Raiders pick up their first gridiron win of the season



 North Brunswick Township High School’s Quamere Nance (10) carries the ball against Edison High School Oct. 9 in Edison. The Raiders picked up their first win of the season, 40-21.  SCOTT FRIEDMAN North Brunswick Township High School’s Quamere Nance (10) carries the ball against Edison High School Oct. 9 in Edison. The Raiders picked up their first win of the season, 40-21. SCOTT FRIEDMAN North Brunswick Township High School’s football team won its first game of the season with a strong allaround effort as it outscored Edison High School, 40-21, Oct. 9.

The Raiders seem to be getting a little better each week as they get more comfortable with new coach Don Zsak’s system. They jumped to a 21-0 lead and never really looked back. North Brunswick also benefited from five Edison turnovers — two of them interceptions by Isaiah Hall — and Zsak’s physical defensive unit stymied the Eagles.

“Our defense was particularly strong up front,” Zsak said. “We knew they were going to run, and our guys prepared themselves well. The secondary was good, too. They intercepted four passes.

North Brunswick ran the ball well, as Eddie Carpenter ran for 175 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and Quamere Nance rushed for 115 yards and scored twice. Sophomore quarterback Dylan Seal hooked up with fullback Zach Rowell for a 25-yard touchdown pass. Carpenter, however, suffered a knee injury and had be carried off the field.

After a season-opening, 27-6 loss to Old Bridge High School Sept. 11, Knights coach Anthony Lanzafama said North Brunswick would make its mark.

“They’re going to be a very good team,” the Old Bridge coach said. “They never quit, and they made every play tough. They come right at you, and they keep coming. They’re not an easy team to play.”

After losing to Sayreville War Memorial High School, 22-6, North Brunswick lost a 16-14 decision to East Brunswick High School Sept. 25. On Oct. 2, the Raiders could not get on the scoreboard but played very well on defense in a 9-0 loss to Monroe Township High School.

Zsak’s team faces a stiff test Oct. 16 when unbeaten Piscataway Township High School, which shares the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Red Division lead with South Brunswick High School, comes to visit.

South Brunswick, meanwhile, won its fourth straight game, defeating East Brunswick, 31-0. Josh Liao’s 30-yard touchdown pass to Justin Shorter gave the Vikings a 6-0 lead in the first quarter. It got late early after that for the host Bears, as the visitors extended their lead to 25-0 at the break.

Mo Jabbe had a stellar evening, scoring on a short run in the second quarter, pulling in a pass from Liao for 53 yards that set up another touchdown and intercepting a pass. Wendell Allen and Phil Campbell also scored for South Brunswick. Liao completed 7 of 9 pass attempts for 170 yards and a touchdown, and he also ran 34 yards for another score. Jabbe caught three passes for 109 yards.

“We wanted to get out in front early because East Brunswick is a much-improved team,” Vikings coach Joe Goerge said. “The way I look at the Red Division is one of the toughest in the state, and they’re a Red Division team. We’re happy with the win.”

The Vikings have 64 power points and sit atop the standings in the race for NJSIAA Central Jersey Group V playoffs. New Brunswick High School is just one point back in second place. The best seven of a team’s first eight games count in the rankings. The Vikings reached the Central Jersey Group V finals last fall and won the title in 2012.

Boys’ soccer

South Brunswick’s boys’ soccer team ran its winning streak to nine straight matches last week and stands at 11-1 on the season. On Oct. 8 Jermaine Small’s two goals propelled the Vikings to a 2-0 win over Old Bridge. Paul Grudnick and Kevin Nunez picked up assists, and Arvind Swaminathan kept a clean sheet, stopping three shots. On Oct. 6, South Brunswick downed Monroe, 4-0. Patrick Grudnick led the way with two goals and an assist, while Russell Basking and Ronaldo Solano also scored. Sergio Caballero, Keiler Knapp and Sean Ray all picked up assists, and Swaminathan made four saves.

South Brunswick is 10-2 and in first place in the GMC Red Division. Monroe, which downed the Vikings 2-1, earlier in the year, and East Brunswick are tied for second place at 9-2-1.

Girls’ soccer

In girls’ soccer, North Brunswick split a pair of games and is 6-5-1 overall. The Raiders downed Perth Amboy High School, 3-0, as Tatum Altman scored two goals and assisted on a goal by Ashley Gorda. Danielle Segerholm turned in the shutout in goal.

Two days later, the Raiders and South Plainfield High School were tied at 2-2 at halftime before the Tigers pulled away with two goals after the break. Altman and Deanna Ehrhardt scored for North Brunswick, and Segerholm made three saves.

South Brunswick’s girls had a solid week that saw them win three straight and improve to 7-5. The Lady Vikings are coming off a 1-0 win over Sayreville Oct. 10. Julianna Franco’s eighth goal of the year came in the first half, and Sydney Schneider made six saves to make it stand up — her third successive clean sheet — in a game that saw South Brunswick outshoot Sayreville, 15-6.

Two days earlier, the Lady Vikings edged J.P. Stevens High School, 2-0, as Cathlene Kaseta and Christina Savoth scored in the win. On Oct. 6. South Brunswick downed Old Bridge, 4-0. Franco had a goal and an assist, and Savoth, Zuleeka Alvarado and Adrianna Mouzakis also scored.

Girls’ tennis

In tennis, North Brunswick’s girls won three of four matches to raise their record to 8-4. The Raiders edged John F. Kennedy (JFK) Memorial High School Oct. 9, as Colleen Binbinon and Carly Lodise won their matches at first and third singles, respectively. Abby Tan and Kathmika Vaseeharan won at first doubles and Harshitha Katikala and Kelly Huang took the second doubles match.

The previous day, the Raiders downed Colonia High School, 5-0, with Komal Grover winning at second singles to ensure the shutout. On Oct. 7, North Brunswick fell, 5-0, to Marlboro High School in the second round of the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV tournament. Earlier in the week, the Raiders beat New Brunswick, 4-1.

Girls’ volleyball

In girls’ volleyball, South Brunswick’s record dropped to 7-8 following a 2-0 loss to Mother Seton Regional High School Oct. 9. Sarah Weeden had six kills and six digs in the defeat. The day before, the Lady Vikings took a 2-0 decision over Edison. Kelly Matuszewski had five kills and a block, and Shannon Fisher dished out 10 assists.

On Oct. 7, South Brunswick edged Colonia, 2-1. Jaime Klemas has seven kills and a dig, and Nina Trach picked up 15 digs to go with two kills and an assist. Trach also had 14 digs and Klemas had four kills in a 2-0 loss to JFK Memorial Oct. 5.

North Brunswick got its third win of the volleyball season Oct 9 when it won, 2-0, against South Plainfield. Epiphani Woodard had nine kills, and Ariana Morgan posted five digs and three aces.

Field hockey

In field hockey, South Brunswick got past Piscataway, 2-1, Oct. 8 to improve to 6-6. Danielle Gallagher and Skyler Asper both scored in the first half for the Lady Vikings. Jill Grzelak and Mollie Hayes picked up assists. Kavya Sreeram made three saves in the victory.

Earlier in the week South Brunswick lost a match, 5-0, to South Plainfield. Sreeram was kept busy and made 14 saves.