Union County All-Stars thwarted in comeback Snapple Bowl bid; Union’s Carter stands out at QB

Victory at Kean by 30-28 score gives Middlesex County All-Stars 12-8 series lead

PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - The Union County All-Stars came close at the end to winning the 20th Snapple Bowl.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – The Union County All-Stars came close at the end to winning the 20th Snapple Bowl.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHIN - Union County quarterback Doug Carter of Union threw one touchdown pass  and two 2-point passes and was one of the Snapple Bowl's top players.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHIN – Union County quarterback Doug Carter of Union threw one touchdown pass and two 2-point passes and was one of the Snapple Bowl’s top players.

 

PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - Union County trainer Karen Magliacano cools off Union County lineman Akam Williams during the first half of Thursday night's Snapple Bowl at Kean.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – Union County trainer Karen Magliacano cools off Union County lineman Akam Williams during the first half of Thursday night’s Snapple Bowl at Kean.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - Union County trainers provide plenty of water for the Union County All-Stars. Game time temperature on the Kean turf field was more than 100 degrees.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – Union County trainers provide plenty of water for the Union County All-Stars. Game time temperature on the Kean turf field was more than 100 degrees.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - Coach of the Year honors for 2012 went to Terry Hanratty, at left, of Roselle Park for Union County and to Joe Goerge of South Brunswick for Middlesex County.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – Coach of the Year honors for 2012 went to Terry Hanratty, at left, of Roselle Park for Union County and to Joe Goerge of South Brunswick for Middlesex County.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - Longtime Hillside assistant coach and veteran Union County Snapple Bowl assistant coach John Zappulla received the Outstanding Service Award.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – Longtime Hillside assistant coach and veteran Union County Snapple Bowl assistant coach John Zappulla received the Outstanding Service Award.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - The final score was, once again, in Middlesex County's favor.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – The final score was, once again, in Middlesex County’s favor.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - Game director and founder Marcus Borden talks to the Middlesex County All-Stars after the game.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – Game director and founder Marcus Borden talks to the Middlesex County All-Stars after the game.

UNION – Doug Carter willed the Union All-Stars down the field in the final minutes to make this one of the more dramatic Snapple Bowls in some time.

The Union County quarterback got them into the end zone.

He needed to get them into the end zone one more time to put the game 40 seconds shy of the series’ first overtime.

It didn’t work out.

A two-point pass Carter threw a bit too softly that was intended for Union County running back Anthony Travisano in the right corner of the end zone was picked off by Middlesex County All-Star cornerback Daquan Bailey.

The interception by the standout cornerback from Woodbridge all but sealed his team’s triumph.

When Middlesex County’s Thomas Pitera caught and then fell to the ground with Union County kicker Ed Olenick’s onsides attempt that was it.

The Middlesex County All-Stars were able to hold on for a thrilling 30-28 win over the Union County All-Stars in Thursday night’s 20th annual MyCentralJersey.com Snapple Bowl that was contested for the sixth time at Kean University’s Alumni Stadium.

Middlesex County extended its lead in the series to 12-8, won for the second straight time and for the seventh time in the past eight games and improved to 4-2 in games played at Kean.

Proceeds went to the Lakeview School for Cerebral Palsy in Edison and the Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside.

Despite the game-time temperature still near 100 degrees, it was a well-attended all-star game, with both stands filled a great deal.

With the temperature on the field above 100, players adjusted and were often cooled down by trainers on both sides.

Carter, who will continue playing baseball at junior college power Brookdale, threw one touchdown pass and two two-point passes.

There were four lead changes. There’s never been an overtime game in this series and after Carter connected with wide receiver Kason Campbell for a pass to the Middlesex one-yard line with a minute to go, it appeared that OT was inevitable.

Union County running back AJ Iarussi scored on a one-yard run to pull the home team to within a two-point conversion of tying the game.

Carter rolled a bit right and saw a wide open Travisano in the right corner. Bailey quickly stepped in front and converged, grabbing the pass with both hands.

“Our game plan was to get them tired as soon as possible,” said Carter, who was a three-year starter at signal-caller for the Union Farmers. “It worked.

“We had them against the ropes, but couldn’t finish.”

Middlesex County took its second lead at 17-14 with a minute to go before halftime when quarterback Tyler Rodriguez threw a screen pass to the right side that speedy wide receiver David Claybrook caught, made a move, and then raced down the sideline for six points. Rodriguez then hit Claybrook over the middle for two points.

Union County received the second half kickoff, with Derek Singer first getting his hands on the ball. He then handed the ball to Campbell, who found an open lane on the left side that was good enough for him to take all the way to the end zone.

Carter then hit wide receiver James Womble in the end zone for two points to give Union County its second and final lead of 22-17.

“Playing in this game was a lot of fun; we became a family,” Carter said.

Middlesex County answered with a three-yard touchdown run by Trent Barneys in the third quarter and a two-yard TD run by Naji Johnson in the fourth.

Union County reached the Middlesex County 20-yard line on its first possession of the third quarter, but lost a fumble, with Middlesex defensive end Abdel Ragab recovering.

Ragab also tackled Travisano in the end zone in the second quarter for a safety and had one solo sack of Carter. For his outstanding efforts, he was named the game’s MVP.

Carter and Campbell, who helped lead Elizabeth to last year’s first-ever North 2, Group 5 championship, were in sync on several pass plays, including a 73-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.

“I knew he was one of the best athletes from playing against him,” Carter said of Campbell.

Carter, with Union County running a no-huddle offense, threw a perfect ball over the middle that Campbell caught over his head and in stride.

“He (Campbell) got past him (the defender) and I just let it go from there,” Carter said.

Campbell continued running, untouched, and raced right into the end zone for Union County’s first six points.

“I left it all on the field, just like I did when I played for Union,” Carter said. “I give 100 percent all the time.”

NOTES: Three plaques were presented at halftime. Middlesex County Coach of the Year honors went to first-year South Brunswick head coach Joe Goerge, who along with Bob Martin re-built the Dayton program from 2005-2011.

Goerge guided the Vikings to a 10-2 record and the first-ever Central Jersey, Group 5 championship.

Union County Coach of the Year honors went to first-year Roselle Park head coach Terry Hanratty, who guided Governor Livingston to the state playoffs ever year from 2004-2009, including the 2008 North 2, Group 2 championship game.

Hanratty guided the Panthers to a 9-3 record, including wins over arch rivals Brearley and New Providence for the first time in 11 years, a victory against Thanksgiving Day rival Roselle for the first time in five years, the program’s first playoff appearance in 11 years, the first playoff wins in 19 years and the first winning season since 2006.

Longtime Hillside assistant coach and veteran Union County assistant coach John Zappulla was presented with the Outstanding Service Award. This fall will be the 51st season that Zappulla will be on the sidelines as an assistant coach at Hillside.

 

 

20TH ANNUAL MYCENTRALJERSEY.COM SNAPPLE BOWL

MIDDLESEX (12-8)                        7        10         6        7 – 30

UNION (8-12)                                6          8         8         6 – 28

 

 

FIRST QUARTER:

MIDDLESEX – Michael Jensen 29 pass from Jordan Dunn,

Bryan Rafano kick (M 7-0)

UNION – Kason Campbell 73 pass from Doug Carter, kick failed (M 7-6)

 

SECOND QUARTER:

MIDDLESEX – Safety, Abdel Ragab tackles Anthony Travisano in end zone (M 9-6)

UNION – Anthony Travisano 4 run,

Emmanuel Atilola pass from Doug Carter (U 14-9)

MIDDLESEX – David Claybrook 45 pass from Tyler Rodriguez,

David Claybrook pass from Tyler Rodriguez (M 17-14)

 

THIRD QUARTER:

UNION – Kason Campbell 95 kickoff return,

James Womble pass from Doug Carter (U 22-17)

MIDDLESEX – Trent Barneys 3 run, run failed (M 23-22)

 

FOURTH QUARTER:

MIDDLESEX – Naji Johnson 2 run, Bryan Rafano kick (M 30-22)

UNION – AJ Iarussi 1 run, pass failed (M 30-28)

 

SNAPPLE BOWL SCORES/MVPS

2013: Middlesex 30, Union 28

MVP – Abdel Ragab,

Edison, defensive end

At Kean University

2012: Middlesex 39, Union 15

MVP – Cody Zalasar,

Woodbridge, running back

At East Brunswick

2011: Union 28, Middlesex 6

MVP – Darius Mayers,

Roselle, running back

At Kean University

2010: Middlesex 28, Union 14

MVP – Mike Muha,

South Brunswick, quarterback

At East Brunswick

2009: Middlesex 24, Union 6

MVP – Michael Burton,

South Plainfield, cornerback

At Kean University

2008: Middlesex 14, Union 7

MVP – James White,

Piscataway, linebacker

At East Brunswick

2007: Middlesex 17, Union 10

MVP – Aireil Adams,

New Brunswick, wide receiver

At Kean University

2006: Middlesex 13, Union 7

MVP – Herbert Nieves,

Sayreville, defensive end

At South Brunswick

2005: Union 21, Middlesex 14

MVP – Chris Drechsel,

Cranford, quarterback

At Kean University

2004: Union 19, Middlesex 7

MVP – Jan Cocozziello,

Westfield, quarterback

At East Brunswick

2003: Union 13, Middlesex 0

MVP – Mike Vicci,

Johnson, quarterback

At East Brunswick

2002: Middlesex 28, Union 20

MVP – Zack Earvin,

South River, running back

At Kean University

2001: Union 17, Middlesex 16

MVP – Brandon Bracey,

Linden, defensive back

At East Brunswick

2000: Union 27, Middlesex 21

MVP – Billy Gilbert,

Elizabeth, running back

At Union

1999: Middlesex 28, Union 7

MVP – Jeff LeSeur,

Perth Amboy, wide receiver

At East Brunswick

1998: Middlesex 33, Union 7

MVP – Luke Cianello,

Dunellen, quarterback

At Union

1997: Union 28, Middlesex 7

MVP – Louis Campbell,

Rahway, quarterback

At East Brunswick

1996: Middlesex 21, Union 6

MVP – Kenny Rogers,

South Brunswick, running back

At Union

1995: Union 17, Middlesex 15

MVP – Jamie Allen,

Summit, wide receiver

At Sayreville

1994: Middlesex 35, Union 14

MVP – Khamisi Jackson,

Monroe, running back

At Union

• •

SNAPPLE BOWL FACTS

Series lead: Middlesex 12-8

Home team: 8-12

Road: 12-8

Most points: Middlesex, 396

Least points: Union, 311

Shutouts: 1 – Union (2003)

5-game winning streak:

1- Middlesex (2006-2010)

3-game winning streak:

1-Union (2003-2005)

• •

MIDDLESEX MVPs (12)

Monroe: Khamisi Jackson, 1994

South Brunswick: Kenny Rogers, 1996

Dunellen: Luke Cianello, 1998

Perth Amboy: Jeff LeSeur, 1999

South River: Zack Earvin, 2002

Sayreville: Herbert Nieves, 2006

New Brunswick: Aireil Adams, 2007

Piscataway: James White, 2008

South Plainfield: Michael Burton, 2009

South Brunswick: Mike Muha, 2010

Woodbridge: Cody Zalasar, 2012

Edison: Abdel Ragab, 2013

UNION MVPs (8)

Summit: Jamie Allen, 1995

Rahway: Louis Campbell, 1997

Elizabeth: Billy Gilbert, 2000

Linden: Brandon Bracey, 2001

Johnson: Mike Vicci, 2003

Westfield: Jan Cocozziello, 2004

Cranford: Chris Drechsel, 2005

Roselle: Darius Mayers, 2011

• •

WHERE SNAPPLE BOWL

HAS BEEN PLAYED AT

Union: Middlesex is 3-1

Sayreville: Union is 1-0

East Brunswick: tied at 4-4

Kean University: Middlesex is 4-2

South Brunswick: Middlesex is 1-0

In Union County: Middlesex is 7-3

In Middlesex County: tied at 5-5

• •

NOTES: Next year’s Snapple Bowl – the 21st – will be played

at East Brunswick for the ninth time on July 17, 2014.

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