July 21, 1994The News Tribune Snapple Bowl at Union H.S.
Khamisi Jackson of Monroe, the inaugural game’s MVP, carried 5 times for 51 yards and scored a touchdown to lead Middlesex to a 35-14 victory. Nearly 4000 fans attend this first summertime classic.
July 20, 1995 The New Tribune Snapple Bowl II at Sayreville H.S.
Rich Dwyer’s 27-yard field goal with 1:54 left lifts Union by Middlesex 17-15. Summit’s Jaime Allen caught 6 passes for 104 yards and was named the game’s MVP. Antwan Dance of Roselle preserved the victory with an interception at the Union 5-yard line with 35 seconds remaining.
July 18, 1996 The Home News & Tribune Snapple Bowl III at Union H.S.
Middlesex “D” registers six sacks and causes four turnovers to win 21-6. Kenny Rogers of South Brunswick rushed for 132 yards with a 75-yard MVP touchdown that gave Middlesex a 14-6 lead in the second quarter. Donald Peteet of Old Bridge capped the scoring with a 10-yard fumble return.
July 17, 1997 The Home News & Tribune Snapple Bowl IV at East Brunswick H.S.
Rahway’s Louis Campbell runs and passes Union past Middlesex. The game MVP rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown while throwing a 26-yard TD to Tobias Daniels of Elizabeth and a 6-yard strike to Dayton’s Mike Chonko.
July 16, 1998 The First Union Snapple Bowl V at Union H.S.
Dunellen’s Luke Ciannello and Woodbridge’s Kiheme Cowan ensure that the visiting team continues its dominance in the Snapple Bowl series. Ciannello, the game’s MVP, rushed for a touchdown and completed 8 of 12 passes with one touchdown as Middlesex dominates 33-7.
July 15, 1999 The First Union Snapple Bowl VI at East Brunswick H.S.
Middlesex becomes the first county to win on its home field as they dominate 24-7. East Brunswick’s Ryan Cosentino led thewell as 24 yards rushing. It was a 4th down touchdown pass to the game’s MVP, Jeff LeSeur of Perth Amboy, which ignited the home team on its initial drive. J.P. Steven’s Shaquan Lane intercepted a Union pass for a 60-yard touchdown in the 3rd quarter putting the Middlesex squad in command the rest of the game.
July 20, 2000 Snapple Bowl VII at Union H.S.
Elizabeth’s Bill Gilbert proved to be prophetic as he scored three touchdowns to lead the Union County all-stars to victory in the final rally from a two-touchdown deficit in what looked like it would be the first overtime contest in the 7-year series between the two counties.
July 19, 2001 Snapple Bowl VIII at East Brunswick H.S.
In one of the wildest finishes in the series short history, Linden’s Brandon Bracey scooped up a botched field goal attempt and raced 70 yards for a touchdown with 10 seconds remaining and Union’s Steve Andriola kicked the decisive extra point, giving Union County a dramatic 17-16 victory before a standing-room only crowd in East Brunswick. Bracey was named MVP for his heroics.
July 18, 2002 Snapple Bowl IX at Kean University
Playing for the first time on a college campus and an astro-turf field, Middlesex County ended a two-game losing streak with a 28 –20 victory. South River’s Zack Earvin rushed for 110 yds. and two touchdowns earning MVP honors. Earvin along with Ram teammates Kevin Cole and Mike Feaster, accounted for 20 of Middlesex’s 28 points. Middlesex leads theseries 5-4.
July 17, 2003 Snapple Bowl X at East Brunswick H.S.
Union County defense records the first shutout in Snapple Bowl history. Union held Middlesex to 171 yards in total offense while posting a 13-0 blanking of the home team. A.L. Johnson's Mike Vicci, the Snapple Bowl MVP, did just enough to lead his Union County temmates to victory. An 80 yard TD toss to Plainfield's Dana Reves and a perfectly pitched option flip to Elizabeth's Malcolm Jackson was all they needed to tie the series at 5-5.
July 15, 2004 Snapple Bowl XI at East Brunswick H.S.
Union County took a 6-5 lead in the series as the game was hosted in Middlesex County for the 2nd consecutive year. Renovations at Kean University were not complete, thus the Union County All-Stars decided to make East Brunswick their home with a 19-7 victory. Westfield's Jan Cocozziello was the game's MVP as he led the Silver & Black on several impressive drives. A 7 yard scoring pass and a key 4th down completion to New Providence's Aaron Grossman was all Union needed to secure their second straight victory.
July 21, 2005 Snapple Bowl XII at Kean University
Union County wins 3rd consecutive game 21-14 as the All-Stars surpass $160,000.00 in donations to the Lakeview School for Cerebral Palsy and Children's Specialized Hospital. Plainfield's Jamal Elder's brilliant 39 yard scoring grab snapped a 14-14 tie with just over six minutes left in the 3rd quarter, and capped a 77 yard, nine-play drive. Cranford's Chris Dreschel was named Snapple Bowl XII's MVP.
July 20, 2006 Snapple Bowl XIII at South Brunswick H.S.
With the score tied 7-7, Union looked poised to drive for the winning field goal with less than 3 minutes left in the game. But as it had for most of the game, the Middlesex defense stepped up and made the big play - this time a clutch interception by Carteret's Chris Lakatos on the Union 31-yard line. With Colonia graduate Louis Pietrangelo at the helm, Middlesex swiftly marched down the field to score the game-winning touchdown - a 1-yard QB keeper by Pietrangelo - and win the game 13-7. The Middlesex defense was led by MVP Herbert Nieves, of Sayreville, (four tackles for a loss and two sacks). A record $28,000.00 was raised for our charities!
July 19, 2007 Snapple Bowl XIV at Kean University
Series evened 7-7 as Middlesex wins 17-10. Middlesex took the early lead on a 25 yard field goal by North Brunswick's Mark Petrone.Union rallied with an 11-play 71 yard drive in the second quarter on a 20 yard run by Chris D'Andrea. Monroe's Ryan Cushman completed 5 of 7 passes for 57 yards and a beautifully thrown post pattern to fellow Monroe teammate TJ Denehy for a 9-7 third quarter lead. Union re-gained the lead on a 37 yard field goal. Once again, Cushman led the charge to pay dirt by hitting MVP Airiel Adams on a key 15 yard pass which led to a 1 yard plunge by Sayreville QB Mark Margres and Cushman's 2 point conversion to Metuchen's Joe DiMeglio.
July 17, 2008 Snapple Bowl XV at East Brunswick H.S.
On a night dominated by the defenses, one incredible offensive play made the difference in Snapple Bowl XV. Facing a third-and-27 on his own 2-yard-line late in the fourth quarter, Carteret quarterback Al Tampa connected with Edison wideout Josh Williams on an 85-yard pass play, setting up a 2-yard touchdown run by Monroe's Ryan Meseroll that lifted the Middlesex County All-Stars to a 14-7 win over Union County. Piscataway’s James White was named MVP as Middlesex now holds an 8-7 lead in the series.
July 16, 2009 Snapple Bowl XVI at Kean University
It was a record setting night for the Snapple Bowl, as it raised a record $40,000 for Childrens Specialized Hospital and the Lakeview School for Cerebral Palsy. To top that off, Middlesex celebrated its 4th consecutive victory over Union County winning 24-6. A game dominated early by defense, Michael Burton of South Plainfield was named the game's 16th MVP.
July 15, 2010 Snapple Bowl XVI at East Brunswick H.S.
With so much offensive firepower on display in Snapple Bowl XVII, the game lived up to its billing.A shootout unfolded between gunslinging quarterbacks Mike Muha of South Brunswick and Trell Myers of Linden in the annual battle between neighboring counties, which Middlesex won 28-14. Muha, who completed 14 of 19 passes for 173 yards, was named the game's Most Valuable Player. This was the 2nd consecutive year that the Snapple Bowl broke a record raising $42,000 for its charities!
July 21, 2011 Snapple Bowl XVIII at Kean University
Under game-time temperatures that climbed to the upper 90s, Union County’s Snapple Bowl drought finally came to an end. New Providence running back Vinny Fuschetto scored two touchdowns and Union’s defense forced three turnovers as Union topped Middlesex, 28-6. The win ended a five-game losing streak for Union, which last won in 2005, 21-14. Roselle’s Darius Mayers, a 5-11, 190-pound running back, earned the game’s Most Valuable Player award after rushing for 126 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.
July 19, 2012 Snapple Bowl XIX at East Brunswick H.S.
Perth Amboy Quarterback Faustino Saucedo led Middlesex County with three consecutive second-quarter scoring drives as they defeated Union County 39-15. Cody Zalasar of Woodbridge iced the game with a 43-yard touchdown run with 5:17 remaining in the 4th quarter. His second score of the night garnered him Snapple Bowl XIX MVP honors. Running back Chris Kania of East Brunswick, a developmentally disabled student-athlete, capped the Middlesex scoring on a 52-yard run as time expired. The event broke a single-game fundraising effort with $47,000 donated to its charities.
July 18, 2013 Snapple Bowl XX at Kean University.
Due to his diminutive frame, major college football programs overlooked Abdel Ragab, a recent Edison High School graduate. The 5-foot-10 defensive end played bigger than his size, registering three sacks, including a safety, and also recovered a fumble in the Middlesex County All-Star team’s thrilling 30-28 victory over Union County in MyCentralJersey.com Snapple Bowl XX.“It’s a great feeling to go out there and do your job and help your team win,” said Ragab, who was named the game’s Most Valuable Player. “That (the fumble recovery) was a huge turning point in the game.”
July 17, 2014 Snapple Bowl XXI at Sayreville H.S.
In a game filled with countless huge plays, Matt Olivo of St. Joseph turned in the biggest, breaking off a 57-yard touchdown run with less than four minutes remaining to lift the Middlesex County All-Stars to a dramatic 34-20 comeback victory over Union County in Snapple Bowl XXI before an overflow crowd at Sayreville War Memorial Stadium. Olivo, who rushed for 127 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries, was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Middlesex leads the series 13-8 and has won eight of the last nine meetings.
July 16, 2015 Snapple Bowl XXII at Kean University’s Alumni Stadium
NION (Union) – As the smallest player on the field, Spotswood High School’s Chase Fee made the biggest impact in the early going of Snapple Bowl XXII at Kean University’s Alumni Stadium on Thursday night.
The 5-foot-8 running back scored on two of his first three carries, staking Middlesex County to an early lead that it would not relinquish en route to an impressive 33-13 victory over Union County before an estimated crowd of more than 3,000 spectators.
All proceeds from the charity all-star game between recently graduated seniors, which has raised more than $485,000 since its inception in 1994, benefit Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside and the Edison-based Lakeview School, a program of the New Jersey Institute for Disabilities.
Javon Hicks (17) of St. Joseph celebrates with Middlesex teammates after scoring late in the second quarter during Snapple Bowl XXII, Thursday, July 16, 2015, at Kean University in Union, NJ. Jason Towlen/Staff Photographer
Middlesex County, which has won the last four meetings and nine of the last 10, leads the series 14-8.
Fee, who carried nine times for 71 yards, was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, while another performer from the Greater Middlesex Conference Blue Division, Kayshawn Wilson of Middlesex High School, starred on defense.
Wilson intercepted two passes – including one on Union County’s final possession to thwart a potential scoring drive – and also recorded a sack.
“A lot of times the small schools don’t get a lot of respect,” Wilson said. “A lot of times all the big teams look down on us, but we play with a lot of heart and try to show it on the field.”
After Union County closed a 14-point deficit to eight points early in the third quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run from Jayson Gonzalez of Roselle Park, which Kevin Trotter of Cranford set up with an interception, Middlesex County reeled off 12 unanswered points to produce the final margin.
Ed Mish of Old Bridge converted a 27-yard field goal for a 24-13 lead with 2:56 remaining in the third quarter and Union County fumbled a punt out of the end zone for a safety with 12:47 remaining in the game, enabling Middlesex County to extend its lead to 26-13.
Quarterback Tenny Adewusi of Colonia closed out the scoring, capping a 65-yard drive with a 2-yard keeper with 6:58 left in the fourth quarter.
Union County was outgained 294-215 in total yards from scrimmage and committed three turnovers, one of which Middlesex County converted into a touchdown.
Fee broke off a 5-yard touchdown run on Middlesex County’s first possession and scored on a 14-yard jaunt early in the second quarter to give his team a 13-0 lead. Kyle Dickerson of South Plainfield set up the latter with a fumble recovery at the Union County 17 yard line.
Union County, which countered the opposition’s no-huddle spread offense with a methodical pro-style attack, closed the deficit to 13-7 with just over two minutes left in the opening half when Kyle Phipps of Linden capped a nine-play, 53-yard drive with a 1-yard scoring plunge. Phipps carried five times on the march for 22 yards.
Middlesex County responded with a back-breaking touchdown of its own in the closing seconds of the opening half when quarterback Mike Gargano of Old Bridge, who was flushed from the pocket, scrambled to his left and threw on the run across his body, completing a 30-yard scoring strike to Javon Hicks of St. Joseph, who found a seam just in front of the end zone.
“I knew he was rolling to the backside so I just rolled with him and went deeper where there was no one (in coverage),” explained Hicks of Middlesex County taking a 21-7 lead thanks to Joe Castellanos of North Brunswick catching a two-point conversion pass from Gargano. “I put my hand up and he threw it. That put us up by two scores and gave us crazy momentum after it took Union County all of the first half to basically score.”
Gargano, who also rushed five times for 24 yards in the game, said he simply saw an opening and made a cut.
“My receiver had his hand up,” Gargano said, “and was open down the field so I just trusted him and I hit him deep.”
Middlesex County, which did not complete a pass in the second half, finished with more than 240 yards on the ground. Fee was quick to credit his offensive line.
“They did it all,” he said. “They opened up a huge hole, especially on (Fee’s second touchdown run). I was able to get around the outside after busting through the hole. On the first touchdown, there was a humungous hole right up the middle. They (offensive linemen) did all the hard work.”
Chase Fee of Spotswood, right, celebrates with MiddlesexBuy Photo
Chase Fee of Spotswood, right, celebrates with Middlesex County teammates Mike Quinn and Anthony Nystrom (50) after scoring during the second quarter. (Photo: Jason Towlen/Staff Photographer)
Of himself and Wilson representing the Greater Middlesex Conference’s smaller schools division, Fee said, “There’s a tremendous amount of talent here, especially from the Blue Division. I met a lot of good kids (on the Middlesex County team). It doesn’t matter if you’re from the Red, White or Blue. We’ve got the best kids in the county here and we are all going to (perform).”
Adewusi, who missed the first few days of practice last week because he was at the University of Delaware, where he will play cornerback in the fall, got off to a slow start but ended up as Middlesex County’s leading rusher with 72 yards on 15 carries.
“I just kept my head together and kept my confidence up,” said Adewsui, whose fourth-quarter touchdown run put the game out of reach.
Colonia head coach Tom Roarty, who volunteered on the Middlesex County staff, summed up the night best.
“It (was) a great night with a great crowd,” he said. “Everybody (was) into the game.”