NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The New Brunswick High School football team has adopted a sledge hammer, adorned in the blue and white school colors, as a symbol of the team's tough-as-metal makeup.
The hammer and the team's character were both on display during Friday night's 51-0 victory over Dickinson.
While the hammer stood by dutifully on the sidelines, the Zebras went out and ran their record to 3-0, which matches their win total from the entire 2018 football season.
Senior quarterback/defensive back Ny'Dir Harmon scored two touchdowns to get New Brunswick (3-0) off to a fast start.
Ayhan Brown-Miller, Amir Alford and Nasier Monroe also scored before halftime.
Jarazell Bull, Marcellus Blount and Ibn Davila Hibatullah capped the scoring in the second half as New Brunswick completed a strong start-to-finish performance against its Jersey City foe.
The victory was more impressive considering senior standout Tahjay Moore - a Division I college prospect - saw limited time due to an injury.
The Zebras more than compensated for his absense by remaining relentless on both sides of the ball until the final second had elapsed on the scoreboard at Memorial Stadium.
Senior offensive lineman/defensive lineman Keshon Davila said that intensity is one of the hallmarks of this team.
"We all work hard," Davila said. "We all push each other in practice. We're starting to build momentum. Coming from the end of last season with two wins at the end we just need to keep it going."
Ahead the Zebras is a showdown with Greated Middlesex Conference White Division foe Piscataway.
You could understand if the Zebras had this game circled since the schedule was announced. The Chiefs are a prennial state powerhouse and got the upperhand on New Brunswick in recent meetings.
Davila and Brown-Miller said the Zebras will prepare for battle of unbeaten teams as they would prepare for any opponent.
"It's just crunch time of our season," Brown-Miller said. "We got most of the easy part out of the way, not it's time to just grind."
The Zebras' all-business demanor seems to start with their coach, Nate Harris.
Harris, a star lineman for the Zebras before going on to play at Rutgers, says he has a special relationship with the seniors. He started off as their freshman team coach and then took over as head coach in 2018.
He is counting on his seniors - including Davila and Brown-Miller - to keep the team from getting too high despite starting off with commanding wins against Monroe (40-20) and Dickinson and an impressive 19-14 road victory over division foe Edison.
"That's on the 2020 guys," Harris said. "That's their responsibility. We say lead, follow or get out of the way. Those guys lead. You can tell. They understand our season is starting to kick up, but at the same time, it's just another game. We pretty much put the pressure on the senior class to be constantly on top of the rest of the team."