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Phillipsburg football avenges loss from last season in home win over Bridgewater-Raritan



Phillipsburg 28, Bridgewater-Raritan 13 -- Rapid Recap

Last season, the Phillipsburg High School football team’s offense never got going in a frustrating 17-7 loss to Bridgewater-Raritan.

Facing the same opponent at Maloney stadium on Friday night, the Stateliners overcame a slow start to remain undefeated with a 28-13 victory in a Big Central Conference American Silver Division matchup.

Turning point: The Panthers scored for the first time since their opening drive with 26 seconds left in the third quarter.

Three plays after being stopped two yards short of the goal line on offense, Bridgewater-Raritan senior Antione Hinton scooped up a fumble by Phillipsburg junior Caleb Rivera and it took it 10 yards the other way for a touchdown. Junior Cameron Bohal blocked the ensuing PAT to keep the Stateliners ahead 21-13.

Phillipsburg moved 54 yards in 12 plays on its next possession, chewing up more than six minutes of game time in the process, but turned the ball over on downs at the Panthers’ 21 halfway through the third quarter.

Bridgewater-Raritan went three-and-out on its next drive and the Stateliners took over at their own 42 with 5:06 remaining after a 20-yard punt by Bridgewater-Raritan senior Samuel Valeira.

Phillipsburg gained 39 yards on seven straight run plays before senior running back Xavier Moore punched in a three-yard touchdown. Luke Brogan’s fourth PAT of the night gave the Stateliners a 28-13 lead with 1:09 left.

Top performers: Phillipsburg sophomore Jett Genovese completed 9 of 15 passes for 127 yards and ran for a 25-yard touchdown that put the Stateliners ahead 14-7 with 1:37 left in the first half. Sophomore Matthew Scerbo Jr. had 47 receiving yards on two catches and junior Kevin Burgess had two catches for 23 yards.

On the Panthers’ first drive of the second half, Bohal blocked Valeira’s punt and Scerbo Jr. returned it 18 yards for a touchdown that put Phillipsburg up 21-7 2:03 into the third quarter

Junior John Wargo needed just five carries to rush for 55 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown that tied the game at 7-7 early in the second quarter. Wargo made two catches for 18 yards and finished with five tackles and a sack on defense.

Senior Liam Slack paced the Stateliners with seven tackles while fellow-seniors Connor Hille and Hunter Cleaver each recorded six tackles and one sack.

What it means: Phillipsburg (6-0) will now prepare for its final regular season home game against Union (2-4).

Bridgewater-Raritan (2-5) will look to bounce back when it travels to Elizabeth (2-4).

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Desmond Boyle may be reached at dboyle@lehighvalleylive.com.

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