For Edison High School’s James Waldron, this was more like it.
Waldron, limited to just 12 yards passing in a shutout loss a week ago, ignited his team’s offense Friday night, throwing for 256 yards, including three first half touchdowns, to power Edison to a 41-0 victory over Greater Middlesex Conference Red Division rival East Brunswick before 800 at Matthew J. Drwal Stadium in Edison.
Edison (4-3) was blanked for the only time this season when it bowed to Old Bridge, 28-0, last week.
“It feels a lot better this week, that’s for sure,” said Waldron, who was 10-of-16 in passing attempts. “We didn’t hang our heads after the Old Bridge game. We knew this week we had to come out and put it behind us.”
And Waldron didn’t waste any time.
After forcing East Brunswick to punt on its first possession, Edison took over at its own 39-yard line. Four plays later, Waldron connected to receiver Nick Wales on a 43-yard touchdown pass.
On Edison’s next possession, Kyle Boyer-Tucker hauled in a 74-yard touchdown pass from Waldron to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead with 2:29 remaining in the first period.
“We wanted to open it up early,” said Wales, a 6-4, 168-pound senior. “We had to strike first to set the tone and once we got going we didn’t want to let up.”
Boyer-Tucker, who finished with 78 yards receiving, caught his second touchdown of the evening when he capped a 12-play, 80-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown reception with 3:40 left before intermission.
Waldron, who was 7-of-8 for 193 yards in the first half, was 3-of-8 for 63 yards and had one pass intercepted. But when the passing game stalled, the ground game was more than able to pick up the slack.
Josh Hopkins had a 59-yard touchdown run on Edison’s first play on its second possession in the third quarter and Ibrahim Mosad added a 16-yard touchdown scamper after he was inserted in at quarterback in the fourth quarter.
Aqeel Daniels had two one-yard touchdown runs negated after penalties were called on Edison, but the 5-8 senior running back finally reached the end zone when he scored from one-yard out early in the fourth.
“I wanted that touchdown real bad,” said Daniels. “They kept feeding me the ball and I wanted to get it in. We have a lot of weapons on this team and I’m just glad to be one of them.
East Brunswick, which still leads the all-time series with Edison, 27-15, fell to 1-6. Edison has now won three in a row against the Bears and four of its last five games.
As good as its offense was, its defense was also showcased as Tucker and Derek Allen each had two sacked and Joe Kim and KC Mkpasi each deflected two passes.
“It was a complete team effort,” said Edison defensive coordinator Frank Giordano of Edison’s first shutout of the season.
Eugene Sampietro paced East Brunswick with 35 yards while Jon Gerhartz added 32 yards on the ground.
E – Wales 43 pass from Waldron (Asamoah kick)
E – Boyer-Tucker 74 pass from Waldron (Asamoah kick)
E – Boyer-Tucker 4 pass from Waldron (kick failed)
E – Hopkins 59 run (Asamoah kick)
E – Daniels 1 run (Asamoah kick)
E – Mosad 4 run (Asamoah kick)
RUSHING: E – Mosad 4-57-1, Hopkins 1-59-1, Daniels 2-60, Waldron 3-26, Kim 3-18, EB – Sampietro 5-35, Gerhartz 4-32
PASSING: E – Waldron 10-16-256-3-1. EB – Hemmings 5-12-75
RECEIVING: E – Wright 4-81, Boyer-Tucker 2-78-2, Wales, 3-73-1, Kim 1-24. EB- Ganzaroli 1-37, Glasgow 2-18, Tomori 2-20