No. 1 Middletown South as good as advertised

No. 1 Middletown South as good as advertised

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No. 1 Middletown South as good as advertised

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Middletown South's #27 Cole Rogers celebreates a touchdown in the 3rd quarter against Phillipsburg High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South’s #27 Cole Rogers celebreates a touchdown in the 3rd quarter against Phillipsburg High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South's #17 Matt Mosquera runs the ball in for a touchdown during the second half against Phillipsburg High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South’s #17 Matt Mosquera runs the ball in for a touchdown during the second half against Phillipsburg High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South's #10 Jeff Lewandowski misses a pass with Phillipsburg High School's #7 Jayshawn Grant challenging him during second half of the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South’s #10 Jeff Lewandowski misses a pass with Phillipsburg High School’s #7 Jayshawn Grant challenging him during second half of the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South's #6 Joel Vargas intercepts the ball in the second half against Phillipsburg High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South’s #6 Joel Vargas intercepts the ball in the second half against Phillipsburg High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School head coach Steve Antonucci celebrates winning the state title against Phillipsburg in the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships with his team at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School head coach Steve Antonucci celebrates winning the state title against Phillipsburg in the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships with his team at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School football team celebrates winning the state title against Phillipsburg in the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School football team celebrates winning the state title against Phillipsburg in the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School football team celebrates winning the state title against Phillipsburg in the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School football team celebrates winning the state title against Phillipsburg in the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School football players Joe Rutkowski and Michael Wilson celebrate winning the state title against Phillipsburg in the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School football players Joe Rutkowski and Michael Wilson celebrate winning the state title against Phillipsburg in the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School football team celebrates winning the state title against Phillipsburg in the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School football team celebrates winning the state title against Phillipsburg in the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School head coach Steve Antonucci hugs #7 Robert Hulse after winning the state title against Phillipsburg in the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School head coach Steve Antonucci hugs #7 Robert Hulse after winning the state title against Phillipsburg in the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School players dump Gatorade on head coach Steve Antonucci after winning the state title against Phillipsburg in the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School players dump Gatorade on head coach Steve Antonucci after winning the state title against Phillipsburg in the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School head coach Steve Antonucci celebrates winning the state title against Phillipsburg in the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School head coach Steve Antonucci celebrates winning the state title against Phillipsburg in the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School fans cheer during the North 2 Group IV game against Phillipsburg High School during the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School fans cheer during the North 2 Group IV game against Phillipsburg High School during the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School coach Steve Antonucci speaks to his team in the locker room before the game against Phillipsburg High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School coach Steve Antonucci speaks to his team in the locker room before the game against Phillipsburg High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School football prepares to take the field to play against Phillipsburg High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School football prepares to take the field to play against Phillipsburg High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School football team runs onto the field to play against Phillipsburg High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South High School football team runs onto the field to play against Phillipsburg High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South's #35 Dylan Rogers tackles Phillipsburg's #11 Yusef Shelton by pulling his jersey in the first quarter during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South’s #35 Dylan Rogers tackles Phillipsburg’s #11 Yusef Shelton by pulling his jersey in the first quarter during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South's #25 Kevin Higgins tries to tackle Phillipsburg's QB #12 Danny Fisher in the first quarter during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South’s #25 Kevin Higgins tries to tackle Phillipsburg’s QB #12 Danny Fisher in the first quarter during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South's Dylan Rogers tackles Phillipsburg's #2 Jaquan Jones in the first quarter during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South’s Dylan Rogers tackles Phillipsburg’s #2 Jaquan Jones in the first quarter during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South's #25 Kevin Higgins tries to tackle Phillipsburg's QB #12 Danny Fisher in the first quarter during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South’s #25 Kevin Higgins tries to tackle Phillipsburg’s QB #12 Danny Fisher in the first quarter during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South's #25 Kevin Higgins tries to tackle Phillipsburg's QB #12 Danny Fisher in the first quarter during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South’s #25 Kevin Higgins tries to tackle Phillipsburg’s QB #12 Danny Fisher in the first quarter during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South's #27 Cole Rogers makes a 1st quarter touchdown during the North 2 Group IV game against Phillipsburg High School of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South’s #27 Cole Rogers makes a 1st quarter touchdown during the North 2 Group IV game against Phillipsburg High School of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South's #10 Jeff Lewandowski makes a run early in the first quarter against Phillipsburg High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South’s #10 Jeff Lewandowski makes a run early in the first quarter against Phillipsburg High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South's #10 Jeff Lewandowski makes a run early in the first quarter against Phillipsburg High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South’s #10 Jeff Lewandowski makes a run early in the first quarter against Phillipsburg High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

(right) Middletown South's #27 Cole Rogers celebrates his 1st quarter touchdown with (left) #6 Joel Vargas against Phillipsburg High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

(right) Middletown South’s #27 Cole Rogers celebrates his 1st quarter touchdown with (left) #6 Joel Vargas against Phillipsburg High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South warms up before the Phillipsburg High School vs Middletown South High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South warms up before the Phillipsburg High School vs Middletown South High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South warms up before the Phillipsburg High School vs Middletown South High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South warms up before the Phillipsburg High School vs Middletown South High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South warms up before the Phillipsburg High School vs Middletown South High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

Middletown South warms up before the Phillipsburg High School vs Middletown South High School during the North 2 Group IV game of the 2015 NJSIAA/MetLife Stadium High School Football Championships at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Saturday December 5, 2015.

EAST RUTHERFORD –  Middletown South amped up its standing as New Jersey’s consensus No. 1 high school football team on Saturday night, with senior running back Cole Rogers producing 157 yards and a pair of touchdowns to help the Eagles put the finishing touches on their championship season with a 35-7 victory over Phillipsburg at MetLife Stadium.

Touchdowns in the first half on a run by Rogers and a Matt Mosquera pass to Jeremy Joyce put the Eagles in good shape, but linebacker James McCarthy’s interception early in the second half was the backbreaker. McCarthy not only terminated Phillipsburg’s best offensive drive of the game to that point, but the play set up the second Rogers TD to make it 21-0.

Newman: Middletown South completes road to perfection

McCarthy went on to record another pick, the first time he’s had two interceptions in a game, after what he said were some anxious moments in the hours before the game.

“I lost my jersey. I was freaking out,” said McCarthy, who wore No. 6 instead of his normal No. 28. “It was literally the night before the game when I couldn’t find it. I was like, ‘oh man.’ Were they going to let me play without my own jersey? But it turned out really good.”

The victory in the NJSIAA North II Group IV title game gave Middletown South its 10th state championship, second among Shore Conference programs to Manasquan’s 11. But this one ended a bit of a drought. This is the school’s first title since 2006, a year after the Knowshon Moreno era ended, when South won four straight titles, one of them after the future NFLer graduated.

Middletown South (12-0) wasted no time gaining the upper hand over Phillipsburg (9-3). Junior Jeff Lewandowski took the opening kickoff 79 yards, setting up Rogers’ seven-yard touchdown run with just 47 seconds elapsed.

Championship Football: Everything you need to know

Middletown South next cashed in on a fourth-and-seven try at the Phillipsburg 28 in the second quarter, with Mosquera hitting Joyce for a touchdown pass to make it 14-0. Mosquera completed 12 of 19 passes for 109 yards.

That was enough for the Eagles to hand the game over to a defense that rarely disappoints.

Phillipsburg’s double-tight end, power-running offense couldn’t get untracked. Entering the game, Middletown South’s defense had racked up four shutouts and allowed just 7.4 points per game this season and continued its stinginess, shutting down Phillipsburg 5 of 6 times when the Stateliners were in third-down conversion attempts in the first half.

Phillipsburg had to punt the ball away six times before intermission as Middletown South’s Dylan Rogers and Chase LoPriore and others took turns getting into the backfield early to disrupt things.

Phillipsburg pieced together three first downs on its opening drive of the second half and pushed to the Middletown South 26 before McCarthy used impressive vertical lift to steal a short pass from Danny Fisher meant for Yusef Shelton.

The Rogers eight-yard touchdown run made it 21-0 and Middletown South pushed it to 28-0 before the third quarter was over on Mosquera’s four-yard run.

Things were wrapped up at that point and the on-field celebrations after the final whistle were genuine.

“I never felt anything like this in my life,” Cole Rogers said. “The adrenaline going through me right now is amazing.”

Since that last title in 2006, Middletown South had a five-game losing streak in state final appearances, including a 21-18 loss to Jackson Memorial last year in the Central Group IV final.

And the end of the drought came against a program accustomed to success. Phillipsburg was the defending section champions and has seven titles in 13 appearances.

Key play: The James McCarthy interception early in the second half put this game away for Middletown South.

Offensive game ball: Cole Rogers played one of the best games of his outstanding high school career.

Defensive game ball: Dylan Rogers, Cole’s twin brother, might have  hit his peak, too.

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