Week 1 Recap

By Tom Szieber
Posted:  Sunday, September 10, 2017  8:35 pm

Check out Brian Carr's photo gallery from Westwood's win over Mahwah.

Timber Creek quarterback Devin Leary did exactly what most expect him to do -- play spectacularly -- but it still took a missed field goal by the Crusaders in the waning moments of Friday night’s game for the Chargers to beat Delsea, 39-36. Leary went 17-for-26 for 254 yards and two touchdowns, but his production was largely matched by Delsea running back Aidan Borguet, who carried the ball 29 times for 354 yards and three touchdowns. Chargers running backs Jerome Gibson and Kyle Dobbins were difference makers, scoring a combined four touchdowns on the ground. Still Delsea was in position to tie things up from 32 yards out with 18 seconds to play, but the ball bounced off the left upright and preserved the Creek coach Rob Hinson’s 100th career win.

Westwood played lights out defense, forcing six turnovers -- including five picks -- to earn some redemption for last year’s North 1, Group 2 title game defeat, beating Mahwah, 41-21. The turning point -- and perhaps the biggest takeaway for Westwood -- came on a third and goal from the Cardinals 20. Cards defensive back Anthony Corrubia came up with a key interception on a drive that could have made it a one-possession game, and preserved a lead that would result in the Westwood victory.

Cherokee and Shawnee gave fans another classic in their long, storied South Jersey rivalry. Chiefs quarterback Jack Walters was the star, scoring five rushing touchdowns while throwing for 222 yards in a 42-41 overtime victory.  Walters knotted the game up on a one-yard rush in the extra period, and kicker Ethan McCarren nailed the PAT to cap a win that required rebounding from a blown 21-7 and a 14-point deficit of their own.

North Jersey’s non-public powerhouses had a shockingly devastating weekend, as Bergen Catholic, St. Peter’s Prep and St. Joseph (Mont.) all lost games to out-of-state foes. Bergen’s loss may have been most eye-opening, as they fell 27-21 to an Archbishop Wood (PA) team that was knocked off by Paramus Catholic by 20 last week. Meanwhile, the Paladins were beaten handily by DePaul 35-14. The Marauders dropped a 28-21 game to St. Joseph’s Prep (PA), while St. Joseph (Mont.) lost, 42-25, to St. John’s College (DC).

Salem had a penalty-filled first half, but overcame those mistakes to beat Glassboro, 20-19. Rams running back Zaire Jones carried the ball 22 times for 114 yards, scoring twice in the fourth on runs of 21 and 22 yards, but Glassboro nearly pulled off the win when quarterback Jamir Jenkins hit wide receiver John Maldonado for a 5-yard scoring strike. The ensuing two-point attempt sailed incomplete for the Bulldogs, though, and Salem walked away with the win.

Things worked out a bit differently for defending North 1, Group 3 champion River Dell than for Glassboro, as a two-point pass from dual-threat quarterback David Estevez to Matt McHale with just 33 seconds on the clock gave the Golden Hawks a 22-21 win over Pascack Valley. Estevez showed why he is one of New Jersey’s most exciting offensive talents, going 9-of-16 in the air for 152 yards and a touchdown, and rushing for 114 yards and two scores, as well.

Tom Szieber can be reached by emailing tom@gridironnewjersey.com.