The South Brunswick High School football team, which capitalized on turnovers during its run to a sectional title last fall, picked up where it left off a year ago, converting an interception and a fumble recovery into a pair of first-half touchdowns en route to Sunday’s 42-7 season-opening victory over East Brunswick.
Dylan Olsson, who platoons at quarterback with Amir Johnson, injured his non-throwing shoulder late in the second quarter and was removed from the game.
South Brunswick coach Joe Goerge said Olsson is questionable for Friday’s showdown with Monroe, who the Vikings held on to defeat 35-32 in an epic battle last season.
The Bears, who transitioned from the triple-option to the multiple I under new head coach Bob Molarz, were limited to 27 yards on the ground but did muster 168 yards through the air including a couple of big pass plays.
Goerge said East Brunswick quarterback Kevin Hemmings was elusive and that his secondary had some lapses.
“They had a couple of big plays,” Goerge said. “We definitely have to work a little bit on our coverage. Our underneath coverage linebackers need to work on pass reads as well.”
South Brunswick rolled up 270 yards from scrimmage, all but 21 of which came on the ground.
“I think we ran the ball pretty well,” said Goerge, who said he believed both teams came out flat playing a game that was postponed from last Thursday night due to inclement weather.
“I think everybody was out of whack a little bit, including the coaches. But I’m not crying here with a 42-7 win. I’m very happy. It’s a good start.”
Johnson intercepted a pass, setting up fullback Dahrae Ford’s first of two touchdown runs for a 7-0 lead.
Following a roughing the punter penalty that kept alive an East Brunswick drive, Hemmings connected with Jon Gerhartz for a big pass play, setting up a short touchdown run that made the score 7-7.
After Johnson scored, rebuilding South Brunswick’s lead to 14-7, the Bears attempted a bubble screen that, as a lateral pass, became a loose ball when it fell to the ground. Linebacker Skyler Sclandra recovered the pigskin and returned it 25 yards for touchdown.
Dantae Strickland scored on a 25-yard run before the intermission. Ford added a 10-yard scoring jaunt in the third quarter.
Reserve quarterback Drew Fehte crossed the end zone on a 1-yard sneak to produce the final margin.
South Brunswick received a solid defensive performance from its front four of Rashaan Baker, Nygel Bush, Zaire Gibson and Matt Golden.
They helped stymie East Brunswick’s rushing attack.