Last Friday night kicked off the beginning of the NJSIAA playoffs, which featured 11 Class of 2017 commits in action. Let’s take a look at who came up big when their team needed them most, and who extended their high school career for one more week.
Johnathan Lewis - QB, St. Peter’s Prep
Result: 34-13 Win over Delbarton - Non-Public, Group 4, Round 1
Stats: 9-16 for 95 yards, 1 TD (9 yards) 11 carries for 121 yards, 3 TDs (34, 3, 50 yards)
Lewis didn’t just have the biggest game out of the Rutgers commits this past week, but arguably the most outstanding game out of any athlete participating in the opening round of the NJSIAA playoffs. The QB of the #6 ranked team in the state, Lewis got the job done with his legs and his arm, combining for four total touchdown. His 50-yard touchdown run in the third quarter all but iced the win for St. Peter’s Prep.
Up Next: 11/19 vs #7 Bergen Catholic
Bo Melton - WR, Cedar Creek
Result: 36-14 Win over Middle Township - South Jersey, Group 2, Round 1
Stats: 6 catches for 114 yards, 2 TDs (34, 26 yards) 22 yard rushing touchdown
Bo Melton and fellow Rutgers commit Owen Bowles took care of business in the opening round of the South Jersey, Group 2 playoffs last week. Melton continued his stellar senior campaign by scoring the first two touchdowns of the game and ultimately sealing the victory for Cedar Creek with his 26-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter. The 2015 SJG2 champions are one win away from getting back to the big game.
Up Next: 11/19 vs Willingboro
Everett Wormley - WR, Burlington Township
Result: 35-0 Win over Pemberton - South Jersey, Group 3, Round 1
Stats: 4 catches for 122 yards, 2 TDs
Wormley was the main target in an easy first round victory for Burlington Township. In a season marred by injuries, Wormley put up his best game of the year, posting a season high in yards. The 6’1” wideout looks to be just about back to full health and poised to make a deep playoff run.
Up Next: 11/18 vs Delsea
CJ Onyechi - OLB, West Orange
Result: 57-14 Loss to Ridgewood - North Jersey Section 1, Group 5, Round 1
Stats: 7 Tackles, 1 Sack, 6 carries for 82 yards, 1 TD (73 yards)
Despite the loss, CJ Onyechi had a monster performance in the last game of his high school career. The versatile linebacker made his mark on defense with seven tackles and a sack, while ripping off a season-long 73-yard touchdown run. An athletic display such as the one we saw last Friday is one of the many reasons we are excited for Onyechi to get to Rutgers.
Mike Tverdov - WDE, Union
Result: 41-34 Win over Ridge -North Jersey Section 2, Group 4, Round 1
Stats: 9 Tackles, 3 Sacks
While a defensive lineman’s impact on a game may not be represented on a stat sheet, that was not the case for Mike Tverdov last Friday. Tverdov had arguably his best game of the season, tying his season-high with three sacks and adding in 9 total tackles. Whether or not Tverdov can keep up his game-changing playmaking from the weakside defensive end position for the remainder of the playoffs will be something to keep our eyes on.
Next: 11/19 vs Westfield
Naijee Jones - CB, Timber Creek
Result: 59-21 Win over Absegami - South Jersey, Group 4, Round 1
Stats: 9 Tackles, 1 INT
Playing on a talent-filled Timber Creek squad, Naijee Jones is able to focus on primarily holding down the defense from multiple positions. The six-foot-one swiss army knife was all over the field last week, racking up nine tackles and his first interception of the year.
Up Next: 11/18 vs Shawnee
Edwin Lopez - S, Woodrow Wilson
Result: 21-11 Loss to Lenape - South Jersey, Group 4, Round 1
Stats: 10 Tackles, 1 INT
A common theme to this list so far, one that should excite Rutgers fans, is the 2017 commits playing their best games in the biggest games of the year. The same could be said for Edwin Lopez. Lopez picked up his first interception of the year and a season-high 10 tackles in the final game of his high school career.