NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Two sacks, two interceptions, 34 unanswered points in the first half, along with a recovered kick return, helped the Old Bridge Knights (4-1-1) put the Zebras (2-4) away on Senior Night and continue their unbeaten 4-0-1 division record.
Quarterback Artur Sitkowski, running back Nick Sodano, and wide receiver/cornerback Anthony Imbimbo were able to run through holes and make big plays the entire night, all making sure to credit their offensive and defensive line.
“We just executed on all cylinders, offensive line blocked great, Nick [Sodano] played great, Imbimbo played great, all cylinders. Defense was playing outstanding, I did alright,” said Sitkowski.
The Knights’ offensive line consists of tackles Alston Amegbenyo and Lorenzo Jorge, guards Justin Santiago and TJ Townsend, and center Michael Santiago who set up Sodano and Sitkowski to run, and to have plenty of time to throw in the pocket.
With Townsend at nose guard and Amegbenyo at defensive end, both playing both side of the ball, along with Shane Lalor and Ramon Paulino Jr. rotating at defensive end, Old Bridge ran a 3-4 defense.
This defense had two sacks, coming from Amegbenyo and Nick Dimeglio, as well as two interceptions.
The Knights also held running back Dylan Johnson to 25 yards rushing on 14 carries, keeping the Zebras’ run total to just 61 yards.
Jah’Bree Seawright-Jeffery moved the Zebras up field from their own 35-yard line down to the Knights’ 30-yard line to start their first drive.
Seawright-Jeffery connected twice with Kyell Lewis and once with Reams to pick up three consecutive first downs, until Alston Amegbenyo sacked him for a 5-yard loss, which was followed by defensive pressure that force him to heave up an ill-advised pass intercepted from Paul Ferrali on the Knights’ 3-yard line.
After a bad first drive with multiple false starts and struggling to move the ball, Old Bridge looked sluggish.
Coming off a big 39-14 win over Edison, a team that the Knights tied 42-42, the Zebras had reason to be hopeful about the October 21 matchup.
Old Bridge, however, would shutdown the Zebras on offense and run the ball as they pleased.
Using four plays to score on their next drive, Sitkowski pulled a fast one on the Zebras.
Keeping the ball on the triple option after feeding Sodano three times in a row, he charged for a 33-yard touchdown. He would later get behind his line to plunge into the end zone for a 2-yard score.
Sitkowski rushed for 63 yards on nine carries, and completed six of his nine passes for 91 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown post pass to Liam Knowles. All of the completed passes were made in the first half.
“The main key was defensive line, offensive line. They did their job and made me available to make a play,” Imbimbo said of his 42-yard interception for a touchdown due to an intense pass rush.
He also a had a 6-yard touchdown on a slant.
Sodano rushed for 149 yards on 27 carries, scoring a 30-yard touchdown to finish off the scoring.
Nick Sodano said of the offensive line, “They blocked outstanding, they’ve been blocking outstanding for me all season. All credit to my o-line they’re doing their job, they’re making me look good.”
“This is a very good, talented team, so we had to respect them no matter what. They’re good on both sides of the ball so it was just like another game. We had to come in, game plan and play balls to the wall.”
Seawright-Jeffery finished 10-of-27 for 150 yards, with Lewis on four catches for 34 yards and Reams with two catches for 62 yards.
Kadas Reams caught a 5-yard pass, broke off two tackles, and turned it into a 52-yard touchdown to put the Zebras on the board.
Seawright-Jeffery would scramble for a 9-yard touchdown later in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough to make the matchup competitive.
Radio station “Hot 97” was also in attendance with their street team members Frank Fresh and Cory Giles providing music during halftime.
The Zebras return to action as they face Howell High School on Friday, October 28 at 6:30 p.m.