EAST BRUNSWICK While the game started an hour late Friday, the South Brunswick High School football team didn’t waste much time once the lightning and thunder cleared.
The Vikings struck within the first two minutes and then methodically rolled to a 31-0 win over East Brunswick at Jay Doyle Field.
The Vikings employed a varied attack of long and short throws, peppered with up-the-middle runs. Wendell Allen, Phil Campbell, Mo Jabbie and quarterback Josh Liao each rushed for a touchdown. Justin Shorter added a touchdown catch from Liao.
“We got out of the gate quick,” South Brunswick head coach Joe Goerge said. “A couple good throws by Josh. Obviously, both teams were affected a little bit by the delay. It turns out to be a good night after that.”
The GMC Red Division game started just before 8 p.m. because of a thunder delay. Additionally, there was a delay with 1:31 remaining in the first half because flood lights went out on the right corner of the far end zone. After a brief discussion, the referees let the game continue. When it neared 10 p.m. still in the third quarter, East Brunswick’s athletic director lowered the PA system to not disturb the neighbors.
By then, South Brunswick had been opportunistic guests. The Vikings (4-1), ranked second in the Home New Tribune Top 10, did what they were supposed to against the unranked Bears (1-3). It wasn’t always easy. In the second half, South Brunswick scored just a touchdown. In the first half, East Brunswick stopped the Vikings on downs on what started as a first-and-goal from the Bears’ nine-yard line. East Brunswick also had a sustained drive in the first quarter, albeit aided by three South Brunswick penalties.
In the end, East Brunswick couldn’t score. Credit the Vikings’ defense, which forced four turnovers in last week’s 32-12 showdown against Sayreville. Friday, South Brunswick got interceptions from Allen and Jabbie, and a fumble recovery by Richard Hoff, and all three turnovers resulted in touchdowns on the ensuing drives.
The Vikings set the tone on the opening possession when Jabbie took a screen pass for 20 yards. The Vikings moved the ball, keyed by a 17-yard run from Wendell.
Liao then dropped back and nailed Shorter downfield near the end zone for the touchdown and a 6-0 lead with 10:09 into the game. In the second quarter, the Vikings added three scores. The first one came on a 3-yard run with 7:21 left in the half by Jabbie, set up by an 18-yard quarterback sneak by Liao. The touchdown followed an interception by Wendell.
The second score followed an East Brunswick punt with just under five minutes left in the half. The Bears’ Kyle Wiggins had a sack on the drive, but it wasn’t enough. South Brunswick moved the ball with a 37-yard pass to Jabbie, and another long run by Liao. Wendell capped the drive by shooting 11 yards up the middle for an 8-yard touchdown with 1:42 remaining in the first half.
Under two minutes was more than enough time for South Brunswick. Jabbie, a 6-foot, 185-pound senior, seemed to be all over the place. On defense, he reached out for the interception. A play later, Jabbie hauled in a 52-yard pass from Liao to East Brunswick’s two-yard line. Campbell then rushed it in for the touchdown and a 25-0 South Brunswick lead with 50 seconds remaining before intermission.
East Brunswick had a highlight in the second half when Almaliek Fitzpatrick recovered a fumble following a hit by Anthony Torres late in the third quarter.
“They’re much improved,” Goerge said. “Coach (Bob Molarz) has done a good job with them. The last two years, in particular. There’s no question there. … You’re in the Red Division. You get a win and you get excited. Now you have to move on to the next one.”
SOUTH BRUNSWICK (4-1) 6-19-0-6-31
EAST BRUNSWICK (1-3) 0-0-0-0-0
SB – Shorter 31 pass from Liao (kick failed)
SB – Jabbie 3 run (Fehte kick)
SB – Wendell 8 run (run failed)
SB – Campbell 2 run (kick failed)
SB – Liao 34 run (kick failed)
Rushing – SB: Allen 4-35, Campbell 6-31, Liao 7-65; EB: Wiggins 22-70, Torries 1-28, Schuld 3-14.
Passing – SB: Liao 7-9-0-169; EB: Schuld 1-7-0-7, Kennedy 0-5-2-0.
Receiving – SB: Jabbie 3-109, Shorter 3-44, Allen 1-16; EB: Torres 1-7.