EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ--The New Brunswick Zebras once again earned a playoff spot in the Central Group V State Tournament after besting the East Brunswick Bears to cap off their regular season on November 4.
The Zebras finished off another strong regular season, averaging 24 points per game and having won four of their last six games following a challenging 0-3 start against tough competition.
They improved each and every game, and seemed like they were playing their best football as they entered the postseason, giving up less turnovers, playing stronger defense, and developing a more balanced offensive attack.
Quarterback Jah'Bree Seawright-Jeffery had been torching teams with his arm, often connecting with receivers German Pimentel, Kadas Reams, Kyell Lewis, Zihar James, tight end Curtis Revan and even running back Dylan Johnson on occasion.
Even while on the run, Seawright-Jeffery threw deadly accurate passes and was perhaps the hardest quarterback to tackle in the Greater Middlesex Conference.
In the matchup with East Brunswic, Seawright-Jeffery was 12-for-17 with 229 yards passing and three touchdowns, and had 62 yards rushing.
Johnson, the sophomore running back, had also been a problem for defenses, slicing through tight spaces and using his blazing speed in the open field. He rushed 21 times for 127 yards against the Bears.
The Zebras were dominant, starting the game 14-0 in the first quarter using nine plays, and were up 21-0 midway through the second quarter.
Johnson had no problem getting into the end zone on a 9-yard run, stretching the ball out across the goal line for good measure.
Reams easily caught a 35-yard pass, while Pimentel also caught a sweet pass over his defender on a Go route, streaking up the sideline, post-corner.
Reams would put the final nail in the Bears' proverbial coffin after he caught a 72-yard touchdown pass, effortlessly slashing past defenders and finding the open holes as though he knew they would be there.
Reams nearly scored again before time ran out on a fake punt, but a penalty nullified the score. He finished with 169 yards receiving on seven receptions.
This game could have ended with a more lopsided score of 56-21, but the Zebras had three touchdowns taken away due to penalties, including a 13-yard pass to James, a kick return from Revan and Ream' 61-yard score on the fake punt.
Bears quarterback James Schuld was held to 3-of-11 passing, with one interception. He was sacked three times and had 67 yards rushing on 19 attempts.
Clinching the eighth seed in the playoffs, the Zebras went on to face Manalapan High School's squad on November 11.
But the undefeated Manalapan team, who had secured home-field advantage and the number one seed, kept the Zebras at bay, winning that contest 49-0.