By: Alex Melillo
SOMERVILLE, NJ – The #2 Somerville Pioneers (9-1) host the #3 Falcons of Monmouth Regional High School (7-3) in the semi-finals of the Central Jersey Group 3 Playoffs Bracket. Winner of Friday night's game takes on the winner of #1 Rumson-Fair Haven and #5 Wall in the finals.
Monmouth is coming off of a 21-7 win over Carteret in the opening round of the playoffs. An experienced and tough team, the Hawks compete in a division which boasts the likes of St. John Vianney and the #1 seeded Rumson-Fair Haven Bulldogs.
The Falcons finished 7-3 with a division record of 4-2 in their tough division. Monmouth is averaging 19.3 points per game while giving up an average of 18.9 points per game.
A run-first offensive approach, the Hawks rely mainly on their all-around player Ian Fitzgerald. The two-sport athlete leads the rushing attack with 117 carries for 930 yards and seven touchdowns. Fitzgerald has also caught five passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns, while also completing two passes on the season for 119 yards and a touchdown.
Another big play threat for Monmouth is Devon Johnson whose scored four touchdowns on just four catches on the season totaling 215 yards.
The Pioneers are coming off of a first-round win over Ewing, a game which featured the running game early and often. Robert Fiorentino finished with a season-high in yards and touchdowns with 209 and three respectively.
On defense for the Pioneers, Jalahn Dabney has continued his strong play of late. In the season finale against Summit, the junior registered nine tackles. This past week he upped his play finishing with a season-high 10 tackles.
The Somerville Pioneers (9-1) and the Monmouth Falcons battle Friday night for the chance to compete for a state title. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@VilleFootball) for up-to-date information and stats. Visit us at www.somervillefootball.com