It may have been Homecoming for J.P. Stevens High School, but it was South Brunswick celebrating, blitzing the Hawks, 42-7, in the football matchup Friday night.
The Vikings were led by Dontae Strickland, who went for 67 yards on 10 carries and added an interception on defense, scoring three touchdowns in the process.
“Dontae on both sides of the ball made some impact,” said South Brunswick coach Joe George. “All around it was a good game.”
Things started out optimistically for the Hawks when Chiebuka “Chewey” Chukwuneke scored from 43 yards out on a wildcat keeper just 46 seconds into the game.
Chukwuneke would add a 58-yard run on his next carry to bring the Hawks into the red zone, but that is when South Brunswick’s defense stiffened.
The Vikings’ defense forced Stevens turnovers on five of their next six drives, including a stretch of four turnovers in five plays, leading to a 32-point second quarter for the Vikings.
“Those were huge,” said George of the turnovers. “If we didn’t get that from our defense, we could have been battling.”
It wasn’t all good news for the Vikings, who saw senior fullback Dahrae Ford go down to an ankle injury early in the first quarter, but George indicated that he should be good to go for next week’s game against Middletown North.
Despite the positive outcome, George said that his team is still looking to improve.
“We weren’t as good as the score indicated and they weren’t as bad. Somewhere in the middle lies it.”
The Chukwuneke dash opened the scoring, but the Vikings quickly answered on their ensuing drive with a 26-yard strike to Burnett on a fourth down play.
South Brunswick took the lead in the second quarter, with Strickland taking the team’s second interception of the game in the end zone, returning it 102 yards for a touchdown.
South Brunswick added to the lead on its next defensive play, with Chrisjon Summers recovering a botched handoff and going 23 yards to score.
Strickland found the end zone again, this time on offense, with a 49-yard scamper midway through the second quarter.
The Vikings added an 18-yard touchdown pass from Amir Johnson to Marcus Jackson following an onside kick recovery, and ended their second-quarter barrage with a 3-yard blast from Strickland.
JPS — Chukwuneke 43 run (Minor kick)
SB — Burnett 26 pass from Johnson (Olsson kick)
SB — Strickland 102 int. return (Olsson kick)
SB — Summers 23 fumble return (Olsson kick)
SB — Strickland 49 run (Olsson kick)
SB — Jackson 18 pass from Johnson (Olsson kick)
SB — Strickland 3 run (Olsson kick)
RUSHING: JPS — Chi. Chukwuneke 6-108, Perkins 3-25, Chr. Chukwuneke 9-30, Sutton 1-9, Jacoby 1-5, Schneider 2-3, Marino 2-(-1); SB — Strickland 10-67, Botett 7-18, Lee 2-18, Johnson 7-18, Burnett 1-11, Ford 2-8, Mejie 3-3, Golden 3-2, Garrett 1-2, Olsson 1-(-2).
PASSING: JPS — Schneider 2-7-0-26, Jacoby 1-2-0-3; SB — Johnson 2-2-2-44.
RECEIVING: JPS — Perkins 1-15, Dawkins-Stevenson 1-11, Sutton 1-3; SB — Burnett 1-26, Jackson 1-18.