NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- The Piscataway High School varsity football team couldn’t solve jumpstart New Brunswick’s defense as the Zebras upset the state-ranked Chiefs, 13-7, on Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
Piscataway’s loss snapped a 17-game winning streak that began on Thanksgiving Day in 2017. The Chiefs are the reigning North Jersey, Group 5 Bowl winners.
Piscataway is ranked No. 4 in the latest NJ.com Top 20 and No. 12 in the USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey Top 20.
New Brunswick was stout up front as its scheme held the power running game of Piscataway to less than 130 yards and just about three yards per carry and 151 total.. The Chiefs came in averaging 234 yards including 187 rushing.
Khristian Hernandez, Piscataway’s lead ground gainer, was held to 34 yards on 22 carries.
After it forced a New Brunswick punt on the game’s opening possession, Piscataway failed to convert a fourth-down on offense at the Zebras’ 28-yard line. New Brunswick quarterback then made the Chiefs pay as he found receiver Nydir Harmon on the left side of the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown to put the Zebras up 6-0 in the first quarter.
Nobody would score again until the third quarter when Tibbs ran in a 1-yard keeper to make it 13-0.
Harmon intercepted a Kristopher Hernandez pass on Piscataway’s ensuing drive deep in New Brunswick territory, preventing a scoring chance for the visitors.
However, the signal caller found pay dirt for Piscataway’s first points of the night on a 6-yard rushing touchdown with 4:47 remaining to cut into the home team’s lead.
Piscataway was faced with a third-and-22 with 10 seconds to go at the Zebras’ 33-yard line but couldn’t get a first touchdown or more and the clock ran out.
Through its first three games, Piscataway benefited from 13 takeaways on defense and by wearing its opponents down in the second half. Piscataway had outscored its first three opponents, 52-21, in the second half.
The Chiefs did not force a turnover against New Brunswick and their offense could not get anything going all game long.
In 2017, the last time these two teams met in the season opener, Piscataway won 64-7. It also defeated the Zebras on the road the year prior, 39-13.
Piscataway will look to get back in the win column next Saturday when it plays St. Joseph Metuchen for the first time on the road at 2:30 p.m.
New Brunswick, which is 4-0 for the first time since winning seven games to start the 2015 campaign, will play at North Brunswick next Friday night at 7:00 p.m.
Follow Chris Nalwasky on Twitter @ChrisWasky.
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