WESTFIELD, NJ — It was only two minutes into the second quarter and the game was already essentially over in the Westfield Blue Devil’s convincing 44-14 semi-final win over the Union Farmers.
In a time span of less than a minute, the Blue Devils built up a 14-0 lead after a 69-yard touchdown strike from Zach Kelly to Jelani Pierre was followed by a Jacob Kurstedt fumble recovery and a subsequent 3-yard rushing touchdown by Jack Curry.
Then, after a 19-yard touchdown reception by JD Marner and a 59-yard rushing touchdown by Curry (which was followed by a blocked extra point), it was Kurstedt again, this time scoring on a pick 6 to put Westfield up 34-0 with 10:18 left in the second quarter.
“I was able to make some pretty big plays to give my team some momentum and that’s all I wanted to do today,” Kurstedt said. “I’m a senior, so I wanted to step up and make some plays.”
“He played awesome today,” Westfield head coach Jim DeSarno said. “We saw stuff in film that he was able to take advantage of and it was just a lot of preparation that lead to [his performance].”
And so the undefeated season for Westfield continues. The Blue Devils (the #2 seed) will now move on to play Bridgewater-Raritan (the #1 seed) in the Section 2, Group 5 Championship on Dec. 3 at 8 p.m.
“Words can’t even explain how happy I am, but we have to take care of business,” Kelly said. “All of my teammates made it easy for me today: Jack, Jelani, JD and my offensive line especially, they played unbelievable.”
“It’s absolutely exciting, I feel great. We played a really good team,” DeSarno said. “But Bridgewater’s an excellent team. They’re undefeated, so we’ll have our work cut out for us, but I’m just happy for our kids right now.”
“We feel great, we feel like we have a lot of momentum and we can’t wait to beat Bridgewater,” Kurstedt said.
There is certainly some rivalry between Bridgewater-Raritan and Westfield after Westfield upset them in the playoffs last season.
“We’ve had our eye on them all year,” Kelly said. “They’ve been ranked higher than us in the state and we don’t think that’s right, especially after we beat them in the playoffs last year, so we just have to go out and prove again that we’re better than them.”
Eric Storms is a student at Westfield High School participating in a journalism program with TAP into Westfield.