ROXBURY, N.J. - Roxbury seniors Joey Badgley and Tucker Voelbel made three touchdowns each Monday night as the Roxbury High School football team beat Northern Highlands in its last home game of the year.
The Gaels' 45-35 victory came in what some considered a meaningless contest, a non-playoff game ordered by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) last week as it dealt with the disqualification, and then possible reinstatement, of Wayne Hills to the football playoffs.
A final decision on whether Wayne Hills will return to the playoffs is expected to be made tomorrow by the NJSIAA.
None of that mattered once the whistle blew and football play began Monday under the lights in Succasunna. Both teams treated their fans to some exciting football in a game that found the score 28-21 at the end of the third quarter.
"I was very proud of our guys for battling to the end," said Roxbury coach Cosmo Lorusso. "Northern Highlands kept coming back and we kept fighting them off."
Roxbury, which led the whole game – although by only three points at the 2-minute warning - made the first touchdown of the contest as quarterback Donovan Brady ran the ball nine yards to get into the end zone.
Badgley first crossed that line in the second quarter after a 40-yard run, breaking seven tackle attempts, with 8:25 left in the quarter. His second touchdown was a 9-yard run with 6:38 left in the third quarter and his last was a 1-yard spurt with 10:34 left in the game.
Badgley had 139 rushing yards with a total of 20 rushing plays during the night.
Senior Tucker Voelbel also had three touchdowns. His first was a 10-yarder with 10:26 left in the first quarter. He did it again with 1:04 left in the second quarter from nine yards out and his third was a 7-yard run with 1:46 left in the game.
Voelbel also had 10 rushes for 97 yards with 15 yards as his longest run.
Junior Michael Roumes had a total of 19 carries for 122 total yards and he also had five tackles. Sophomore kicker Riley O'Connor was six for six for points after touchdown went one for two in field goals.
Brady, a junior, threw eight passes for three completions. He had a total of 94 yards, the longest being 62 yards, and he threw for four incompletions.
Senior Wayne Safreed had a total of 13 tackles and a sack.
"I was really happy our seniors earned a win in their last home game at Roxbury," Lorusso said. It was the Gaels' first home field win of the year.
The team should know tomorrow whether Wayne Hills, a team it was supposed to play Nov. 11, will be its next opponent.