No. 17 Piscataway is "cable ready"
Touted as a potential shootout, only one offense lived up to the hype. When the dust settled it was Piscataway which lit up the scoreboard Friday night and came out 47-14 winners over previously unbeaten South Brunswick.
When Nadir Barnwell punched in a quarterback sneak with over five minutes still left in the first quarter, it looked like South Brunswick was in a lot of trouble, down 13-0.
However, Dante Strickland would kickstart the Viking offense with one huge play, a pretty 77-yard catch and run to set South Brunswick up in scoring territory. Three plays later Joe Goerge’s offense found pay dirt and moved to within a touchdown at 13-7. The game would seesaw back and forth in the second quarter until Cameron Nash began to take over. The senior hit a home run on a 59-yard run, which increased the lead to 20-7.
In danger of going into halftime on the road down two scores, quarterback T.J. Perkowski orchestrated a much-needed scoring drive for South Brunswick and when he found Rutgers commit TJ Taylor on a slant in the back of the endzone, the issue was again in doubt heading to the half, 20-17.
“We expected it to be a dogfight. South Brunswick always has a tough team and the triple option is a special offense. They wait for you to mess up so we made sure to stick to our assignments,” said Nadir Barnwell. “Last year they brought their A-game and beat us, so today was a chance to make that right.”
Barnwell was referring to a Week 2 blemish on an almost perfect season otherwise in 2012, a 28-7 road loss to the Vikings in South Brunswick.
Defensive adjustments made, the two squads traded a pair of punts in the third quarter until, with five minutes left, super sophomore David Clayborn pulled down an 18-yard fade from Barnwell to put Piscataway up 27-14.
“That was a big score,” said coach Dan Higgins of the touchdown. "They’re not that type of team, they don’t want to play catch up, going spread shotgun is not what they do. I think we took them out of their comfort zone and then were able to put it away with our run game.”
Despite the loss of Nash to cramping, Piscataway’s offensive line began to wear down South Brunswick and it was only a matter of time before the Chiefs pulled away.
Speedsters Tyrell Judson and Jamal James looked extra fresh, where the Vikings defense began to slow. There’s a reason Judson has begun to garner D-I recruiting attention, showing off incredible shiftiness and breakaway speed in the second half. Judson and James carried the load with both Nash and Barnwell sidelined to the tune of over 150 combined yards in the second half.
“Coach Wilson has a saying called 'cable ready,” said Barnwell. “We have three backup running backs and a backup quarterback who are all cable ready. I went down and Keith was ready, Cameron went down and Tyrell Judson and Jamal James were ready, it’s all about next man up.”
Coach Wilson is the dad of current New York Jet Kyle Wilson; Gerry Wilson has remained a part of the staff even as his son attended Boise State before being selected No. 29 by Gang Green in the 2009 NFL Draft. Wilson was one of many alums that were part of a capacity crowd on the grounds of Piscataway.
“Cable ready, that’s something you’ll hear coach Wilson always talking about,” Higgins said. “We have no bench players, we expect our guys to step up when they’re called up and we truly believe in that. When it’s your turn to get an opportunity you make the most of it. Whatever the team needs you have to do it the best you can.”
Barnwell was finally back at full strength, and his second touchdown on the ground capped a huge five-touchdown evening, putting the nail in South Brunswick's coffin and the confidence back in the all-everything stud.
Fans of the Chiefs were thrilled to see No. 7 taking and delivering hits on both sides of the ball, the shoulder strain seemingly a distant memory.
“Shoulder felt fine, made a few tackles with the shoulder and it feels great. Did you see me hit their fullback? I was like all right, we’re good,” chuckled an exuberant Barnwell.
Senior linebacker Kevin Butler iced the affair with a 55-yard pick-six with eight minutes left in the game to make it 40-14.
“It helps our offense tremendously,” said Nash of Barnwell’s big return. “It takes the pressure off, not just because he’s our leader but because how much defenses have to account for him. He’s obviously an awesome football player, but he’s also a great guy. With him we feel like no one can stop us if we play our game. Right now, we feel like the only one’s who can stop us is our ourselves.”
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