ROSELLE FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Rams are seniors strong once again

ROSELLE – Having lost a talented senior class with many of them moving on to the next level – including prolific quarterback Gerald Hairston III and 2,000-yard rushing tailback Isiah Byrd – you would think the Rams might be in a bind of sorts.

However, fifth-year head coach James Williams is just as high on this year’s senior class.

“Last year was the kind of year you have once every five to 10 years,” Williams said.

Roselle won a program-best 10 games in a 10-1 season that included a second trip to the Central Jersey, Group 2 semifinals in three years. The Rams scored 495 points in the 10 games they played.

“Every program gets hit hard by graduation, but we’re a pretty heavy senior team once again,” Williams said. “Our guys played a lot last year. We have a good senior class again this year.”

Williams puts three-year starters Adham Khalil, Nasir Cherry and Craig McRae at the top of his present senior group.

Khalil starts at tackle on offense, Cherry at wide receiver and cornerback and McRae at running back and linebacker.

“Khalil is strong, physical and has had a good summer so far,” Williams said. “McRae can stuff the run and Cherry is a very good corner. No one will beat him deep.”

Under center is East Orange Campus transfer Quraan Dixon, a 5-9, 175-pound senior quarterback.

“He’s smart, knows the offense and he is just like having another Gerald Hairston out there,” Williams said.

Williams likes his line, “we’re real big and physical up front,” and also lists his wide receivers as a team strength.

Five of the six in his lineup all started last year, including Cherry, Anthony Eme, Julien Fernandez, Omar Nunez and Marvens Lormejuste. The other wideout is Perth Amboy transfer Jordan Gray, a 6-1, 185-pound senior.

“Cherry is a speedster who can really stretch the field,” Williams said. “Jordan is fast. He fits right in.”

Another returning starter on defense is senior tackle Nicholas Balisage.

“He’s had a good summer and he saw a lot of playing time last year,” Williams said. “He’s real explosive and plays with his hands, low.”

Returning starter Khair Pendleton, a junior linebacker, is the cousin of 2016 graduate Rashad Pendleton, who is now playing at Marshall University.

“Khair is a two-year starter who is solid and smart,” Williams said. “I’ve coached his family going back to East Orange.”

Rahway will play four home dates at Rahway River Park, which is where Rahway now plays most of its home games.

Roselle’s Arminio Field is getting field turf and a new field house this year and will be ready to go for the 2018 season.

“The kids deserve it,” Williams said. “We have to thank Rahway for working out their schedule so we could play there this year. We’re excited. We don’t have to go far.”

With six starters back on both sides of the ball, Williams is optimistic. His four defensive linemen are different from any of the linemen that start on offense.

“It all depends on how we come together,” Williams said. “The guys that didn’t start last year still did see a lot of playing time, up to two quarters. They all played.”

 

ROSELLE’S MULTIPLE OFFENSE:

T Adham Kahlil, senior, (6-3, 280)

G Jude St’Juste, senior, (5-10, 270)

C Xavier Fassett, senior, (6-0, 275)

G Trevor Sejour, sophomore, (6-0, 330)

T Quron Conway, junior, (6-7, 350)

QB Quraan Dixon, senior, (5-9, 175)

RB Craig McRae, senior, (5-11, 220)

RB Khair Pendleton, junior, (5-11, 190)

RB Erick Gonzales, senior, (5-8, 170)

RB Naseer Page, junior, (5-11, 175)

WR Nasir Cherry, senior, (5-8, 160)

WR Jordan Gray, senior, (6-1, 185)

WR Anthony Eme, senior, (5-11, 180)

WR Julien Fernandez, senior, (6-0, 185)

WR Omar Nunez, senior, (5-11, 170)

WR Marvens Lormejuste, senior, (6-2, 170)

PK Erick Gonzales, senior, (5-8, 170)

Returning starters (6): Kahlil, Cherry, Eme,

Fernandez, Nunez, Lormejuste.

 

ROSELLE’S 4-3 DEFENSE:

T Nicholas Balisage, senior, (5-11, 245)

T Dawuan White, junior, (6-3, 250)

E Amin Vanover, sophomore, (6-4, 215)

E Kaymare Wilson, senior, (5-11, 220)

LB Craig McRae, senior, (5-11, 220)

LB Erick Gonzales, senior, (5-8, 170)

LB Khair Pendleton, junior, (5-11, 190)

CB Nasir Cherry, senior, (5-8, 160)

CB Anthony Eme, senior, (5-11, 180)

S Marvens Lormejuste, senior, (6-2, 170)

S Naseer Page, junior, (5-11, 175)

P Julien Fernandez, senior, (6-0, 185)

Returning starters (6): Balisage, Wilson,

McRae, Pendleton, Cherry, Page.

 

ROSELLE RAMS

Head Coach: James Williams, since 2013.

A 1989 Clifford Scott graduate.

Fifth season: 25-17 (.595)

Conference: Mid-State 38

Division: Valley

Section: Central Jersey, Group 2

Roselle’s last sectional title: 1989

2016: (10-1 and 5-0, won Valley Division outright)

Arminio Field: Grass – getting field turf this year.

Williams has guided Roselle to the CJ, G2 playoffs

the last three years, including the program’s first

playoff win since 1998. He has led them to the section’s

semifinals two of the past three years.

 

ROSELLE RAMS 2017

Sept. 8 Bernards, 7 p.m.

Sept. 15 at Delaware Valley, 7 p.m.

Sept. 22 at Johnson, 7 p.m.

Sept. 29 Hillside, 7 p.m.

Oct. 6 New Providence, 7 p.m.

Oct. 13 Belleville, 7 p.m.

Oct. 21 at Dayton, 1 p.m.

Nov. 3 at Bound Brook, 7 p.m.

Nov. 23 at Roselle Park, 10:30 a.m.

All home games at Rahway River Park.

 

2016 ROSELLE RAMS (10-1)

(A) Roselle 61, Bernards 54

(H) Roselle 45, Delaware Valley 6

(H) Roselle 56, Johnson 41

(A) Roselle 26, Hillside 0

(A) Roselle 61, New Providence 9

(A) Roselle 60, Belleville 0

(H) Roselle forfeit over Dayton

(H) Roselle 48, Bound Brook 12

(H) Roselle 69, Harrison 26

(H) Manasquan 31, Roselle 27

(A) Roselle 42, Roselle Park 20

Head coach: James Williams,

fourth season

Section: Central Jersey, Group 2

Conference: Mid-State 38

Division: Valley 5-0, outright champs

Record: 10-1

Home: 5-1

Away: 5-0

Points for: 495

Points against: 199

Shutouts: 1

Overtime: 0-0

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