Colonia's Rushing Attack Downs South Plainfield Tigers 28-20

Colonia Patriots run past South Plainfield Tigers. Credits: Stasey Lambrakopoulos Pace

COLONIA, NJ - After a strong start to the season, momentum, at least at the moment, is starting to go south for the South Plainfield High School football team. On Friday night, the Tigers (4-2) went on the road to take on GMC White division rival Colonia. The team was looking to get a fresh start after a rough loss last week to St. Joseph’s Metuchen, but the Patriots had other ideas.

A few costly errors combined with a strong rushing attack by Colonia proved to be too much to overcome, as the Tigers went home with a 28-20 loss, their second straight setback of the season.

The coach of the Tigers, Gary Cassio, attributed much of the loss to his players not following their set game plan. The Patriots found success through a halfback counter play, a tactic that Cassio said he and his coaches expected and went over often in this week’s practice.

Sign Up for E-News

“We didn't do our job. We repped that play, practiced that counter all week and knew it was their bread and butter play and guys played the way they wanted to play,” a disappointed Cassio said.

“When they play their way instead of a team effort, that's the result.”

South Plainfield's rushing attack set up a short QB keeper touchdown by Ryan Marston for the first score of the game, but the biggest factor of the first half ended up being Colonia rusher Luke Pero.

After a quiet first quarter, the back started picking up steam in the second stanza, picking up just under 70 yards in a single drive that was capped off by a game-tying three yard rushing touchdown. Pero ended the game with just over 200 yards rushing.

It looked like the Tigers would retake the lead, after Deshai Smith appeared to score off a bomb from Marston in the following drive, but the touchdown was called back for a holding penalty. Colonia capitalized off the penalty, keeping the Tigers out of the endzone for the remainder of the half, and by scoring a go-ahead rushing touchdown via a short QB keeper from Tyler Layton just as time expired in the second half.

The Patriots extended the lead at the five minute mark of the third quarter, when Layton threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to Tristan Weathers, and the Tigers responded almost immediately, as Marston threw a 72 yard touchdown to Smith on their next play.

South Plainfield fought for a comeback, but an interception return touchdown by Colonia’s Jordan Gutierrez proved to be the dagger. Despite the interception, Cassio spoke highly of his quarterback after the game. Marston --who was filling in for junior passer Charlie Lovett-- stepped up to throw 143 yards completing 7 of 13 passes.

“Charlie's another dimension, but Ryan did a great job,” Cassio said. “Ryan… didn't have many reps the last three weeks, and came in and he did enough for us to win.”

“He threw that one pick, but mistakes happen. He did enough for this team to win, and we didn't do our job. Offensively and defensively we didn't do our job. And we've got to regroup soon because it doesn't get any easier.”

South Plainfield will have a chance to get on the winning path next week when the take on Carteret on the road. Cassio said his players have to regroup and buy into their coaches.

“We’ve got to regroup,” the coach said. “We've got to do our job, come in, and work twice as hard. “

“Guys have to start listening and believing in the coaching staff. Instead of doing what they want to do, they have to do what they're supposed to do and taught to do. You spend hours and hours and hours repping a play and when you get on the field, guys are doing it their way because they think their way is better. Their way isn't better and the scoreboard shows it.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

South Plainfield

The Athlete of the Week Alejandro Garcia Boys’ Spring Track

The South Plainfield Boys’ Spring Track has continued to be one of the most successful programs for the Spring Athletic Season.  The Boys’ have been dominate in the Greater Middlesex Conference Blue Division for the last few years.  After being decimated by graduation, the Tigers were not sure what the season would hold.  South Plainfield once again won the Blue ...

The Athlete of the Week Christopher Shine Baseball

The South Plainfield High School baseball team is continuing to have a successful 2018 season with a record of 15-9. This past week, the Tigers went 4-0 beating out of conference foes North Hunterdon, Montgomery, and Bernards.  They finished the week with a win in the first round of the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament, over Carteret.   A major contributor to South ...

Holy Savior Cheerleading Squad Takes Season by 'Storm'

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Holy Savior Academy’s (HSA) ‘Biddy’ Cheerleading Squad, the Storm,  recently completed their 2017-2018 season with a first place win in their division at Cheerfest. Held May 12 at Six Flags Great Adventure, the annual multi-state competition featured teams from throughout New Jersey. 

“This cheer season has been such an ...


South Plainfield – Dorothy Rotola, 91, passed away Thursday, May 24, 2018 in Ashbrook Nursing ...
Read more

Letters to the Editor

Tree Olano Says "Thank You"

May 23, 2018

The infamous “Senior Gardens” is a huge part of the senior center .  The vegetables are all planted and ready for a fruitful harvest!

I wanted to extend a “thank you” the following people who made this happen:

The  Department of Public Works – Kristina Nieradka for taking my many calls with kindness and professionalism; Donna Zereconski, ...

Middlesex County College Graduates 1480 Students May 17

May 22, 2018

EDISON, NJ - A total of 1514 degrees and certificates were awarded to 1480 students by Middlesex County College Thursday, May 17 at the 51st annual Commencement exercises witnessed by approximately 3500 guests at the Rutgers Athletic Center.

Valedictorian Sindhu Murthy (Highland Park) delivered the class welcome, sharing her experiences and aspirations. Ms. Murthy, who graduated in January and ...

Community Happenings


May 12, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - On Saturday, June 2, 2018 from 11AM to 5PM, the John E. Riley PTSO (JER PTSO) will be hosting its first ever Food Truck Festival!


Come out for a good time while supporting a good cause! Proceeds from this event will go to replacing the 2 broken playground structures at John E. Riley Elementary School costing approximately $80,000. 11+ food trucks including ...

Holy Savior Academy to Hold 7th Annual 5K Run & Family Walk in June

May 26, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Calling all runners and walkers! Holy Savior Academy will hold its 7th Annual 5K Run and 1 Mile Family Walk on Saturday, June 2. Proceeds from this year’s family-friendly event will benefit the school’s academic, athletic, and extracurricular programs.

“Holy Savior Academy’s annual 5K offers the school an opportunity to provide other ...

Holy Savior Cheerleading Squad Takes Season by 'Storm'

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Holy Savior Academy’s (HSA) ‘Biddy’ Cheerleading Squad, the Storm,  recently completed their 2017-2018 season with a first place win in their division at Cheerfest. Held May 12 at Six Flags Great Adventure, the annual multi-state competition featured teams from throughout New Jersey. 

“This cheer season has been such an ...

South Plainfield 10U White Travel Team Wins USA Softball NJ D2 Spring Championship

May 26, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The South Plainfield 10U White travel team didn’t let the poor weather deter them as they racked up an undefeated spring season and won the NJ D2 Spring League. The 10U Tigers won the championship back on May 20th.

Great job and congratulations to the girls and coaches. Below are the 10U White Champs:

Manager/Coaches: Sharon Davis, Mike Mazzarese, Rich ...

Road Projects - Closures

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ -  Road resurfacing continues on Joan Street between South Plainfield Avenue and Maple Avenue plus Michael Street.  Roadways are closed to local traffic only.  This information was sent via Nixle Alert.

Staying Fit at the Senior Center

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Staying fit and getting plenty of good exercise is a high priority at the South Plainfield Senior Center, located at 90 Maple Avenue in South Plainfield. Classes on health issues and a wide range of physical exercise are available almost daily.

The Walking Group meets every Friday, weather permitting, starting on May 18 and going through October. Participants meet at the ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, May 28, 9:00 AM

South Plainfield

Memorial Day Services ­Announced

Wed, May 30, 6:00 PM

South Plainfield Public Library, South Plainfield

Town-Wide Girl Scout Registration

Sat, June 2, 9:00 AM

South Plainfield

Holy Savior Academy 5K and Family Fun Walk

Health & Wellness


Diegnan & Ruiz Bill to Establish Grant Program to Develop Dual Language Immersion Programs Advances

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. and Senate Education Chair M. Teresa Ruiz to establish a grant program for school districts and charter schools to develop dual language immersion programs was released from the Senate Education Committee today.


“The best way for a student to excel in a foreign language is an immersion program,” said ...

The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2005)

            The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani, a New York Times best selling author, was recommended to me by a young woman who actually came from the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania, the place where the novel is set. “The author did such a wonderful job of describing how the town actually is,” said the young lady.


The South Plainfield Public Library will be closed this Sunday, May 27 and Monday, May 28 due to Memorial Day.  Because of the holiday, there will be no movie showing this week on Monday evening or Wednesday afternoon.  Monday Night Movies will resume the week of June 4, with a newly released selection.

This Saturday, May 26, the library is hosting a Mario Kart Tournament: Blindfold ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.


Q. When did you join

I joined in September, ...

Suburban Woman’s Club Welcomes You

The Suburban Woman’s Club of South Plainfield is welcoming new members. Enjoy creative fund raisers, interesting activities while participating on standing committees, informative monthly programs, and the camaraderie of women whose efforts enhance the community. The club meets at 1:00 PM on the first Thursday of each month, September through June, at the American ...

Press Releases

Hunterdon Polo Classic Set For June 9 in Pittstown, N.J.

May 26, 2018

PITTSTOWN, N.J. — Fieldview Farm is continuing their long tradition of raising funds and awareness for local charities with the Hunterdon Polo Classic, scheduled on Saturday, June 9.

If weather or field conditions or poor the event will be held June 10.

Located in Pittstown, N.J., directly off Route 78 at exit 15, Fieldview Farm features 150 acres of lush green pastures and farmland, ...