Standing on the field after the win, Central Fullback Denis Corbin said that he fired up running back Mike Bickford in the huddle on a fourth down and 20 play in overtime.
In risk of turning the ball over to the Rams, Corbin hauled in a strike from Michael Miserendino to convert on fourth and forever. Here is Corbin with the spectacular catch.
Bickford then finished the job, punching in a three-yard score that would give Central a 27-20 lead that they would hold onto. “He has always been a big time player for us, and he was there to get it done in the end”. added Corbin again on how valuable of a player Bickford is.
It was Corbin who put the Eagles on the board in the first quarter with a receiving touchdown, set up by a Miserendino run.
Southern would tie the game in the third quarter on a sweep to Pat Walker. The first three quarters were dominated by the ground game and decided by field position.
The air game began to open up on both sides in the second half, and with it came Miserendino’s first mistake. His tipped pass was intercepted by Matt Bleichner at the 37-yard line.
However, Southern would not capitalize on the field position as the Eagles defense held. The score remained 7-7 after three-quarters.
Southern looked to lock up the win early in the fourth when Brandon Barnetti broke a 12-yard touchdown. He then intercepted a floating deep pass from Miserendino.
However, the Central defense rose to the challenge once again and turned Southern over on downs.
Mike Bickford then seized the opportunity, ripping off a 68-yard run. Miserendino scored on a keeper to cut the Southern lead to one, but a missed extra point would keep the score at 14-13.
Pat Walker would burst through the middle on the ensuing drive for Southern, breaking tackles on his way to a 68-yard score. The missed extra point capped the Southern lead at 20-13 with 5:23 remaining.
Enter Malcolm Vaughn, who pulled down a pass from Miserendino on the left sideline and pulled away from the defender for the game-tying 65-yard score.
After Bickford’s overtime touchdown, the Rams needed a score. They would not get it as Nyheem Overton and Brandon Voss combined for back to back sacks to end the game.
The Central defense was beaten at times but made plays when it counted to come away with an emotional win. This game was everything you could have wanted out of a season opener. It was full of intensity and great competition.
Southern and Central met in the Emmert-Boyd Classic for the fourth straight year. The teams have split the series at 2-2 since 2012.
Mike Miserendino was voted as the MVP by the Southern Coaches after finishing with 184 total yards. Miserendino threw for 2 touchdowns and ran for another.
Pat Walker was selected by the Central coaches as the MVP for Southern. Walker rushed for 157 yards and 2 touchdowns.
This was the fourth year in a row for the Southern-Central Emmert Boyd Classic. The teams have split the series 2-2 since 2012. Mike Miserendino was awared the Central MVP by the Southern Coaches. Miserendino had 184 yards. He also threw for 2 touchdowns and ran for another. Pat Walker was selected as the Southern MVP by the Central Coaches. Walker rushed for 157 yards and 2 touchdowns.
NJSR had a chance to catch up with Central Head Coach Willie Jacobs, Quarterback Mike Miserendino, and Running Back Mike Bickford.
CENTRAL: First Downs – 12, Passing – 6-11-109, Rushing – 37-270, Fumbles Lost – 3-1, Penalty Yards – 5-40.
SOUTHERN: First Downs – 13, Passing – 7-17-48, Rushing – 37-236, Fumbles Lost – 2-0, Penalty Yards – 5-40.
C – Dennis Corbin 9 yard touchdown reception from Miserendino ( Gonzalez Kick)
S – Pat Walker 14 yard touchdown run. ( McDonnell Kick)
S – Brandon Barnetti 14 yard touchdown run. ( PAT Failed )
C – Malcolm Vaughn 63 yard reception from Miserendino ( Gonzalez Kick)
C – Mike Bickford 5 yard touchdown run. ( Gonzalez Kick)
Passing: Central: Mike Miserendino 6-11-2-109, Southern: Jackson Donahower 7-17-0-48
Rushing: Central – Mike Bickford 22-207, Mike Miserendino 13-65, Dennis Corbin 1-2, Malcolm Vaughn 1- -4. Southern – Pat Walker 19-157, Brandon Barnetti 14-88, Jackson Donahower 4- -9.
Receiving: Central – Malcolm Vaughn 3-65, Dennis Corbin 2-40, Mike Bickford 1-4. Southern – Dane Walker 1-15, Nick Simonelli 1-10, Brandon Barnetti 2-13, Pat Walker 2-10, Vin Miele 1-0.
Interceptions: Matt Bleichner 1, Brandon Barnetti 1.