PISCATAWAY, NJ - The Piscataway High School varsity football team benefited from five Sayreville turnovers and stout defensive effort as the Chiefs defeated the Bombers, 21-7, at Dominic Ciardi Field.
With the win, Piscataway (2-0) has won 16 games in a row, a streak that started on Thanksgiving in 2017. The victory also gave the Chiefs their fourth triumph in as many years over the Bombers (0-2), and they now lead the all-time series against their rivals, 18-17.
“Teamwork and fighting for your brother next to you was preached a lot this week. On the defensive side of the ball, coach wanted us all to relax and do our job because we’re the only one who can stop us from being successful,” defensive end Marcel Walker said.
Our coaches know our future and potential is through the roof so they’re just trying to build form that foundation because the sky is the limit.”
Piscataway running back Khristian Hernandez gave his team an early 6-0 lead on a 25-yard rushing touchdown. He hit the hole on the game’s second play scrimmage and burst for a 30-yard gain and scored two plays later.
On Sayreville’s second drive, the Bombers fumbled and the Chiefs recovered and brought it back down to about the about the 10-yard line of the visitors.
But Sayreville held touch and turned the ball over on downs as it stuffed a screen play.
In the second quarter, Sayreville committed its second turnover as Hernandez intercepted a Mark Whitford deep down the left sideline.
Right after the break, the Bombers snapped the ball poorly back to Whitford in shotgun formation and Piscataway jumped on the ball deep in opposing territory.
That turnover proved costly as the Chiefs capitalized.
Quarterback Kristopher Hernandez scampered in for a rushing touchdown before connecting with Tahj Bean through the air for the 2-point conversion.
Christian Davis and Aamir Woods both would pick off Whitford passes as well in the third and then Khristian Hernandez put Piscataway ahead by three scores at 21-0 as he ran in for an 8-yard score. On the play, the senior started right and flipped fields and breezed past defenders.
Hernandez returned a punt 66 yards down to the Sayreville 4-yard line prior to his second score.
The Bombers’ lone points came with 4:37 to go as Whitford connected with Javiion Simmon.
Piscataway recovered the onside kick that followed.
Khristian Hernandez finished with 143 yards rushing on 24 carries while Kristopher had 30 yards on eight attempts.
“I was able to have success because of the big guys up front. The big boys haven’t even scratched the surface yet and are still competing every play,” Khristian Hernandez said. “Once we cut the offensive penalties and stop shooting ourselves in the foot, we are going to be something special. It’s a work in progress.
“Going back to the punt return, I had no intentions of fielding the ball until it hit one of my guys so I had to get on it. There was a clean bounce and I had daylight.”
Defensive end Walker, linebacker Marcus Petite, and others had strong games for Piscataway, which already has registered six interceptions and five fumble recoveries in two games. The Chiefs held Whitford to 78 yards passing on 8-of-19 throws.
Piscataway outgained Sayreville, 204-146.
As the Chiefs took the field, junior lineman Nick Lodato received the honor to carry a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey World Trade Center Memorial flag. The flag flew at the site of the World Trade Center and has been displayed at various military bases and is owned by Bob McKee, the father of Chiefs quarterbacks coach, Nick McKee. The yellow flag featuring the Twin Towers and an American Flag honors those lives lost in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack.
Next up, Piscataway faces Edison and Sayreville will play North Brunswick on their respective home fields on Sept. 20 at 7:00 p.m.
Follow Chris Nalwasky on Twitter @ChrisWasky.
TAPintoPiscataway.net is an online newspaper serving the Township of Piscataway.
Sign up for our FREE daily eNews: https://www.tapinto.net/subscriptions/new