Maybe it was the excitement of starting the new season, or perhaps there is something in the local water – more likely, it’s due to excellent coaching skills, but whatever the reason, the way in which the Junior Warriors teams overwhelmed their competition on opening day of the football season, was impressive to say the least.
Junior Warriors Red 25 – Ridge Red 6
After winning the toss and deferring to Ridge, the Warriors stopped the conversion and on the very first play, #32 Jake Harter connected with #89 Christian Gonzalez for a 53-yard touchdown pass. Now, that’s the way you want your kid’s season to start.
Again stopping the 1st down, the Warriors take over and 3 plays later score on a 40-yard pass from Harter to #27 Trevor Bokach, followed by a successful extra point run in by Nick Monty.
Ridge was threatening to score near the half, when Jake Harter forced a fumble that was then recovered by #43 Sean Krug (the first of 2 recoveries on Saturday).
After the half, Ridge scored their sole touchdown of the game on a nice 60 yard run up the middle.
Returning the favor, the boys from Watchung Hills then scored after 5 plays with a 55 yard pass from Jake Harter to favored-target Trevor Bokach. The extra point was no good.
From that point, the defense was successful in holding back Ridge’s progress and the Warriors’ leading rusher for the day, Nick Marino (7 carries for 40 yards) scored on a 16-yard run. Again, the extra point failed.
On Defense, Christian Gonzalez had a sack, Trevor Bokach and Jake Harter both forced fumbles and Sean Krug recovered both. The game’s leading tackler was Trevor Bokach with 19.
On offense, the leading rusher was Nick Marino w/ 7 carries for 40 yards and 1 td.
Leading Passer was Jake Harter 3-6 148 yards and 3 td's. Leading receiver was Trevor Bokach w/ 2 receptions for 95 yards.
Great blocking by the starting offensive line, Brian Hayward #36, Gabe Snead #56, Vincent Rizzi #75, Reilly Jones #61 and Sean Krug #43.
Junior Warriors Silver 29 – Junior Warriors White – 0
The Watchung Hills Peewee Silver team opened the season with a 29 to 0 victory over Watchung Hills Peewee White. In Wathcung Hills, even when we lose, we win. No doubt, the Junior Warriors White team will rally in the rest of the season.
Silver was led on both sides of the ball by Omari Hennix-Vail who had 13 points on two long touchdown runs and one extra point run. Defensively, Hennix-Vail led the Silver defense with 9 tackles and a sack. Evan Geprags added 6 tackles, Jaiden Stowers had 4 tackles and an interception and Chad Keenan had a fumble recovery.
Silver scored 2 additional touchdowns on twin runs of 60 yards each from Jared Gardner and Jaiden Stowers. These were both followed by 2 point conversion kicks by Evan Geprags.
First year players Jason Arnel and Charlie Shanahan showed no signs of being rookies by providing solid play the Silver team, both offensively and defensively.
Junior Warriors JV 13 – North Hunterdon JV 0
Junior Warriors Red 13 – Flemington Red 12
Junior Warriors Varsity 33 – North Hunterdon Varsity 0
From the opening kickoff it quickly became clear that the Watchung Hills Varsity was in control of its own destiny on opening day. Some teams rely heavily on either defensive, or offensive strengths; this year’s varsity seems to have an abundance of talent on either side of the ball.
After kicking off to North Hunterdon, the Warriors defense began what would become a game-long shut down of the Lions offense. NH punted without converting and after 2 very successful quarterback scrambles, Johnny Yorey handed off to running back Jake Belot, who scored on Watchung Hills’ 3rd carry. This pretty much set the pace for the remainder of the game as the Warriors consistently stopped the Lions from converting and followed with TD after TD.
On the Warriors defense, Yorey led the team in tackles, followed closely by David Bauer, Brian Richmond, Jack Smith, and Ian Hall – who was particularly effective in stopping kick returns.
Leading the charge on offense, Jake Belot scored 3 times and ran the ball for a total of 174 yards. Full back Brian Richmond scored a rushing TD, as did Johnny Yorey. Yorey also completed a 42 yard pass to wide receiver Masaki Aerts, that 2 plays later found Belot once again in the endzone. As if this were not enough there was a variety of successful plays utilizing the talents of a core of gifted athletes, such as Wade Agaisse (arguably the slipperiest of Watchung Hills backs), Sam Wamakima, Nick Sofo, and Josh Lontai, to name a few. This team seems to have more than its share of gifted players and if last Sunday’s game is a sign of things to come, then this looks to be an interesting season indeed.
If you are a Junior Warriors’ fan, please support the teams by attending games and by joining the Facebook group at: http://www.facebook.com/groups/383192278368863/