Deion Miller and Myles Hartsfield added insult to injury as the already battered Monroe High School football team, which lost two more key starters on Friday night, couldn’t stop Sayreville’s backfield tandem.
The duo combined for 369 yards and five touchdowns while leading the Bombers to their sixth consecutive victory, a 56-26 drubbing over the injury-riddled Falcons at Hugh Walsh Stadium.
Monroe lost star running back and return specialist Akeer Franklin, who entered the game with 1,727 all-purpose yards, to a high ankle sprain early in the first quarter.
Not long afterward, middle linebacker Elijah Davis, the team’s leader with 58 solo tackles, also endured an ankle injury.
Franklin and Davis joined Paul Baclayon, the team’s best linebacker, on the sidelines. All three were on crutches.
Baclayon (foot) and starting quarterback Stephen Karoly (wrist), the Greater Middlesex Conference’s top-rated passer with a 136 quarterback rating, endured season-ending injuries three weeks ago.
Monroe also lost its starting center the following week.
“Injuries aside, Sayreville did a great job,” Monroe head coach Chris Beagan said. “They were explosive tonight. I’ve got to watch the film, but it looked like we were playing with nine (defenders). They were running through some really gaping holes, so you’ve got to give them a ton of credit for what they do over there. They continue to get better week in and week out. They are certainly a dangerous team.”
Sayreville (7-2), which won the last three Central Group IV championships, and Monroe (6-3) entered Friday night’s game having already qualified for the Central Group V playoffs.
The NJSIAA will announce official pairings Sunday morning.
“I’m happy with the way the kids have been playing,” Sayreville head coach George Najjar said. “We are playing together as a football team and we are playing physical. They seem to be focused and the intensity level is very high.”
Sayreville, which rolled up 560 yards from scrimmage, extended its 27-0 halftime lead to 41-6 midway through the third quarter. Monroe was outgained 307 to 47 in first-half yards from scrimmage.
Hartsfield scored on runs of 50, 23 and 17 yards. Miller scored on runs of 77 and 65 yards.
Quarterback Malik Pressley’s 71-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter briefly set a running clock in motion before Monroe scored two touchdowns, closing the gap to 41-19 early in the fourth quarter.
Kyle Volkmann, filling it at quarterback for the injured Karoly, threw scoring strikes of 61 and 80 yards to C.J. Thompson. Volkmann completed 9 of 18 passes for 195 yards.
Johnny Sykes, who succeeded Franklin as the feature back, carried nine times for 38 yards.
S- Hartsfield 23 run (Lapinski kick)
S- Miller 65 run (kick failed)
S- Miller 77 run (Lapinski kick)
S- Hartsfield 50 run (Lapisnki kick)
S- Hartsfield 17 run (Lapinski kick)
M – Thompson 61 pass from Volkmann (kick failed)
S – Pressley 71 run (Lapinski kick)
M – Germano recovers fumble in end zone (kick failed)
M – Thompson 80 pass from Volkmann (Schreiber kick)
S – Allende 29 run (Lapinski kick)
M – Allen 25 pass from Martin (Schreiber)
S – Allende 13 run (Gallagher run)
PASSING: S – Pressley 0-1-0-0; M – Volkmann 9-18-0-195.
RUSHING: S – Pressley 9-78, Hartsfield 9-134, Miller 8-235; M – Franklin 5-13, Volkmann 6-10, Sykes 9-38.
RECEIVING: M – Betancur 3-27, Thompson 3-145.