded out the win with two first half touchdowns and a rock-like defense. Marlboro forced four turnovers — three in the first half — to remain in the game.
“We didn’t take the game lightly at all,” Edison coach Matt Fulham said. “Marlboro played very well. The kids were physical and they ran to the ball, and they tackled.”
Early, it seemed like a shellacking was underway.
Boyer-Tucker got heads turning with his 62-yard scamper on Edison’s second play of the game. The 5-foot-10, 173-pounder cut right and was gone. He motored 62 yards for the touchdown. Godwin Asamoah’s extra point made it 7-0 with just 2:34 into the game.
“That’s one of the things we’ve also been stressing is working within the flow of a football game and not letting a play define what’s going to happen the rest of the football game,” Marlboro coach Jason Dagato said. “Turning around and continuing to fight, continuing to fight, continuing to fight.”
And that fight continued until midway through the second half. Edison switched quarterbacks from James Waldron–who entered with 1,172 passing yards and 11 touchdowns–to Mosad, the senior backup.
“James has been hampered by some injuries and he just wasn’t executing today,” Fulham said. “We needed this win to get the seed that we wanted in the playoffs.”
On Mosad’s first throw, he completed a 33-yard touchdown pass to Best on a fourth-and-10 with 3:07 remaining in the second quarter for a 14-0 lead. Mosad found Best near the 10-yard line and the receiver scooted in.
“It’s not really much of a change or switch off because both of them are great quarterbacks,” Best said.
Late in the third, Best used his hands to catch the ball on defense. The senior safety said he anticipated a curl route and intercepted a Dustin Jensen pass on first-and-10 from Monroe’s 20-yard line. He ran in 33 yards for the touchdown and a 21-0 Edison lead with 16 seconds left in the third.
Edison’s Derek Allen added an interception in the first quarter after the 6-foot-6, 284-pounder, caught a loose ball in the air resulting from an Asamoah hit on the Marlboro quarterback. Edison’s kicker also doubles as a linebacker.
Marlboro, which had been averaging two turnovers a game, got two interceptions from Jensen and Brian Prestigiacomo, and two fumble recoveries from Chris Carbone and Johnny Shehu.
Edison is hoping to leave the miscues in the regular season.
“Get all the mistakes out,” Best said of the game. “This was like a tune-up game.”
E – Boyer-Tucker 62 run (Asamoah kick)
E – Best 33 pass from Mosad (Asamoah kick)
E – Best 30 interception return (Asamoah kick)
RUSHING: E – Boyer-Tucker 9-81, Mosad 7-37, Daniels 4-13, Waldron 2-12, Kim 1-2; M – Jensen 14-66, Cruz 5-20, Omar 15-7.
PASSING: E – Mosad 7-15-0-62, Waldron 1-5-2-14; M – Jensen 5-16-2-42, Omar 1-1-0-(-4).
RECEIVING: E – Best 2-48, Daniels 1-14, Kim 4-12, Wright 1-2; M – Cruz 3-36, Coyle 2-6, Jensen 1-(-4).