UNION, NJ – Spotswood High School running back Chase Fee woke up on Thursday morning with a different set of expectations than most of the players on the 22nd annual Snapple Bowl’s rosters.
He wasn’t expecting as good of an individual show as he put on. He was thinking about the team goals.
While Fee wanted to continue Middlesex’s domination over their rival Union County, he knew the game meant more than what was on the field at Kean University. Fee wanted the victory for the people of Lakeview School, a program of the New Jersey Institute for Disabilities in Edison
“We’re doing something that they’re not able to do,” Fee said. “We wanted to make it a special moment for them.”
Special it was for Fee and his new friends at Lakeview, as Spotswood’s star running back scored two first half touchdowns to lead Middlesex to their eighth victory in the last nine games, 33-13.
“I wasn't expecting two touchdowns,” he said after accepting the Joe Poli Most Valuable Player trophy. “I was just looking to have a good time with the other kids in the county and enjoy this experience.”
Fee’s rushing scores from 4- and 13-yards put Middlesex County on top 13-0 in the first half, a lead they never relinquished.
Union cut the deficit in half during their final drive of the second quarter on a one-yard run from Linden’s Kyle Phipps. However, with less than 2 minutes to play in the half, St. Joseph’s Javon Hicks caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Old Bridge’s Mike Gargano, leaving the Union sideline in shock.
Union didn’t go away without a second half fight.
On their first drive of the third quarter, Roselle Park’s Jayson Gonzalez broke the goal line from one yard out to pull Union within eight.
However, Middlesex closed the game with 12 unanswered points, including a 27-yard field goal by Old Bridge’s Ed Mish and a two-yard touchdown from Colonia’s Tenny Adewusi.
Middlesex’s special teams added a fourth quarter safety while the defense picked up an interception to seal the victory.
“I wasn't expecting it,” Fee said of the victory and the MVP nomination. “We had tremendous players. Jamil Gilmore did a great job. Kayshawn [Wilson] did a great job. They played lock-down defense. It was a great experience and we have some incredible talent here.”