North Brunswick Passing Duo Combine for Big Plays to Defeat Rival
MONMOUTH JUNCTION, NJ—For the first time since 2017, the North Brunswick Raiders and the South Brunswick Vikings were squaring off in the month of November. It was also the first time that the Raiders and Vikings were facing off in Monmouth Junction since the Vikes defeated the Raiders on Thanksgiving Eve 2017 (42-20).
A year ago, North Brunswick opened its season with a dominant 26-0 victory over South Brunswick at Libro Field. Both teams started off strong this season with the Raiders winning their first five games while the Vikings won their first four before losing at Old Bridge by four a week ago (22-18). Each team has a promising sophomore quarterback.
Frankie Garbolino has developed quick well during the course of the season. With the likes of David DeLoatch, Jelani Devonish-Wynter, who played at South Brunswick a couple seasons ago, and Marquise Perry as receivers, and Dejohn Thomas at running back, Garbolino has had plenty of weapons at his disposal. Meanwhile, South Brunswick’s Vin Jairdullo has also put together a solid year with targets such as Darmarion Potts, Jared Lauri, Khiri Summers, Jacob Brokaw, Justin Lawson, and Majid Howard-Baker to utilize.
Quarterback play would turn out to be the key difference in this contest. Both teams made big plays on both sides of the ball. With interceptions and big hits and defense, and big passing and running plays on offense, it would come down to which QB would make the most plays and manager their team the best. On this night, it was Garbolino who stood taller with not only his arm, but his legs as well.
Helped by senior wideout DeLoatch, who caught scoring passes of 34 and 65 yards, Garbolino finished with over his 31 passes completed for a total of 235 yards, or an average of 13.8 yards per completion while rushing 11 times for 65 yards including a huge run on 4th down with time winding down to lift North Brunswick to a 14-7 victory. The Raiders defense, anchored by Jaquil Boyd, Favion Johnson, Willie Wilson, and Wynter also made big plays too.
Boyd led the Raiders with 11 tackles while Johnson added 8 tackles and a fumble recovery. Wilson and Wynter came up with key interceptions in the second half that helped North Brunswick not only halt South Brunswick’s potential scoring drives, but also set up the game winning score. On the other hand, Brokaw turned out to be a bright spot for the Vikings in defeat with 5 rushes for 44 yards, and 2 receptions for 31 more yards to average over 11 yards per touch.
In addition to rushing 4 times for 45 yards including a big carry that put South Brunswick right back into scoring position after North Brunswick took a 14-7 lead with just under 9 minutes remaining, Justin Lawson led all players with 19 tackles in the contest while teammate A.J. Taylor chipped in with 14 tackles and an interception along with a huge hit that prevented North Brunswick from getting in the end zone in the second quarter.
A couple plays later, Summers came up with an interception in the end zone to halt the Raiders drive with about five minutes to go in the second. North Brunswick managed to take the lead going into the half. After stopping the Vikings on the ensuing offensive possession, the Raiders got the ball back in good field position, and Garbolino hooked up with DeLoatch on a 34 yard scoring strike at the 2:12 mark of the 2nd, and despite a missed PAT, NBTHS led 6-0.
South Brunswick came out with all pistons firing in the second half as they put together a drive highlighted by a long throw from Jairdullo to Potts along the Vikings’ sideline to put the Vikes deep into Raider territory. Several plays later, Howard-Baker came up with a riveting run that got SBHS on the doorstep. Jairdullo would score moments later on a QB sneak. Placekicker extraordinare, Jai Patel tacked on the extra point for a 7-6 lead at the 7:35 mark of the 3rd.
The Vikings then got a huge interception from Taylor later on in the 3rd, and moved down the field again as the game entered the fourth quarter. Then, Wilson provided North Brunswick with a huge defensive stop by intercepting a 3rd down pass by Jairdullo. The Raiders then went on the attack as Garbolino found DeLoatch a short time later with a long bomb along the NBTHS sideline for a 65 yard touchdown with 8:55 remaining.
Once more, South Brunswick responded with a drive up the field into North Brunswick territory. Lawson’s 35 yard carry put the Vikes in position to retake the lead. However, several plays later, Devonish-Wynter intercepted a Jairdullo pass in the end zone with under five minutes to play to give North Brunswick the football. Garbolino then took over by rushing for several key first downs including one on a 4th and short in Viking territory with about a minute remaining to seal the hard fought victory.
With the victory, North Brunswick improved to 6-0 on the season while South Brunswick fell to 4-2 overall. Both Viking losses were by 7 points or less. The win was the 2nd straight in the series for the Raiders, who hold a 24-19-1 lead in the rivalry series. South Brunswick had won 11 of 13 meetings from 2005 to 2017 including 9 straight.
The Raiders will now take on Old Bridge in a clash of two of the top three teams in Middlesex County at Lombardi Field next Friday night while the Vikings will host an upstart Monroe team in Viking Country. North Brunswick will then face off against top ranked Woodbridge in a de facto Middlesex County championship on Friday, November 20th at Libro Field.