Junior quarterback Jayson DeMild of Sayreville High School, who has thrown for 971 yards this season and is regarded among the Greater Middlesex Conference’s best signal callers, will miss the remainder of the year with a fractured right fibula.
DeMild suffered the injury while throwing an interception midway through the first quarter of a 33-13 victory over East Brunswick on Friday night. The coaching staff initially suspected he may have re-aggravated what was believed to be a calf strain suffered in a thrilling 23-21 comeback victory over Piscataway on Oct. 23.
Unlike the Piscataway game, however, in which DeMild returned to the field for the second half, he was relegated to the sideline on crutches after intermission against East Brunswick. Sayreville head coach Chris Beagan said the fact that DeMild, who he called “incredibly tough,” was unable to return against the Bears was a sign of concern.
The Bombers, who improved to 5-3 and are ranked No. 4 in the Home News Tribune Top 10, were starting to click on all cylinders and appeared to be among the most dangerous teams entering the postseason.
“It’s a tough one,” Beagan said. “I just felt like we were starting to become dangerous. He was just beginning to develop a relationship with all the weapons we have on our team, and they were really thriving. It’s just an unfortunate part of the game. He handled it extremely well and in a positive way. I know our team will miss his toughness and his leadership. But he will be with us, helping us in any way he can.”
Sayreville, which locked up an NJSIAA playoff spot, will likely be seeded fourth or fifth in North 2 Group IV because it appears Colonia has secured at least a third seed by virtue of its impressive victory over previously undefeated New Brunswick on Friday night.
Sayreville and Middletown North appear to be vying for the fourth seed and a first-round home game, which could come down to residual points. Regardless, the winner of the first-round game between the fourth and fifth seeds will, barring an upset over the next two weekends, draw top-seeded and undefeated Middletown South, widely regarded as the state’s best public school team.
A three-sport athlete, DeMild completed 2 of 3 passes for 52 yards against East Brunswick before yielding with a 14-0 lead to backup Colton Redding, who managed a run-oriented offense in the starting signal caller’s absence.
Coray Williams, who scored three touchdowns against East Brunswick, praised Redding.
“He had the whole team behind his back and he knew that,” Williams said. “He stepped up when we needed him. For him to come in as a sophomore at this point in the season, that showed a lot of leadership and courage on his part.”
The injury is to DeMild’s plant foot, on which he did not appear fully mobile during practice. Beagan said Sayreville game-planned for East Brunswick with the possibility that DeMild might not be able to go the distance or be as effective as he had been while throwing for a career-high 228 yards against Piscataway.
Sayreville will host Edison on Friday night.
1. South Brunswick (7-1): Phil Campbell rushed for 122 yards on 11 carries, recorded 11 tackles and sealed a 14-10 victory over Piscataway with an interception in the closing seconds, while Justin Shorter caught a game-winning 51-yard halfback option touchdown pass from Wendell Allen late in the fourth quarter. Next: Bye.
2. Old Bridge (5-2): Jake Esposito had a 48-yard touchdown reception, a 2-yard scoring run and intercepted a pass, while Artur Sitkowski completed 16 of 28 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns in a 21-6 win over Monroe. Next: Piscataway, Friday, 7 p.m.
3. Sayreville (5-3): Coray Williams rushed 12 times for 180 yards and three touchdowns in a 33-13 victory over East Brunswick, which proved costly for the Bombers, who lost star quarterback Jayson DeMild to a season-ending right fibula fracture. Next: Edison, Friday, 7 p.m.
4. Piscataway (5-2): Despite 213 rushing yards on a season-high 35 carries from Elijah Barnwell, the Chiefs lost a heartbreaker for the second consecutive week, allowing the winning score on a halfback option pass late in the fourth quarter en route to a 14-10 loss to South Brunswick. Next: at Old Bridge, Friday, 7 p.m.
5. Colonia (6-2): Bashir Lauderdale rushed for a career-high 226 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries as the Patriots rolled to an impressive 45-27 victory over New Brunswick, giving themselves a shot to claim the GMC White Division title with a victory over South Plainfield. Next: South Plainfield, Friday, 7 p.m.
6. New Brunswick (7-1): Maurice Ffrench, who entered the game as the GMC’s rushing leader, was limited to 22 yards on nine carries but did score on a 70-yard kickoff return, while Samad Davila carried New Brunswick offensively with 125 rushing yards and two touchdowns in a 45-27 loss to Colonia. Next: at St. Joseph, Saturday, 1 p.m.
7. South Plainfield (6-1): The Tigers, who were limited to 78 yards from scrimmage, needed Jason Lee’s 80-yard kickoff return and a subsequent two-point conversion for an 8-6 victory over Perth Amboy. Next: at Colonia, Friday, 7 p.m.
8. Woodbridge (5-3): Tracy Fudge, who completed 17 of 28 passes for 173 yards, threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Quaasim Glover with eight seconds left in the Barrons’ thrilling 28-25 comeback victory over St. Joseph. Next: Bye.
9. St. Joseph (3-4): The Falcons, who have lost their last two games by a total of seven points, received 189 passing yards from Paul Cocozziello, but squandered a fourth-quarter lead for the second consecutive week in a heartbreaking 28-25 loss to Woodbridge. Next: New Brunswick, Saturday, 1 p.m.
10. Metuchen (6-1): The Bulldogs, who were idle, travel next to defending GMC Blue Division champion Spotswood in a rematch of last year’s winner-take-all game for the division title. Next: at Spotswood, Saturday, 1 p.m.
GMC WEEK 8 REVIEW
Sayreville 33, East Brunswick 13
Freehold 52, Edison 28
J.F. Kennedy 7, Carteret 0
Old Bridge 21, Monroe 6
Colonia 45, New Brunswick 27
Middletown North 36, North Brunswick 16
South Brunswick 14, Piscataway 10
South Plainfield 8, Perth Amboy 6
South River 39, Dunellen 18
Sussex Tech 35, Highland Park 33
Spotswood 45, Middlesex 28
Woodbridge 28, St. Joseph 25
GMC DIVISION STANDINGS
South Brunswick (7-1) 7-0
Old Bridge (5-2) 5-1
Piscataway (5-2) 5-2
Sayreville (5-3) 5-2
East Brunswick (3-4) 2-4
Edison (2-6) 2-4
Monroe (3-5) 2-5
North Brunswick (2-6) 2-5
J.P. Stevens (0-7) 0-7
Colonia (6-2) 6-1
New Brunswick (7-1) 6-1
South Plainfield (6-1) 6-1
Woodbridge (5-3) 4-3
St. Joseph (3-4) 3-3
Bishop Ahr (2-5) 2-4
Perth Amboy (1-6) 1-5
J.F. Kennedy (1-7) 1-6
Carteret (1-7) 1-6
Spotswood (6-2) 4-0
Metuchen (6-1) 3-0
Middlesex (5-3) 2-2
Highland Park (3-4) 1-2
South River (1-7) 1-3
Dunellen (0-7) 0-4
GMC WEEK 9 SCHEDULE
Bishop Ahr at Perth Amboy, 7 p.m.
East Brunswick at Monroe, 7 p.m.
Edison at Sayreville, 7 p.m.
J.P. Stevens at Marlboro, 7 p.m.
Piscataway at Old Bridge, 7 p.m.
South Plainfield at Colonia, 7 p.m.
South River at Highland Park, 7 p.m.
Metuchen at Spotswood, 1 p.m.
New Brunswick at St. Joseph, 1 p.m.