DeMild sparks Sayreville to final, stopping Middletown South in high school footballby WoodbridgeFootball.com / MyCentralJersey.com / NJ.com on 11/19/16
MIDDLETOWN - Many doubted Sayreville could bounce back so quickly after most of its 2014 season was canceled in the wake of a hazing scandal.
However, Sayreville senior quarterback Jayson DeMild, his teammates and the Sayreville coaching staff were not among the doubters..
"I knew we were going to come back. We were destined for this,'' DeMild said.
Sayreville, which won sectional championship three-straight seasons from 2010-2012 and has won four sectional championships in all, will play for the NJSIAA North II Group IV championship in two weeks against Middletown North after it outlasted defending North II Group IV champion Middletown South. 42-28, Friday night at "The Swamp.''
"This is honestly the closest team I've ever been a part of,'' DeMild said. "We have so much chemistry.' We will do anything for each other.'''
The Bombers (9-2) have talent, skill, size, athleticism on both sides of the ball. They also have a tremendous amount of poise. Each time, Middletown South (7-3) scored, Sayreville immediately retaliated with a score of its own
But, most of all, Sayreville has DeMild, a quarterback with immense of ability and heart. DeMild threw for 345 yards and four TDs and also ran for a TD.
"I've been saying from Day 1, we don't get go anywhere in this offense (Sayreville runs the no-huddle out of the spread) without a tremendous field general at that position,'' said Sayreville coach Chris Beagan, who is in his second season as Sayreville's head coach, but coached Monroe to the 2009 Central Group III championship with a win over Middletown South. "He does a tremendous job of being a leader on and off the field.''
DeMild's poise and arm strength were exemplified by the play he made on a second and 13 from the Sayreville 15 with less than seven minutes left and the score tied 28-28. He stepped up in the pocket to avoid the rush and then fired a bullet over the middle and beyond the safety. He hit sophomore receiver Jacari Carter in stride and Carter (seven receptions for 182 yards and two TDs) raced the rest of the way untoched for an 85-yard TD that gave Sayreville the lead for good at 35-28 with 6:36 left.
"He's done it all for us all year long,'' Beagan said. "It hasn't always been easy. He's been pressured. He's had to stand in the pocket. He's taken some hits.''
"Their quarterback made some great plays. He showed a lot of poise and showed off an explosive arm,'' Middletown South coach Steve Antonucci said.
Middletown South moved to the Sayreville 43 on its ensuing possession before a Carter interception on a second-and-10 ended the drive. The Eagles used their two remaining timeouts and had Sayreville in a third-and-3 at its own 33 before senior running back Michael Liberti spun away from a tackle and raced 65 yards to the Eagles' 2. Senior running back Ja'Quae Roberts bulldozed in on the next play to put the game away with 3:07 remaining.
"This (Sayreville) is a team that was hungry coming in here,'' Antonucci said. "With all the things they've gone through, to get here (Friday) and get this opportunity, I told our kids during the week, 'This is not some average team coming in here. This is a team that has the hunger and they're starving to get back to a game like this. They're going to come in here and give their best effort'. They sure did.''
Middletown South had tied the game 28-28 with 7:27 left on a beautifully-executed 32-yard Aneesh Agrawal (163 yards passing and three TD passes) to Anthony Summey (114 yards rushing and a TD and 32 yards receiving and a TD) screen pass on a second-and-8.Sayreville had taken a 28-21 lead on an 8-yard DeMild to Jahsim Floyd TD pass on a fade pattern on second-and-goal and ensuing Mark Whitford to Andrew Wille 2-point conversion pass with 10:21 left. The TD came eight plays after Wille ran for 11 yards on a fourth-and-3 fake punt from the Sayreville 43 that Beagan said was ad-libbed after the original play call was supposed to be a pass to the backside.
A 14-yard Agrawal to Samson Dube TD pass on a bubble screen and Christopher Kaldrovics extra point gave Middletown South a 21-20 lead with 4:08 left in the third quarter. That was Middletown South's only lead of the night.
Sayreville led 14-7 at the half on a DeMild to Carter 33-yard TD pass and a DeMild 1-yard dive with 17.6 seconds left in the first half. DeMild's TD cam e after Middletown South had tied the game 7-7 on a Summey 6-yard run with 4:17 left in the half.
An Agrawal to Jake Krellin 32-yard TD pass tied it 14-14. Sayeville regained the lead 20-14 on a 36-yard DeMild to Floyd TD pass.
Key play: DeMild's 85-yard TD pass to Carter on a second-and-13 gave Sayreville the lead for good at 35-28 with 6:36 left.
Offensive game ball: DeMild, who threw for 345 yards and four TDs and ran for a TD.
Defensive game ball: Behr Tristan, who had consecutive sacks on the game's first series after Agrawal ran for 53 yards to the Sayreville 15 on the first play of the game.
Up next: Sayreville will meet Middletown North (8-2) in two weeks in the North II Group IV championship game. Middletown South will be at Middletown North on Thanksgiving Day in a game in which it can clinch the outright Class B North championship with a win.
Steven Falk: 732-643-4267; firstname.lastname@example.org