The Patriot Press

Wayne Hills Captures The North Group 4 Championship

Charles Njoku scores a touchdown for the Patriots.

Charles Njoku scores a touchdown for the Patriots.

By Sports Editor

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The WHHS Patriots captured the North Group 4 championship on Friday, November 30, at Metlife Stadium.  The Patriots defeated the Phillipsburg Stateliners by a score of 35-21 to cap off a tremendous 11-2 season.

The Patriots did not start off particularly hot in this game but had enough firepower to get the job done.  Phillipsburg started off with a 7-0 lead before Jaaron Hayek took the ball 65 yards to the house off of a wildcat run to even the score at 7.  Phillipsburg took a kickoff return that looked like it might be downed inside their own 10 all the way down to the Patriots’ 30 yardline. Liners’ quarterback Jack Stagaard then threw a ball that bounced off a Patriot defender and was tipped up in the air multiple times before being caught by defensive end Gabe Dellechiaie of the Patriots.  Would they capture the momentum?
WHHS would then drive down the field to set up a great catch from Charles Njoku off of a good throw from Tom Sharkey to put the Patriots up 14-7 at the end of the 1st.  Phillipsburg answered and tied the game up before a disastrous moment occurred on the ensuing kickoff.

The Patriots could not get control of a pooch kick from Phillipsburg and the Stateliners recovered the ball with great field position.  Phillipsburg went into the half with a 21-14 lead. The Patriots had been a second half team all year, however, and remained positive and relentless in the second half.

On the Patriots first drive off the second half, Tom Sharkey would throw another deep pass to Charles Njoku and the game was tied up at 21.  The game was deadlocked heading into the fourth quarter, until the Patriots asserted their dominance.

Early in the fourth quarter, Tom Sharkey threw a ball to Charles Njoku off of a curl route and Njoku knew exactly what to do with it.  Njoku cut inside then spun to the outside, sending the defender sprawling to the turf, and he used his speed to take it to the house and put WHHS up 28-21.  Adam Abida capped the night off with a 25 yard touchdown run to put WHHS up 35-21 and the Patriots won the game.

This team was certainly one of the most talented public schools in the entire state and this result just capped off an outstanding season.  The players were all close with one another and the win in the Group 4 Bowl game showed the toughness of this team.

“It was awesome.  It felt like I was playing in a professional football game.  It will definitely be one of the best memories of my life,” said senior defensive end and fullback Lundrim Nasufi.

“It was an amazing win against a great program.  Just winning on that stage at such a huge professional venue like that tops it off.  It was an unforgettable experience.” said junior running back and defensive end Michael Joyce.

The seniors of this team should be proud of their accomplishments over the past 4 years and there could not have been a better way to end their season.  The Patriots are the North Group 4 champions!

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Wayne Hills Captures The North Group 4 Championship