UNION – The North needed to be good – and it was – and it needed to be lucky – and it was.
No matter, the North will take it.
When South placekicker Jake Hurler’s game-winning 25-yard field goal attempt hit off the right upright on the final play of the game, the North jubilantly celebrated its first victory in three years.
For the first time the North won by one point as it held on to defeat the South 24-23 in Monday night’s 41st annual Phil Simms North-South High School All-Star Football Classic at Kean University’s Alumni Stadium.
The only other one-point game in the series was won by the South 9-8 back in 1993 in the final game played at Giants Stadium.
The South, winners of four of the last five coming in, had a two-game winning streak snapped and now lead the series 20-18-2. The North has never led.
North offensive MVP Azhuan Dingle of Bayonne scored his second touchdown with 3:12 to go. He took a handoff – which he almost dropped – and ran around right end for a 10-yard scamper to tie the game at 23-23.
North placekicker Angelo Guglielmello of Nutley and St. Joseph’s, Montvale High followed with what turned out to be the game-winning extra point.
After the North scored on their first play from scrimmage on a pass, Guglielmello kicked a field goal for his team’s next points.
The South led 21-10 at intermission and only scored in the second half as the result of a safety produced in the fourth quarter.
One of the North defensive leaders was linebacker Michel Lucien of Union, who wore No. 3 and was in on many tackles.
“It was fun to experience something like college and as teammates we had a bunch of fun,” Lucien said. “We had our fun in practice and also took it serious.”
It wasn’t much fun for the North when it trailed 21-7 after giving up three straight touchdowns and accomplishing nothing on offense after its first play.
“Everybody wants to be a leader, with a lot of competition going on,” Lucien said. “Everyone here thinks they’re the best.
“In the beginning we were having fun. Then in the locker room (down 21-10 at halftime) No. 9 from West Side (Jakai Coker) gave us one heck of a speech.”
Lucien said that he will soon make his college decision, with Central Connecticut State (Division 1 Championship Subdivision school) and Temple (as a preferred walk-on) his choices.
DAYTON’S MARTIN ONE OF THE UNSUNG GUYS
One of the most dedicated assistant coaches in these parts is Dayton’s Bob Martin.
For his efforts – year in and year out – he was honored Monday night.
Martin was inducted into the New Jersey Football Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame – recognized as one of the top assistant coaches in the state.
Martin has been the defensive coordinator at Dayton since 2005 and is getting ready for his 15th season in that position at the Springfield Group 1 school.
Martin served under Joe Goerge – who has been the head coach at South Brunswick since 2012 – Steve Trivino – now the head coach at Glen Ridge – and Dominic Cuniglio – who has been the head coach at Dayton since 2014.
Martin and Goerge coached together for 27 years. They were first teamed at Port Richmond High in Staten Island from 1984-1991 and then at Franklin from 1992-2004. They were part of Dayton’s staff, that also included Goerge’s sons Jason and Michael, from 2005-2011.
Goerge was inducted into the NJFCA Hall of Fame in 2016.
“Bob is an absolute great coach, but more than that we’ve spent 28 years together,” Goerge said. “He loves the kids and is committed to giving his best to the kids.
“He’s a great coach at breaking down film and you know he’s also a great basketball coach.”
Martin will also begin his 14th season as Dayton’s head boys’ basketball coach next winter. He will have one of the state’s top seniors in four-year starter DJ Alicea (6-0).
“He’s truly a great friend,” Goerge continued. “I can honestly say in all my years I don’t think I’ve ever met someone more loyal than Bobby Martin.”
Dayton gave up more than 14 points on just two occasions in 2010, a 9-2 campaign that saw the Bulldogs reach the North 2, Group 1 semifinals during Anthony Cioffi’s sophomore season.
“When you get something like this it really humbles you and makes everything worthwhile what you’ve done,” Martin said.
Dayton has had its share of ups and downs since Martin has been with the program.
“It doesn’t change your preparation and love of the game, which is all for the kids,” Martin said. “It makes you realize how special those times were when you had those years and it gets you motivated to want to get those good years back.”
Last season was a challenging one for the Bulldogs, with their only two victories coming the way of forfeits.
“Every year is a learning experience even after 35 years of coaching,” Martin said. “Last year as coaches we stayed together and hung in there, the kids stayed together and they fought and battled.
“On the scoreboard it didn’t show in terms of wins and losses, but our kids competed to the best of their abilities.”
Dayton will have a larger number of players returning this season.
“I’ve seen a lot of changes in my 35 years in education, but the kids are one thing that hasn’t changed,” Martin said. “The relationships, that’s what you do it for.
“If you can look back at the end of the year and know you’ve developed a relationship with your players that you know that will last, to me that’s what makes it a success.
“We try to make a difference. I think all coaches do that. Then five, 10 years down the road when they come back, that’s really the icing on the cake.”
NORTH-SOUTH FOOTBALL MVPS:
North Offense is named after Dave Szott of Clifton. Szott played
collegiately at Penn State and then in the National Football League
for the Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Redskins and New York Jets.
North Defense is named after Jim Burt of Orchard Park, N.Y. Burt
played collegiately at Miami and then in the NFL for the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers. Burt played on the Giants team that won the
Super Bowl after the 1986 season.
South Offense is named after Joe Theismann of South River.
Theismann played collegiately at Notre Dame and then in the NFL
for the Washington Redskins. Theismann played on the Redskins
team that won the Super Bowl after the 1982 season.
South Defense is named after Jim Jeffcoat of Matawan. Jeffcoat
played collegiately at Arizona State and then in the NFL for the
Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills. Jeffcoat played on the Cowboys teams that won the Super Bowl after the 1992 and 1993 seasons.
North Offense: Azhuan Dingle of Bayonne
North Defense: Christopher Stultz of East Orange Campus
South Offense: Jacari Carter of Sayreville
South Defense: Eric Cowan of Manchester
North Offense: Andrew Luehs of Verona
North Defense: Nasir Givens of Orange
South Offense: Nahsir Morgan of Atlantic City
South Defense: Ji’Ayir Brown of Trenton
North Offense: Isiah Byrd of Roselle
North Defense: Harrison Fernandez of Union City
South Offense: James Joseph of Seneca
South Defense: Amir Murray of Willingboro
North Offense: Mike Pimpinella of Pascack Valley
North Defense: Keneek Tomlinson of East Orange Campus
South Offense: Tyreek Jackson of Clayton
South Defense: Dashon Burdett of Collingswood
North Offense: Juwan Dolbrice of Linden
North Defense: Tevaughn Grant of Paterson Eastside
South Offense: Vincent Mota of Long Branch
South Defense: Justin Thompson of Palmyra
North Offense: Joe Slattery of Cedar Grove
North Defense: Jason McRae of Roselle
South Offense: John Chamberlin of Williamstown
South Defense: Chris Noesges of Manalapan
SOUTH LEADS SERIES 20-18-2:
2019: North 24, South 23 – at Kean University
2018: South 38, North 16 – at Kean University
2017: South 30, North 22 – at Kean University
2016: North 7, South 0 – at Kean University
2015: South 23, North 21 – at Kean University
2014: South 20, North 14 – at Piscataway High School
2013: North 54, South 8 – at Kean University
2012: North 14, South 7 – at Kean University
2011: South 21, North 14 – at Kean University
2010: North 17, South 3 – at Kean University
2009: South 7, North 0 – at Kean University
2008: North 31, South 25 – at Rutgers Stadium
2007: South 14, North 7 – at Rutgers Stadium
2006: North 31, South 16 – at Rutgers Stadium
2005: North 9, South 7 – at Rutgers Stadium
2004: North 26, South 21 – at Rutgers Stadium
2003: South 3, North 0 – at Rutgers Stadium
2002: No game was played at Rutgers
because of inclement weather before kickoff.
2001: North 24, South 0 – at Rutgers Stadium
2000: South 20, North 5 – at Rutgers Stadium
1999: South 22, North 19 – at Rutgers Stadium
1998: North 33, South 31 – at Rutgers Stadium
1997: South 28, North 24 – at The College of New Jersey
1996: South 32, North 23 – at Rutgers Stadium
1995: North 37, South 15 – at Rutgers Stadium
1994: South 21, North 16 – at Trenton State College
1993: South 9, North 8 – at Giants Stadium
1992: North 7, South 7 (tie) – at Giants Stadium
1991: North 26, South 12 – at Giants Stadium
1990: North 14, South 10 – at Rutgers Stadium
1989: South 24, North 0 – at Rutgers Stadium
1988: South 12, North 9 – at Rutgers Stadium
1987: North 21, South 10 – at Rutgers Stadium
1986: North 20, South 17 – at Rutgers Stadium
1985: North 10, South 10 (tie) – at Rutgers Stadium
1984: North 7, South 0 – at Rutgers Stadium
1983: South 41, North 7 – at Rutgers Stadium
1982: South 16, North 7 – at Rutgers Stadium
1981: South 32, North 0 – at Rutgers Stadium
1980: North 13, South 6 – at Rutgers Stadium
1979: South 34, North 13 – at Rutgers Stadium