Joe Green gets it going. The junior running back scored on touchdowns of 3 and 80 yards as he went over the 100-yard mark in the 34-7 Stateliner win in Thursday's game-condition scrimmage with Elizabeth at Maloney Stadium. He could deliver a home-run threat Phillipsburg didn't have last season. Powerful line play helped the Stateliners establish the run game.
Fast start. "We jumped on them early," Stateliner head coach Frank Duffy said. "They couldn't run get a head of steam going. It was a good day for us."
Defense does it. Outside of some breakdowns in the second half, Duffy was pleased with his defense's effort, which included a fourth-down goal-line stand. "I think we had a good team effort defensively," he said. "We swarmed to the ball, we were attacking and I didn't see too many missed assignments."
Passing up, down. Junior quarterback Jack Stagaard threw an interception on Phillipsburg's first possession but rebounded to find junior Nasir Ball and sophomore Tommy Coury for touchdowns. Ball's came on a screen pass, a play which may prove to be a large part of Stateliner success this fall.
Home sweet home. Duffy liked what he saw in most aspects of the game but acknowledged improvement will be needed. "I told the kids they should feel good about a lot of things but there's still a lot to work on," he said. "We were even in turnovers/takeaways and we want to plus on takeaways. But I think we made some nice progress and the kids were excited to play at home." That excitement should carry over as Phillipsburg plays three of its first four games at home starting with the opener Sept. 8 with Franklin.
Brad Wilson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @bradwsports. Find Lehigh Valley high school sports on Facebook.