Middlesex Pounds Spotswood on Senior Day Behind Soph QB and Senior FB
MIDDLESEX, NJ—After being on quarantine following a COVID case, the Middlesex Blue Jays returned to action for a rare Sunday morning game to start the month of November against long time rival, Spotswood. While the Jays were looking to get back into the groove with a real time game, Spotswood was looking to halt a three game losing streak.
Following an opening weekend victory at home versus Metuchen (20-7), the Chargers lost their last three games by a combined score of 142-35. It was also Senior Day at Middlesex, which was another motivating factor for the Jays to come away with the win. Led by the play of junior QB, Stephen Young and senior FB, Max George, the Blue Jays triple option pounded Spotswood to the tune of a 34-7 victory.
Young rushed 15 times for 149 yards and three touchdowns, or an average of 9.9 yards per carry while George add ed 58 yards on 11 rushes, or an average of 5.5 yards per carry, and another score. Ethan Gill also added 20 yards on 3 carries and a touchdown for the winners. As a team, Middlesex rushed 39 times for a total of 292 yards, or an average of just under 7.5 yards per carry.
George also anchored play on the defensive side of the ball for the Jays with 7 tackles including 2 sacks as well as a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Jesse Coletti, who had 6 rushes for 35 yards on offense, chipped in on defense as well with 8 tackles. Bobby Ulmer also contributed with 7 tackles while Mark Geist collected 6 tackles. The Blue Jays racked up 3 sacks as a team in the contest.
George Hayford was a bright spot in defeat for Spotswood with the Chargers only touchdown in the closing minutes of the game along with several nice runs on the scoring drive as well as a bruising run along the Spotswood sideline in the third. Middlesex jumped out to a 20-0 lead in the second quarter of the contest, and were never really threatened after that.
Middlesex took control on its first drive of the game by grinding a little more than the first six minutes of the opening quarter. George was a huge part of that drive by taking the FB dive portion of the option for big gains. He then capped the drive with a one yard TD plunge for a 7-0 lead with 5:45 to go in the first. After stopping Spotswood on its opening the drive, the Jays got the ball back, and put together another big drive.
Young wrapped up the Blue Jays second scoring drive with a 20 yard keeper out of the option to the left side for a 13-0 lead with 24 seconds to go in the first. Middlesex stopped Spotswood on defense again, and got the ball back in the hands of Young and its option offense. Once again, Young cashed in with another touchdown. This time, it was on a 42 yard run on a keeper to the left for a 20-0 lead with 7:35 remaining in the second quarter.
Despite nearly turning the ball over twice, Middlesex still managed to maintain its three score cushion at the half. George had a big half for the Jays with not only punishing runs but a couple sacks on defense. The Jays picked up where they left off at the half with another scoring drive in the third. Running back Ethan Gill capped the drive with a two yard scoring run for a 27-0 lead with 7:46 to play in the third period.
Middlesex increased its advantage to five scores at 34-0 when it grinded out another scoring drive that was wrapped up by a QB sneak from Young with 4:32 to play. Spotswood then closed out the game with the last scoring drive as Hayford put together two solid gains on runs against the Blue Jays reserves. Hayford then capped the 2:46 long drive with a 13 yard TD run with 1:46 to play for a 34-7 Middlesex lead.
With the victory, Middlesex, which had not played since defeating Pingry (51-29) on October 10th, won its second straight after losing to North Plainfield (17-13) in its season opener to improve to 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the Big Central Conference. Meanwhile, Spotswood lost its fourth in a row, and fell to 1-4 overall and in conference play on the season. Both teams are scheduled to be in action next week.
Spotswood is scheduled to travel to Bound Brook at LaMonte Field on Friday night while Middlesex travels up to Hillside on Saturday afternoon. Middlesex has won the last four meetings in this series, but Spotswood still holds a 12-9 series edge. The Chargers won 6 of the first 7 meetings between the two schools, which began playing each other back in 1978.
After the Blue Jays won 4 of 5 meetings from 2007 to 2011, Spotswood won five straight meetings from 2012 through 2016. The two schools have split the last 10 meetings dating back to 2011. Over the course of the 21 games between these two schools, the Chargers have outscored Middlesex, 455 to 385, or by an average of about 22 to 18.
However, since Spotswood won 6 of the first 7 games in the series by a margin of 192-63, or an average of 27 to 9, Middlesex has outscored the Chargers, 322-263, or by an average of 23 to 19 including a total of 154-49 over the past four games, or an average of 39 to 12.