Governor Livingston football preview – Highlanders have 2 quality signal-callers

BERKELEY HEIGHTS – If the Highlanders improve by two more victories this season like they did last year, then they might find themselves home for an opening round North 2, Group 3 playoff encounter.

Returning at quarterback for second-year head coach Dan Guyton is John Wills, who will give Governor Livingston an excellent chance of continuing the program’s expected upgrade.

“It’s great to have him back as a leader,” Guyton said. “In our (spread) offense he’s asked to block a lot and he’s a hard-nosed, outstanding blocker.

“He also has a first-class arm, pitching in the mid-80s for (baseball) Coach (Chris) Roof this past spring. He probably blocks just as well as he throws, which is huge for us.”

Wills also started at linebacker last year, but for now will focus on quarterback.

Backing him up is senior Mike Policastro, another GL baseball player.

“Mike had a great pre-season to the point where we put him in there and he drove the offense right down the field,” Guyton said. “We’re blessed to have two outstanding senior quarterbacks going into the season.”

Last year senior Pat Mahoney went down with an injury in the season-opener vs. Scotch Plains, so it’s important to have a quality backup.

GL’s other returning starters on offense include senior tackle Sean Tomlinson and senior Jimmy Longo at tight end.

“Sean is very athletic for his size, a 290-pound kid that moves very well,” Guyton said. “He’s really aggressive and likes to finish his blocks.

“Longo also competes in basketball and track. He had a great summer and is getting some big looks from 1-AA schools. Fordham has shown interest.

“Both players are outstanding leaders for us.”

GL gave up 301 points in 10 games two years ago, but last year saw that total drop to 218.

“When I got hired my job, obviously, was to improve our defense,” Guyton said. “We improved last year by giving up quite a few less points than the year before.”

Returning starters include Tomlinson at tackle, Longo at end, senior Spencer Marke at end, senior Alex Boyd at linebacker and senior Frank Barone at cornerback.

Sophomore Dan Tomlinson, Sean’s younger brother, is the other starter at tackle.

“We work on being physical, with our linebackers down hill,” Guyton said. “We want 11 athletes on defense that have a desire to get to the ball. We want to continue our improvement in this area.”

The going has been a bit smoother for Guyton this season after he was hired last June.

“We’re trying to do whatever we can to get kids out,” Guyton said. “We have 60 on JV and varsity this year.

“It was nice to have an off season. Last year was kind of quick. It was nice to have time to reflect and have a plan.

“I’m just enjoying it and savoring every moment. I want to get the program firing on all cylinders.”

The one home game GL will play at night this season with its portable lights will be the season-opener vs. Voorhees.

“With the Jewish holiday and only a couple of different choices, we decided to do it for our opener to create some excitement,” Guyton said.

 

GL’S SPREAD,

SINGLE-WING OFFENSE:

T Sean Tomlinson, senior, (6-3, 290)

G Spencer Marke, senior, (6-2, 255)

C Matt Bruno, junior, (6-3, 215)

G Jason Reinstein, senior, (6-0, 210)

T Brian Biskaduros, sophomore, (6-2, 215)

TE Jimmy Longo, senior, (6-3, 220)

QB John Wills, senior, (6-2, 195)

RB Alex Boyd, senior, (6-0, 195)

FB Sam Burke, senior, (6-0, 185)

WB Michael Rhodes, senior, (5-10, 175)

WR Jesse Giambra, senior, (6-0, 160)

PK Doug Anderson, sophomore, (5-8, 175)

Returning starters (3): Tomlinson, Longo,

 

GL’S 4-3 DEFENSE:

T Sean Tomlinson, senior, (6-3, 290)

T Dan Tomlinson, sophomore, (6-1, 270)

E Jimmy Longo, senior, (6-2, 220)

E Spencer Marke, senior, (6-2, 255)

MLB Alex Boyd, senior, (6-0, 195)

SLB Sam Burke, senior, (6-0, 185)

WLB Manoli Kanellos, junior, (5-10, 170)

CB Frank Barone, senior, (5-10, 175)

CB Jesse Giambra, senior, (6-0, 160)

SS Michael Rhodes, senior, (5-10, 175)

FS Anthony Wong, junior, (5-8, 170)

P Andrew Zecca, senior, (6-2, 190)

Returning starters (5): Sean Tomlinson,

Longo, Marke, Boyd, Barone.

 

GOV. LIVINGSTON HIGHLANDERS

Head Coach: Dan Guyton, since 2013.

A 1998 Gov. Livingston graduate.

Second season: 4-6 (.400)

Conference: Mid-State 38

Division: Mountain

Section: North 2, Group 3

GL’s last playoff season: 2013

2013: (4-6 and 2-3, fourth in Mountain Division)

GL’s Frey Field: Field Turf.

Guyton was previously an assistant coach at GL

for seven seasons, including his last in 2008 when

the Highlanders reached the N2, G2 final. He then

served as an assistant coach at Johnson before landing

his first job as a head coach last year with GL.

 

GL HIGHLANDERS 2014

Sept. 12 Voorhees, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 Summit, 1 p.m.

Sept. 26 at North Plainfield, 7 p.m.

Oct. 3 Johnson, 3 p.m.

Oct. 10 at Somerville, 7 p.m.

Oct. 17 at Warren Hills, 7 p.m.

Nov. 1 Cranford, 1 p.m.

Nov. 8 at Rahway, 2 p.m.

Nov. 27 at New Providence, 10:30 a.m.

Head coach: Dan Guyton,

second season

 

2013 HIGHLANDERS (4-6)

(H) Scotch Plains 20, Gov. Livingston 14

(A) Voorhees 31, Gov. Livingston 14

(H) Gov. Livingston 32, Warren Hills 13

(H) Rahway 35, Gov. Livingston 0

(A) Gov. Livingston 49, Hillside 14

(A) Gov. Livingston 24, Johnson 14

(H) North Plainfield 22, Gov. Livingston 19

(A) Gov. Livingston 35, Bernards 13

(A) Summit 34, Gov. Livingston 14

(H) New Providence 22, Gov. Livingston 18

Head coach: Dan Guyton,

first season

Section: North 2, Group 3

Conference: Mid-State 38

Division: Mountain 2-3, fourth

Record: 4-6

Home: 1-4

Away: 3-2

Points for: 219

Points against: 218

Shutouts: 0

Overtime: 0-0

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