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Pioneers Spoil Crusaders Perfect Season

Pioneers Spoil Crusaders Perfect Season

By: Alex Melillo

CLARK, NJ – The Somerville Pioneers (6-1) defeated the previously undefeated Arthur L. Johnson Crusaders (5-1) at Nolan Field, 33-7.

The Pioneers got off to a near-perfect start Friday night, scoring on their first drive after running just two plays. Connecting with Joseph Ciempola on a 51-yard catch and run, Ryan Kovacs handed the ball off to Robert Fiorentino who took it straight up the gut for the 23-yard score. Pioneers held a 6-0 with just seconds gone in the game.

The first half was all about the break out performance of sophomore Kyree Hinton. The sophomore wide receiver and defensive back were everywhere for the Pioneers. 

In the first half alone, Hinton caught a touchdown pass as well as recording an interception on the defensive side of the ball. Junior Jahaln Dabney also rushed for a first-half touchdown.

At halftime, the Pioneers held a 20-0 advantage.

With a little over nine minutes remaining in the third, the Crusaders cut into the Pioneer lead scoring their only touchdown of the game via a long run.

Somerville responded six minutes later with a score of their own, this time Dabney taking the QB keeper into the end zone for the 2-yard touchdown run. At the end of the third quarter, Somerville held a 27-7 lead over Arthur L. Johnson.

The Crusaders continued to try to claw their way back into the game throwing everything they had at the Pioneer defense. However, Somerville held their ground, bolstered in part by two interceptions, one from Marcus Burnside and another from Duke McDuffie.

The final scoring play came late in the fourth when sophomore Ethan Hilliman hauled in a 9-yard throw to the back of the end zone from Dabney.

Final Score: Somerville- 33, Arthur L. Johnson 7.

Sophomore Kyree Hinton finished the game with a team-high eight catches and 86 yards. Somerville as a whole has put up a combined 93 points since their Week 5 loss to Rahway, in which they scored just 6 points against the Indians.

On the other side of the ball, the Pioneers have limited opponents to just 7 points in back to back and three of their last four. 

Next Saturday the Pioneers take to the road to visit Scotch-Plains Fanwood for a matinee showdown. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. For more information follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@VilleFootball). You can watch all of our post-game recaps on our YouTube page as well. Visit us at



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