SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- By any measure, Thursday evening's victory over JFK High School (Iselin) was special for the Raiders.
The team celebrated Senior Night for the Class of 2021, which has had a fall school term unlike any other in memory. Being able to play the game is a positive for the athletes. Doing so under the new field lights for just the second time ever made it even more memorable. The victory guaranteed a winning season for second-year coach Austin Holman and his team, which endured several seasons of zero victories before his arrival.
The win also gave the coach bragging rights at the Thanksgiving table as Austin beat his older brother, Tarig, in what was nicknamed "The Holman Bowl." It was the first time the brothers had ever coached against each other.
The Raiders didn't waste much time getting on the board. Just a few minutes into the first quarter, senior Shawn Martin put his team on the board with a 28-year run. On the next possession, he broke away on a 30-yard run to put Scotch Plains-Fanwood up 14-0 midway through the quarter. On the next possession, senior Hayden Widder connected with fellow senior Christian Piesch on a 54-yard passing touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, but the Raiders enjoyed a 20-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Scotch Plains-Fanwood doubled the lead in the second quarter as Widder connected with Gavin Cocca for a 13-yard touchdown, scored on a one-yard run, and threw a 19-yard scoring strike to Matt Power.
JFK broke up the shutout with a fourth quarter safety as Mustang Mike Hein tackled Ryan Estivene in his end zone.
Shawn Martin had 12 carries for 93 yards and two touchdowns. The other half of SPF's 1-2 punch, junior Anthony Robinson, gained 70 yards on 15 attempts. Widder was 5-for-7 for 110 passing with two touchdown throws.