Roselle football preview: Rams ready to show that they have ability to excel again

PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - Roselle is sparked by returning senior wide receiver Rashad Pendleton.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – Roselle is sparked by returning senior wide receiver Rashad Pendleton.

ROSELLE – What a breakout year it was for the Rams last season, beginning with a win over neighborhood rival Rahway for the first time since 2001.
Then the following was achieved:
* Roselle won its first playoff game and reached a sectional semifinal both for the first time since 1998.
* The Rams won their first playoff game at home since 1998.
* Roselle was also a top playoff seed for the first time and also hosted two playoff games for the first time.
* In addition, the Rams won their first division title of any kind in a long time and first division crown within the Mid-State 38 Conference, capturing the Mountain Division championship with a perfect 5-0 league mark.
Returning quarterback Gerald Hairston III, a 6-3, 230-pound junior, beat a 7-0 Bernards team at Roselle’s Arminio Field by scoring the game-winning touchdown with 11 seconds remaining, lifting the Rams to the Mountain Division title and the top seed in Central Jersey, Group 2.
Hairston had a sensational sophomore season and looks to lead the Rams to plenty of more big wins in 2015.
“We return our starting quarterback, a couple of dynamite receivers and a couple of real run-stopper and penetrators on the edges on defense,” third-year head coach James Williams said.
Behind Hairston leading Roselle’s multiple offense, the Rams scored 287 points in 11 games last year, which was fifth best among all 17 Union County teams.
“Our kids are determined to be better football players each and every day and their hard work is paying off,” Williams said.
In the Bernards victory, Hairston completed 17 of 29 passes for 258 yards, a TD and an interception.
His favorite receiver is rising senior Rashad Pendleton (6-1, 190), who runs a 4.5 in the 40 and doubles as a very capable cornerback on defense. Pendleton had 10 receptions and one for a TD in that important win over Bernards last fall.
The two studs on the edges at defensive end are veteran linemen Eddie Accinot, a 6-0, 250-pound senior; and Shaquil Jones, a 6-2, 225-pound junior. They double on offense at left guard and left tackle, respectively.
“Accinot and Jones are powerful, persistent and very important to what we do on both sides of the line,” Williams said. “I love having big and athletic linemen and those two guys are capable of having outstanding seasons for us.”
The biggest loss to graduation is 2015 North-South All-Star player Darryn Canady, who is now playing at Lackawanna Junior College.
“We will miss Darryn, no doubt,” Williams said.
Roselle came oh so close to advancing to its first state championship game last year since 1990 before falling at home to Delaware Valley 28-12 in a CJ, G2 semifinal.
Roselle won at Delaware Valley 34-29 in league play earlier in the year. The Terriers advanced to their first-ever state title contest in program history.
Roselle opens its 2015 season at home vs. Rahway, seeking to produce yet another special season.

QB Gerald Hairston III,
junior, (6-3, 230)
WR Rashad Pendleton,
senior, (6-1, 190)
LG-DE Eddie Accinot,
senior, (6-0, 250)
LT-DE Shaquil Jones,
junior, (6-2, 225)
WR Jacquez Payne, senior, (5-11, 165)
TE Malik Singleton, senior, (5-11, 185)
WR-CB-K Drew Stephens,
junior, (5-10, 150)
QB Marvens Lornejuste,
sophomore, (6-0, 150)
FB-OLB Craig McRae,
sophomore, (5-10, 185)
WR-DE Junior Jean,
junior, (6-1, 200)
T Malcolm Haye,
senior, (6-3, 230)
T-DE Darwens Cadet,
sophomore, (6-2, 200)
DT Shannon Brown, senior, (5-11, 301)
G Adham Khalil, sophomore, (6-2, 250)
DT Tyreke Benjamin,
junior, (5-11,280)
DT-NG Torry Langley,
senior, (5-11, 290)
RB Isiah Byrd, junior, (5-8, 180)
DB James Herron, senior
Nasir Cherry, sophomore, (5-8, 125)
WR-CB Raborn Dismuke,
sophomore, (5-6)
C Tashaun Hutchins, junior
G-DT Xavier Young, junior

Head Coach: James Williams, since 2013.
A 1989 Clifford Scott graduate.
Third season: 11-10 (.524)
Conference: Mid-State 38
Division: Raritan
Section: Central Jersey, Group 2
Roselle’s last sectional title: 1989
2014: (7-4 and 5-0, first in Raritan Division)
Arminio Field: Grass.
Williams, in his second season as a head coach
last year, guided Roselle to a first playoff win
and first trip to a sectional semifinal in 16 years.
He also led the Rams to their first division title
of any kind in some time.

Sept. 12 Rahway, 1 p.m.
Sept. 19 Hillside, 1 p.m.
Sept. 25 at Cranford, 7 p.m.
Oct. 3 Delaware Valley, 2 p.m.
Oct. 10 at Summit, 1 p.m.
Oct. 17 at Johnson, 1 p.m.
Oct. 24 Brearley, 2 p.m.
Nov. 6 at Bernards, 7 p.m.
Nov. 26 Roselle Park, 10:30 a.m.
Head coach: James Williams,
third season

2014 RAMS (7-4)
(A) Roselle 33, Rahway 7
(A) Roselle 21, Hillside 14
(H) Cranford 35, Roselle 27
(A) Roselle 34, Delaware Valley 29
(H) Summit 41, Roselle 33
(H) Roselle 20, Johnson 7
(A) Roselle 32, Brearley 13
(H) Roselle 35, Bernards 28
(H) Roselle 26, Lakewood 8
(H) Delaware Valley 28, Roselle 12
(A) Roselle Park 29, Roselle 14
Head coach: James Williams,
second season
Section: Central Jersey, Group 1
Conference: Mid-State 38
Division: Mountain 5-0, champs
Record: 7-4
Home: 3-3
Away: 4-1
Points for: 287
Points against: 239
Shutouts: 0
Overtime: 0-0