Here’s a football recap of the 2011 New Jersey High School State championship. I’ve included observations and opinions on this memorable game.
First, a little bit about the Piscataway, New Jersey football-
Piscataway, New Jersey football is a high school football powerhouse and it all starts with their youth football program. They keep youth sports free for all residents of the township which allows them to have a large number of kids interested. This ‘free for all’ concept keeps the kids in the community physically fit and steers them away from trouble. Piscataway High School also works with their youth football program closely. That’s a major reason why they’re perennial winners.
And now to the game..
Elizabeth Minutemen- 38
Piscataway High School (Defending 2010 Champions) played against Elizabeth High School for the New Jersey Group 4 football championship. Both of these squads were well coached and very explosive offensively (as evidenced by the final score). Although the defenses struggled at times, these two teams are the best of the best as far as New Jersey high school football goes. This football game was electric from the first second to the last second.
Piscataway’s Offense- I Formation, Full House set, and a little bit of Spread.
Piscataway’s Defense- 4-3 base- they were in a nickel defense most of the game because of Elizabeth’s spread offense.
Elizabeth’s Offense- Spread (Primary), Wing t, and I formation.
Elizabeth’s Defense- 43 base- they went into a 52 defense in the second half.
Elizabeth’s Minute Men come out guns blazing. They received the ball to start the game; they drove the whole field and scored. They set the tone for how this game was going to be played. They drove the field with a combination of passing routes- slant/ arrows to the trips side with great success. They also ran a great smash route concept. Elizabeth’s offense attacked Piscataway’s zone coverage with a hitch and corner combination. They ran a 6 yard smash pattern and the inside receiver ran a corner route. The backside tight-end ran a post pattern to hold the safety that was playing in the middle 3rd in their cover 3 zone coverage. Elizabeth moved the ball pretty well the whole game, their quarterback played unbelievable for most of the game. He made things happen with his feet from the shogun. This kid throws a nice ball; he is a straight up football player. They also ran Jet Sweep with much success, executed to perfection. Their QB Trap also worked well because of their success with Jet Sweep.
The Minutemen showed great resilience. There was a point late in the 3rd quarter where they were down by 14 points. They did not panic, they played their game. A stout defense emerged and got a few key stops, allowing their explosive offense to get them back into the game. A main reason why Elizabeth lost was because they lost the line of scrimmage. They had no answer for the Chief’s running game.
The Chief’s offense was equally explosive. They moved the ball pretty consistently throughout the game. They really pounded the ball. They ran weak and strong Iso all game long. Piscataway High School’s offensive linemen really got off the football and got a push. The Chief’s running backs ran the football with great speed and attitude. They refused to get tackled on first contact, racking up a lot yards after first contact. Their starting running back is a beast, really strong running the football. The Chiefs also had success with their counter game. They were having so much success with the inside isolation plays the counters really worked well. Their run play set up their play action passing game as well, utilizing a group of talented wide receivers.
Elizabeth ended up tying the game with 3 minutes left. They held Piscataway to a 3 and out. They got the ball back with about 1 minute left in the game with timeouts in hand. The Piscataway Chiefs intercepted the ball with 1 minute left, returning it to the Elizabeth 20 yard line. Piscataway then went to their bread and butter and pounded into the end-zone with 30 seconds left. This ended up being the winning score.
Special teams was also a key factor in the Chief’s victory. They blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown. The blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown in the second quarter ended up being the difference in the game.
Both teams played their hearts out, with great emotion. This was one of the most exciting football games I have ever attended (and I go to many games).
Here’s some highlight film of the battle.