Phillipsburg 49, Franklin 0
Mid-State 38 Delaware Division football -- Rapid Recap
Phillipsburg spread the wealth around Friday night in a resounding rout of an overmatched Warrior team in front of a delighted Youth Night crowd at Maloney Stadium.
In front of dozens of potential future footballers from the district’s youth programs, half a dozen Stateliners found the end zone as Phillipsburg, ranked No. 5 in the region by lehighvalleylive, improved to 2-0 on the season, 1-0 in the division. Franklin fell in its season-opener.
“We didn’t take our foot of the pedal tonight,” said senior lineman Ryan Fisher, and he was absolutely right about that. Phillipsburg scored on three of its first seven plays, led 35-0 at the half, and made it 42-0 15 seconds into the second half on a 90-yard kickoff return by senior Nasir Ball.
The entire second half was played with a running clock, which kept the carnage down some.
Stateliner senior quarterback Jack Stagaard completed 10 of 16 passes for 221 yards and three touchdowns of 51 yards to Ball, 25 to junior Isaiah Craighead and 28 to junior Ray Poremba. Poremba was later injured and was taken to the hospital with an undisclosed injury.
Sophomore tailback Matt Quetel also ran for a touchdown, as did junior h-back Bobby Coury. The Stateliner second unit chipped in with a 10-yard TD pass from senior Ray Stem to senior Joseph Kowalczyk.
Phillipsburg head coach Frank Duffy, while regretting some missed opportunities, took pleasure in the manner of the triumph.
“I was impressed by our energy and our execution,” he said. “I was very proud of the job our second unit did.”
Defensively the Stateliners held Franklin to 26 yards and one first down in the first half (just 80 yards overall; P'burg outgained the visitors 462-80 overall) and never gave the Warriors a chance to gain the slightest foothold offensively.
Craighead, who, like Coury, scored his first varsity touchdown while excelling on defense, said the game showed what Phillipsburg can do.
“A win like this shows we’re focused and we’re on top of everything,” the junior h-back/linebacker said. “It shows we’re playing at 100 miles an hour, with urgency.”
Top performer: Ball caught a 51-yard touchdown pass and ran a klckoff back 90 yards for a score. He was one of many candidates for this honor. Kudos to a defensive line that was impenetrable, too.
Turning point: The opening whistle? When the game was scheduled? Junior Bobby Coury’s 62-yard touchdown through the massive hole in the center of the Warrior defense on Phillipsburg’s second play from scrimmage put the Stateliners ahead and there was little doubt from there. “The line just opened it up for me and all I had to was run,” Coury said. The only question was when the running clock would be reached, not if.
What it means: Franklin is not a very good football team. Phillipsburg did what it needed to to roll over an overmatched foe, but the Stateliners will not be pleased with a running game that, at least in the first half, did not dominate. But Stagaard looked magnificent, his receivers sure-handed and able to separate, the Stateliner defense was smothering and their special teams were really terrific. Perhaps next week at old rivals Hunterdon Central will provide a sterner test for Phillipsburg.
Brad Wilson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @bradwsports. Find Lehigh Valley high school sports on Facebook.