UNION, NJ - In the 24th Snapple Bowl, Union was able to secure the win over Middlesex in a closely contested game. The game came down to the final few possessions but Union came out with a 27-14 win.
Former East Brunswick High School teacher and football coach Marcus Borden, the Snapple Bowl founder and director, has raised close to $600,000 from the games since 1994. The money benefits the Lakeview School, a program of the New Jersey Institute for Disabilities, and the Children’s Specialized Hospital.
This All-Star Game is more than just football as the game raises money for a great cause. This event also allows the players and cheerleaders to meet young men and women at the New Jersey Institute for Disabilities and the Children’s Specialized Hospital. Leading up to the game the players and cheerleaders were able to create special bonds with the young men and women by having conversations and doing different activities such as creating posters.
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The roster for the Middlesex All-Stars included East Brunswick players Kyle Wiggins and Alex Cameron along with cheerleaders Demi Massih and Gabriella Montoya.
Snapple Bowl XXIV was held at the beautiful Kean Alumni Stadium where the Middlesex All-Stars and Union All-Stars went head-to-head. Historically, Middlesex has a 14-9 record in the Snapple Bowl, but the Union All-Stars won the game last year with a score of 13-7.
On the first possession for both teams ,they each missed field goals resulting in a scoreless first quarter. However, in the second quarter, Union drove down the field and capped off the drive on a 26-yard touchdown pass to Drew Stephens from Roselle High School to take a 7-0 lead. Union went into halftime winning 7-0.
Lighting caused an hour delay, but the game started back up with shortened, 10-minute quarters.
In the third quarter with about five minutes remaining, Union took a 13-0 lead but Middlesex came storming back. Early in the fourth quarter Middlesex scored a touchdown cutting the deficit to 13-7. A few possessions later wide receiver from South Plainfield, DeShai Smith made a 22 yard touchdown catch allowing Middlesex to take a 14-13 lead with five minutes remaining in the game.
Then Union marched down the field and took back a 21-14 lead after a touchdown and a successful 2-pt conversion.
Middlesex had one more shot but on their first play they threw an interception, which led to another Union touchdown to secure the 27-14 win.
The Snapple Bowl was not only an exceptional game, but also an exceptional way to give back to the community.