Secaucus' Schaffer Leads Gridiron Greats

For more pictures of Secaucus' win over Lyndhurst, check out the entire gallery from

By Tom Szieber
Posted:  Wednesday, October 5, 2011   12:00 am

Gridiron Greats for Week 4

North 2 - Nick Schaffer, HB, Secaucus

Nick Schaffer is well aware of the fact that Secaucus has never won a state sectional title. He knows that despite the program’s perennial success, it has never won “the big one.” He also knows that for this team’s fate to be different, he has to continue carrying the ball the way he has all year, and that the Patriots cannot get shaken by the mystique of the Meadowlands.

So far, so good.

The senior running back’s marvelous 2011 added another chapter in Week 4, as Schaffer carried the rock 27 times for 228 yards and scored four touchdowns to lead the Pats to a big 38-14 NJIC Meadowlands A Division victory over formerly-unbeaten Lyndhurst.

“The win was due to hard work from not only me but my team as well,” said Schaffer. “We all put in hard work and it all paid off.  We know what its like to be to [MetLife Stadium], and it’s all business for us. We are real dedicated to getting back there.”

Things seem to be going as planned for Secaucus, as it has outscored its opposition by a combined 147 points and looked as solid as ever. They’ve got other talent, but Schaffer is certainly the engine that makes the offense go. And he’s not just speed and brawn, either.

"He's a brilliant football player and a real good student of the game,” Secaucus head coach Charlie Voorhees said of Schaffer’s intellect. “In all my years of coaching, he's easily one of the smartest players I've ever coached."

Not only is he smart on the field, he is also smart enough to know that the Patriots will need to maintain, if not raise, their level of play down the stretch. In weeks five through eight, they’ll take on North Arlington, Glen Rock, Rutherford and Hasbrouck Heights, squads that all have the ability to make them work.

“We are playing real tough teams, and last year this is where we fell a little short,” admitted Schaffer. [Quarterback Sean Egan] got hurt in the Rutherford game last year, too, and that definitely hurt us. Now, everyone is pretty healthy and we are just trying to get prepared for the second half of the season.”

Central - Connor Riley, running back, Rumson-Fair Haven

Rumson-Fair Haven running back Connor Riley did his part in making sure Matawan didn’t get the redemption it sought for last season’s defeat in the Central, Group 2 title game. Riley rushed for 121 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries in Week 4, and led the Bulldogs to a 21-9 win over their Shore Conference and sectional rivals.

South - Dylan Cummings, QB, Pennsville

It would have been a heartbreaking loss. But thanks to quarterback Dylan Cummings, Pennsville will never have to know the feeling of getting downed by WJFL Classic Division rival Salem. The Eagles got a monster performance out of the signal-caller, who went 18-of-32 for 318 yards and four scores. Included in those numbers was the game-winning scoring strike in the fourth quarter to wide out Colton Newsome that gave Pennsville the 39-38 edge.


Non-Public - KyleSakowski, S, Don Bosco Prep

Don Bosco Prep defensive back Kyle Sakowski continued his tremendous season on the biggest stage of all when it comes to intra-Jersey competition. Sakowski came up with two clutch interceptions of Bergen Catholic quarterback Jon Germano, the second of which essentially closed out the game with 2:05 on the clock. The Ironmen downed the Crusaders, 33-22 to remain the top team in the Gridiron New Jersey Top 20, as well as the nation.

North 1 - Nieko Torres, TB, Pompton Lakes

Pompton Lakes needed that signature win to prove that it is, indeed, back. Thanks to a team effort led by running back Nieko Torres, it got one. Torres rushed 24 times for 154 yards and two touchdowns (and also picked off a pass on defense) to lead the Cardinals to a 41-7 drubbing of fellow North 1, Group 1 contender Hawthorne.

Tom Szieber can be reached by emailing