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Running Game and Defense Power Pioneers to Victory

Running Game and Defense Power Pioneers to Victory

By: Alex Melillo

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Somerville Pioneers season marches on after a 51-12 win at home over the Ewing Blue Devils.

The Pioneers' got an all-around performance Friday night as both the defense and the offense were hitting their strides early in the contest. On a night in which the weather made it difficult for either side to throw the ball with any efficiency, the Pioneers pounded the rock all night long.

Jalahn Dabney got the offense off to a good start, running the ball in on a QB keeper, putting the home side up 8-0 with 7:45 left in the first quarter.

The defense, which proved dominant all night, made their presence known early and often. With the defensive line seemingly always in the backfield, Duke McDuffie picked off an errant throw and took it all the way to the house for the pick six.

Pioneers held their 14-0 advantage at the end of the first.

Just under a minute into the second frame, with the Pioneers at the Blue Devil 16-yard line, Dabney connected with Ethan Hilliman to put the Pioneers up 22-0. At the midway point of the second quarter, Robert Fiorentino cashed in his first of three touchdowns on the night, extending Somerville's lead to 28-0.

Ewing swung back on the ensuing kickoff, returning Bobby Wortman's drive all the way to the end zone cutting into the Pioneer lead, 28-6. However, right before halftime, Fiorentino added another rushing touchdown to give the Pioneers a 36-6 lead at the intermission.

At halftime, Coach Damaschke told his players that he wanted a statement win from his defense. He got his wish right out of the break when Markus Lauber intercepted and returned a pass down to the Ewing 16-yard line

Somerville was unable to capitalize on the turnover but Ewing made the most of a pick thrown by Ryan Kovacs, finished the next drive off with a touchdown, 36-12 Pioneers held the lead.

Despite the touchdown, momentum still seemed to be with the Pioneers as Fiorentino capped off his night with a late third-quarter touchdown, pushing the score to 44-12 going into the final 12 minutes.

Last scoring play of the game came just 30 seconds into the fourth quarter, Da'Shaun Smith caught a quick slant on the left side and barreled his way into the end zone. An extra point tacked on by Wortman would conclude the scoring from Brooks Field.

Final Score: Somerville 51, Ewing 12.

Robert Fiorentino had a huge game for the Pioneers racking up 206 yards on 22 carries with three touchdowns. McDuffie and Dabney combined to add another 70 yards and one touchdown on the ground.

Ryan Kovacs finished 9 for 13 for 64 yards and a touchdown. Robert Fiorentino also made an impact in aerial attack catching four passes for 34 yards. Da'Shaun Smith recorded three catches for 26 yards and a touchdown.

Dabney led the defense with 10 tackles on the evening, with Ryan Hrabinski and Quron Smith coming in second on the game with five tackles. Both registered a sack as well.

Somerville will host Monmouth Regional this Friday night in the Semi-Finals of the Central Jersey Group 3 Playoffs Bracket. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@VilleFootball), or visit us at


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