As a result of the errant kick, Edison (3- 4 division, 3-5 overall) upset the Bombers, 20-19, enabling the Eagles to qualify for the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group V playoffs based on power points.
Edison (sixth seed) opens at third-seed Old Bridge High School (5-2 division, 5-3 overall) Nov. 13, which will mark the second time the teams have met this season. On Sept. 18, the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Red Division foes faced each other, with the Knights coming out on top, 45-27. The winner in the sectional game faces the victor of the contest between seventh-seed Freehold Township High School and second seed New Brunswick High School a week later.
Considering how difficult this season has been, the Eagles’ victory over Sayreville was especially gratifying. If not for a 28-26 decision in triple overtime against East Brunswick High School Oct. 2, a loss to Sayreville would have been Edison’s seventh straight. Head coach Matt Fulham, a Sayreville graduate, glowed as he talked about his team’s third straight win against his alma mater (including a forfeit last year).
“A key turning point of the game was Nick Yanik recovering a fumble when Sayreville was driving, then catching a pass and running 66 yards for a touchdown, breaking two tackles [along the way],” Fulham said. “Then there was [quarterback] Haziq [Daniels], who broke a 57-yard run to put us up by a touchdown (20-13) in the fourth quarter.”
Fulham said his team is anxious for the rematch with Old Bridge, not only because it’s the playoffs, but also because he felt his team played better than the final score of the first encounter.
Daniels was particularly impressive, going 16 for 31 in the passing department for 226 yards, including three touchdowns in a game Old Bridge led at the half, 17- 14. Edison’s top rusher, James Stewart, who has 961 yards on the campaign, ran for 144 yards.
Regardless of how Edison fares in the playoffs, the Eagles will visit their crosstown rival, J.P. Stevens High School (0-7 division, 0-8 overall), on Thanksgiving.
An area team which saw its playoff fortunes end abruptly was Metuchen High School (3-1 division, 6-2 overall) which dropped a 27-24 decision to Spotswood High School (5-0 division, 7-2 overall) Nov. 7.
The Bulldogs failed to qualify, while Abraham Clark High School (Roselle) and Raritan High School — two teams with 3-5 overall records — secured berths in Central Jersey Group II. To add salt to the wound, the Spotswood defeat cost Metuchen the Blue Division title. The Bulldogs’ season continues Nov. 14 when it hosts Bernards High School (5- 3) in a state crossover game and concludes on Thanksgiving when the Bulldogs host Highland Park High School (1-3 division, 3-5 overall).
In one of the more entertaining games of the season, the Spotswood vs. Metuchen affair was a see-saw battle during which the game was tied on four separate occasions. The verdict was only decided when the Chargers converted a 30-yard field goal with nine seconds left.
In state tournament soccer action, Metuchen’s boys and girls remained in contention for the Central Jersey, Group I title, while the Bishop George Ahr High School girls were alive in South Jersey Non-Public A.
The second-seeded Bulldogs boys (15- 5) advanced to be home in a semifinal game in Central Jersey, Group I against third-seed Burlington City High School Nov. 10, while the second-seeded girls team (17-3-1) hosted third-seed Point Pleasant Beach High School in another semifinal game Nov. 9. The Metuchen girls program won a state title in 2007.
The second-seeded Trojans (18-2) hosted third-seed Notre Dame High School Nov. 9 and, if victorious, will meet the winner of top-seed Holy Cross High School vs. fifth-seed Red Bank Catholic High School Nov. 12 on the higher-seeded team’s pitch.
Continuing its outstanding postseason performance, the Bishop Ahr gymnastics team captured the North Jersey II sectional title Nov. 7. The team victory comes on the heels of winning the GMC team championship Oct. 24.
As the Trojans’ Ariyana Agarwala did in the GMC, the freshman placed first allaround (38.3) to edge J.P. Stevens’ Shannon Gregory (38.25). Agarwala’s teammate, Skylar Davisson (36.775), also reached the medal stand by placing third.
In the individual events, Gregory (9.55) was first in the vault, Agarwala (9.5) placed second and Davisson (9.4) finished fourth. In the uneven bars, Agarwala (9.675) won the competition, with Gregory (9.275) placing fourth.
Agarwala (9.775) also captured the beam, while Gregory (9.7) placed second and Davisson (9.125) finished fourth. In the floor exercise, Gregory (9.725) won her second gold medal, with Agarwala (9.35) managing fifth.
Bishop Ahr is among 10 teams that will compete for the state team championship Nov. 12 at Montgomery High School. Agarwala, Davisson and Gregory also qualified for the state individual championships two days later at the same site.