Nick Couzzi Powers Somerville Pioneers to 7-0 Record in Blowout of Johnson Crusaders


SOMERVILLE, NJ -  Somerville Pioneers High School senior quarterback Nick Couzzi has led his team throughout a powerhouse season, and he continued power Somerville’s dominating offense in a 50-6 win over Arthur L. Johnson High School Friday night at Brooks Field. 

Couzzi went 24-for-35 with 275 passing yards and three touchdown passes, to add with 95 yards off 13 carries to go along with his rushing touchdown. 

The Somerville Pioneers, ranked No. 16 in New Jersey, now average 49.9 points per game, and remain perfect on the year with a record of 7-0.

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SHS out-gained Johnson in the game with 371 yards (347 passing yards) to 159 yards in yet another overwhelming victory for the Pioneers.

Following a Johnson punt on their first drive, the Pioneers, led by Couzzi, drove deep into Crusaders territory, but had to settle for a 25-yard field goal from senior Chris Ciempola, giving Somerville an early 3-0 lead.

The Pioneers forced the Crusaders to punt for the second time, and after their second drive, sophomore Duke McDuffie banked home the game’s first touchdown, giving Somerville a 9-0 lead over Johnson. 

The second quarter saw the Pioneers take full control of the game, They never looked back, scoring 28 points in the quarter to put the game out of reach.

It all began with the Pioneers storming down the field in a drive that started on their own 31-yard line. Couzzi ran for a four-yard rushing touchdown, and after the extra point, Somerville led by a score of 16-0.

Johnson lost a fumble on the first play of the next drive and Somerville took over deep within Johnson territory, inside their 20-yard line. Five plays later, Chris Ciempola caught Couzzi’s pass, taking it in for a 6-yard touchdown. It was 23-0 following the extra point.

Following another Johnson punt, Somerville struck again, as Couzzi connected with senior Ahmad Lee for an 11-yard passing touchdown to push the lead to 30-0 Pioneers.

Couzzi and the Pioneers added their fourth touchdown of the quarter, connecting to senior Nadyr Petties-Johnson for a four-yard score to cap off the explosive offense in that quarter alone.

The Pioneers led the Crusaders 37-0 at halftime. They removed their starters in the second half.

Somerville junior backup Ryan Kovacs would add to the night’s overwhelming victory with two touchdown passes in the second half, both 13-yard touchdown passes to Ciempola and senior Jason Curau, running the score up to 50-6.

In addition to his two passing touchdowns, Kovacs finished the night, going 5-for-5 with 75 passing yards. He also ran the ball four times for 36 yards.

The Crusaders got their lone touchdown of the game from junior Joe Turek, a 25-yard rushing score in the third quarter.

Turek finished the night with 109 rushing yards to go with his rushing touchdown in the loss for Johnson, while senior running back Nick Fischetti finished the night with seven rushes for 92 yards in the loss.

The Johnson Crusaders (3-3) return home to face North Plainfield High School Friday night at 7:00 p.m.. It's the Crusaders' Senior Night.

The Somerville Pioneers (7-0) face off against Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School next Saturday night at home at 7:30 p.m.

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