Chiebuka “Chewy” Chukwuneke rushed for 205 yards and 3 touchdowns, capped of by a 41-yard touchdown run, as J.P. Stevens ran all over Marlboro for their third consecutive win over the Mustangs, 27-6.
It was a day of debuts for the Hawks, who showcased a new head coach in Jim Collins, a new pistol gun offense, and a brand new turf field.
“It’s a lot better than grass,” Chukwuneke said of the new turf with a smile after the game.”
Thanks to the fresh turf, combined with the new fast paced offense, Stevens appeared to move twice as fast as normal throughout the contest.
“I thought it was really good,” Chukwuneke said of the new look offense after the game. “We’ve been working hard all summer and it feels good to finally unveil it and just really show what we can do.”
Supplemented by 93 rushing yards from senior quarterback Ryan Schneider, including a 49-yard touchdown scamper to start the scoring, the Hawks ran for a total of 329 yards.
The Hawks recovered from a sloppy start, featuring 7 points, 7 penalties, and 2 turnover in the first half, to put up 20 unanswered points in the second.
Chukwueke attributed the early mistakes to “jitters,” and Schneider explained the team’s strong second half with, “(The offense) makes the defense unprepared and very out of breath. In the second half we scored a lot more because (Marlboro) wasn’t as fresh.”
Stevens was sure to make note, though, that they haven’t revealed all of the tricks up their sleeve quite yet.
“You saw about a third of what we have,” Collins commented after the game.
The defense also had a strong performance, and led by junior defensive lineman Shawn Edwers, held the Mustangs to only 37 yards on the ground for the game.
“We have a ‘bend but don’t break’ philosophy,” Collins said of his defense afterwards. “They’re flying around and our goal is to wear an opponent down and out-physical them.”
J.P. Stevens next takes the field Sept. 27 for a showdown with Piscataway, something that was not lost on Chukwuneke, even immediately after the game.
“We have a real test coming up in two weeks when we open the Red Division against Piscataway, so we’ll really see how well the offense works against them.”
J.P. STEVENS (1-0) 0-7-7-13 — 27
MARLBORO (0-1) 0-0-0-6 — 6
J- Schneider 49 run (Minor kick)
J- Chukwuneke 8 run (Minor kick)
J- Chukwuneke 20 run (Minor kick)
J- Chukwuneke 41 run (kick failed)
M- Coyle 9 pass from Jensen (kick failed)
RUSHING: J – Chukwuneke 23-205, Schneider 14-93, Draughn 2-31, Marino 4-0; M – Jensen 10-24, Omar 5-14, Cruz 3-2, Prestigiacomo 5-(-3).
PASSING: J – Schneider 7-16-0-32; M – Jensen 8-21-1-87.
RECEIVING: J – Sutton 3-20, Chukwuneke 2-8, Oliver 2-4; M – Coyle 6-43, Cruz 1-20, Fleischman 1-15, Prestigiacomo 1-9.