The Piscataway running game was dominant, racking up 338 yards rushing on eight possessions tobeat Ridgewood, 31-21, in the North Jersey Group 5 bowl game. Juwon Jackson gained 119 yards and Nasir Best had 109. Their eight possessions brought them five scores, one knee inside the 10-yard line, one turnover on downs, and one punt. (Stats courtesy of NJ.com’s Mike Kinney and Double G Sports’ Sunil Sunder Raj).
First Quarter: After a Ridgewood punt, Piscataway moved the chains down the field and opened the scoring on a 34-yard field goal by Robert Konya. After a Ridgewood punt, Piscataway opened a 10-0 lead when Lord Jones went 28 yards for the score out of the wildcat.
Second Quarter: Ridgewood then had a big play when Liam Tarleton found Will McDermott for 51 yards to the 2 and the Maroons followed up with a 1-yard touchdown by Gabe Santiago. The extra point failed and it was 10-6. On their next possession, Ridgewood went in front on a 26-yard run by Will Cardew. Piscataway stayed on the ground for all seven plays on the following drive and scored when Jordin Martell picked up Best’s fumble on the 4-yard line and two steps into the end zone to put the Chiefs in front to stay with 1:13 left in the half. The drive featured a 30-yard run by Jackson to the Ridgewood 45 to get things going.
Third Quarter: Piscataway came out with the ball and went on a 16-play, 80 yard drive, consuming 8:27 on the clock and scored on a 5-yard run by Best, their seventh first down on the drive.
Fourth Quarter: Piscataway’s next drive brought them into the fourth quarter, scoring on a Best 1-yard run, bringing the score to 31-13. Ridgewood then came back when Tarleton found McDermott again for a 27-yard score and the Maroons successfully converted the two-point try to make it 31-21 with 5:31 left in the game. Their onside kick was recovered by Piscataway and the Chiefs ran out the clock, taking a knee inside the 10-yard line to run out the clock.
Piscataway Summary: The Chiefs running game was dominant behind the line of Jordin Martell, David Greene, #52 – not on the roster, Austin Mosier, and Charles Parker. Jackson, Best, and company all have breakaway speed; put that together with a top line and you have the success they had. On defense, their run defense was stingy, not letting the Ridgewood running game do what it does best.
Ridgewood Summary: While Ridgewood’s defense gave up yards, they did a very good job in not allowing the long run; there were runs of 5-30 yards, but there weren’t any runs of the 50-60 yard variety and the Chiefs appeared to be close to breaking the long one, only to have a Ridgewood defender make the stop. In addition, Tarleton had a good game throwing the ball and completing a few big plays and that is something Ridgewood is not known for. On paper, Piscataway is significantly better, but the well-coached Ridgewood team got the maximum out of their players.