Wayne Hills scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to beat Phillipsburg, 35-21.
First Quarter: Phillipsburg came right down the field and scored on a pass from Jack Stagaard to a wide open Bobby Coury for a 2-yard touchdown. The score was set up on a pass to Sterling Walker-Sutton of 23 yards. Wayne Hills answered instantly when Jaaron Hayek ran 64 yards for the touchdown out of the wildcat. Phillipsburg’s Nasir Ball returned the ensuing kickoff to the 35 of Wayne Hills and put the Stateliners in good field position. Stagaard had two runs for first downs, the second putting them on the 3, but his pass bounced off a defender in the end zone and Gabe Dellechiaie made a diving catch for the interception in the end zone inside a mass of bodies. Dellechiaie came through again, blocking a punt to give the Patriots the ball on the 32 of P-burg. It only took one play as Tom Sharkey found Charles Njoku on the fade to the right, just past the pylon for the touchdown.
Second Quarter: Wayne Hills had their own trouble punting when a bad snap gave Phillipsburg the ball on the 50. The Stateliners drove down the field, scoring on a Stagaard to Ray Poremba pass of 10 yards. Phillipsburg took advantage of two Wayne Hills receivers bumping into one another on the ensuing kickoff and Walker-Sutton recovered on the 28. Stagaard completed passes to Walker-Sutton and Ray Stem before he rolled right and scored a 3-yard touchdown with 21 seconds left in the half.
Third Quarter: After an exchange of punts, Wayne Hills began to move when Sharkey ran nine yards, followed by three completed passes to Hayek, before finding Njoku on the fade, this time to the left for a 27-yard score to tie the game.
Fourth Quarter: Wayne Hills moved in front for good when Sharkey found Njoku again on the left sideline, where he spun around the defender and raced for a 40-yard touchdown. Adam Abida scored for the Patriots on a 22-yard run on their next possession to make it, 35-21. Phillipsburg moved the ball, but Christian Puntolillo intercepted on the 6-yard line and Wayne Hills ran out the clock.
Summary: It was too much Njoku and Hayek, with Njoku catching three touchdown passes and Hayek having a big night running and receiving. Sharkey had a good night, throwing three touchdown passes. Defensively, Joe Rondi and Bence Polgar had big nights putting heat on the passer, while Dellechiaie had two big plays that may have changed the game: his interception in the end zone and his blocked punt.
Stagaard is a good all-around quarterback who can run and throw and Walker-Sutton is a very good receiver, but couldn’t match the firepower of Wayne Hills, who dominated the second half to win the game.