SOMERVILLE, NJ - The Devil Dogs took home the trophy in the annual Basilone Bowl football game Thursday night, defeating the Leathernecks, 44-24.
This was the third Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone Bowl, played this year at Somerville High School. Each year the game is played as a joint venture between the Somerset County Football Coaches Assocation and the Marine Corps Recruiting Station of New Jersey, with proceeds benefiting the Basilone Memorial Foundation and the Fisher House Foundation.
The game is named in honor of Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone, a Raritan native who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Guadalcanal in World War II, as well as the Navy Cross posthumously after being killed in action on the first day of the Battle of Iwo Jima.
The teams are made up of football players from 12 high schools in Somerset County, as well as Delaware Valley High in Hunterdon County.
On the Devil Dogs were players from Bound Brook, Bridgewater-Raritan, Hillsborough, Manville, North Plainfield and Ridge.
On the Leathernecks were players from Bernards, Delaware Valley, Franklin, Montgomery, Pingry, Somerville and Watchung Hills.
The Leathernecks took an early lead in the game with a score of 10-7 at the end of the first period, but the Devil Dogs gained the lead just a few minutes in to the second with a touchdown and field goal to bring the score to 14-10.
The Leathernecks fought back and tied the score at 17-17 by the end of the first half of the game.
From there, the Devil Dogs pulled ahead with a touchdown just two minutes into the third quarter, and they didn't give up the lead after that, pulling ahead to 31-17 at 7:49 in the third quarter. The Leathernecks fought back in the fourth quarter, but the game ended with a Devil Dogs win at 44-24.