VOORHEES — After losing major pieces to graduation from perhaps the greatest football team in school history, any questions about Union’s productivity were answered quickly in the Farmers’ season-opener Saturday night.
One of few remaining pieces from last year’s state championship team, senior ATH Desmond Igbinosun — who verabally pledged to Rutgers in May after a breakout 2019 campaign — scored four touchdowns and Diante Wilson ran for two more as Union rolled over Eastern Regional, 39-15, Saturday. Union was originally slated to have opened against Westfield in Week 1, but the Blue Devils were forced to postpone athletic activity and cancel the game due to COVID-19 related concerns.
On the Farmers’ first drive of the season, Igbinosun, who saw his recruitment blow up on the national stage immediately following last year, took a direct snap from the Eastern 11-yard line and pushed his way past the goal line to make it 6-0 Union. The Farmers would never look back, and quickly built a 20-0 advantage in the second quarter after Wilson snapped off a 29-yard touchdown run, and Igbinosun then broke free for an 86-yard sprint.
Eastern responded with a touchdown late in the second half, but Union quickly put the game to rest with two more touchdowns in the third quarter — a 12-yard run from Wilson and then an 8-yarder from Igbinosun, also on the ground. Igbinosun, who chose Rutgers over Purdue, Temple, Boston College, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh, then capped off his night with a 12-yard off tackle touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Igbinosun (126 yards) and Wilson (121) combined for 247 rushing yards on 23 carries between the two. Wilson is also a Division I prospect, and currently holds a scholarship offer from LIU.
Saturday marked the first game of the post-Andrew Sanborn era in Union, and the Farmers’ all-time leading quarterback — now at American International — will no doubt be hard to replace. However, Shawn Smith (7-for-13 on 86 passing yards) and Jaden Stewart (2-for-2 on 23 yards) were plenty efficient and figure to facilitate the offense well this season.
Defensively, end Terrell Cannon came away with two sacks and six tackles on the night. Cannon, at 6-foot-4, 250 pounds, is one of the best defensive-end prospects in the state, and holds offers from Central Michigan, Florida International’, Kent State, and Massachusetts. Speedy defensive back Elijah White came away with a pair of interceptions and seven tackles.
Union visits Bridgewater-Raritan Friday night, as the Farmers return to the field in Somerset County in which they played perhaps their wildest game of last year’s unforgettable season.