Sports

Somerville Pioneers (6-0) Host Homecoming Game Friday Night Against Crusaders (3-2)

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ALJ's Joe Turek leads his team in rushing yards. The Crusaders (3-2) travel to Somerville Friday night to take on the undefeated Pioneers (6-0). Credits: Credits: Charles Rubino, courtesy of Bob Turek
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SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Pioneers look to extend their unbeaten streak to seven games Friday night in their annual Homecoming game against the Arthur L. Johnson Crusaders.

Last Saturday, the Pioneers got their sixth win of the year in their final division game of the season against Governor Livingston. With that win over the Highlanders, the Pioneers clinched their first division title since 2009.
 
After a win over Voorhees in Week 3, the Pioneers entered the NJ.com Top 20 rankings and have been in the Top 20 each week since. Somerville Football is now ranked 16th.

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Arthur L. Johnson High School, Friday's opponent, lost their last game against Hillside High School in a narrow 27-23 game to put their record at 3-2. Like the Governor Livingston Highlanders, Arthur L. Johnson is a run-first offense.

The Crusaders attempted only five passes against Hillside last week. The rushing leader for Johnson is junior Joe Turek. A two-sport athlete, Turek has a streak of four straight games with 100+ yards rushing dating back to week two against Bernards. On the year, Turek is averaging 106.6 yards per game along with 2.6 rushing touchdowns per contest.

Turek is also the leading tackler on defense for Johnson. So far, he has 21 tackles on the year and two sacks to along with a fumble recovery. The Johnson defense has only given up an average of 21.8 points per game. Their offense meanwhile, has averaged 36.8 points per game.

The Pioneers QB Nick Couzzi has been averaging 290.2 yards per game with a 63.5 percent completion rate. On the year, the senior QB has thrown 24 touchdowns and only four interceptions. Nas Petties-Jackson is averaging 127.5 receiving yards per game in which he's hauled in 13 touchdowns.

Chris Ciempola has 19 receptions for 449 yards and five touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball DL A.J. Akins, LB Jared Tuazon, LB Ryan Hrabinski, LB Robert McTernan and DB Jason Curau all have 20+ tackles this season. In last Saturday's matinee matchup against Governor Livingston, the Pioneers put the game out of reach early. Going into halftime, The Somerville Football team would lead 42-7. In the second half, the Somerville coaching staff decided to rotate their starting players out and give them some rest while providing younger players with valuable playing time.

In last year's matchup between these two schools, the visiting Crusaders came out with a 40-29 win. Turek rushed 24 times and racked up 270 yards and three touchdowns. Also in that game, former Crusader Anthony Rizzuto carried the ball 14 times for a total of 149 yards and a touchdown. On the night, Johnson High School ran for a total of 567 yards and six touchdowns.

Kickoff scheduled for 7 pm. Follow the Pioneers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for up-to-date information - @VilleFootball as well as the website www.somervillefootball.com

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