A Look Back At NY-NJ All-Star Game

SOR provides a look back at the 2008 New York-New Jersey All-Star. The eleventh annual New York – New Jersey All-Star Classic (formerly Governors' Bowl) on June 8, had a decidedly Rutgers feel to it, with future players and one recent star making their presence felt.

On a hot and humid day at Rutgers Stadium, with temperatures near 100 degrees, the New Jersey squad won the opening toss and chose to receive. Future Florida player Will Hill received the kickoff at the NJ five and returned it 20 yards, and the offense came out on the field. Future Rutgers player Mohamed Sanu started at quarterback, and showed the athleticism, which makes him an intriguing prospect for Coach Greg Schiano's team.

After an incomplete pass to Tim Wright, and an illegal shift penalty declined by NY on first down, Sanu gained three yards on a QB keeper, and then completed a pass to Chris Pantale for 17 yards to the NJ 45 and a first down. Sanu would miss future teammate Brandon Jones on first down, but would get him on the next play. On second and ten, Sanu scrambled out to his right to get time and found a wide-open Jones for a 55-yard touchdown. With the extra point converted, NJ took a 7-0 lead. The drive was five plays, 75 yards in 4:21.

New York got their first chance on offense, from their 26-yard line. Quarterback Joe Sidaras threw an interception to linebacker Marvin Booker – a future Rutgers player, on first down. This meant NJ had an opportunity to get a two-touchdown lead, deep in NJ territory and they did not disappoint.

RU recruit Rashad White ran for five yards on first down, to the NY 23. After an incomplete pass from Tim Lamirande, a personal foul on the defense gave NJ a new set of downs and ball on the NY 11. Three plays later, Wil Washington ran in from one-yard to increase the NJ lead to 14-0, with 8:43 left in the first quarter. This drive was four plays, 28 yards in 1:40. NY would get their first real chance to play, getting one first down but eventually punting back to NJ, taking 4:11 off the clock. The punt went out of the end zone for a touchback.

Starting from the 20-yard line, Sanu ran for two yards on first down. On second down, Sanu got out to the right side and broke off a 29-yard gain to the NY 46 and another NJ first down. After that run, the drive would stall forcing NJ to punt.

The next drive for NY was a long and efficient, going midway through the second quarter. NJ had stopped NY after they had earned three first downs, but a roughing the kicker penalty cost them dearly. NY quarterback Jeffrey Legree showed great athleticism that will suit him well at Temple, showing prowess scrambling and displaying a strong arm.

After the penalty, Legree completed three straight passes, getting NY to the NJ eight-yard line with 8:06 remaining in the first half. Four plays later, NY scored to make it 14-6. On the extra-point attempt, kicker Michael Prendergast recovered a botched snap and ran it in for a two-point conversion, making the lead 14-8. The NY drive was 17 plays for 81 yards in 11:13.

NJ would start their next drive with 6:02 remaining in the first half at the NJ 36, and Lamirande at quarterback. Lamirande, who is undecided at this point, was efficient completing six of eight passes on the drive - to five different receivers. An 11 play, 64 yard drive in 5:10 culminated with a 29-yard touchdown pass from Lamirande to Bryan Burnham, but a missed extra point made the score 20-8. NY had 52 seconds left, but they were not able to score, leaving NJ up 20-8 at halftime.

NY would start the second half with the ball from the NY 25, after a booming kick by Scott Demler that went 67 yards – eventually caught at the NY 3. On the first play, running back Shaahiy Alston ran for two yards and fumbled the ball, recovered by Ashton Wilder of NJ. NJ capitalized again, with a Kumar Davis three-yard run to increase the lead to 26-8, after another missed extra point. The drive was eight plays for 27 yards in 4:19.

NY would turn the ball over again, with another Sidaris interception, this time to Pat Kivlehan - another Rutgers recruit, on a third-and-nine from the NY 27. NJ now had a chance to put the game away with 4:03 left in the third quarter. On first down from the NY 34, Lamirande rolled out on to the right and forced a pass and Markell Rice made him pay for it. The brother of former Rutgers and current Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice went 79 yards for the touchdown.

Ray Rice attended to support his brother and the NY team on the sideline, and got a nice ovation from the crowd. The score was 26-14, and the extra point was no good. However, a roughing the kicker penalty gave NY a second chance from the one-yard line. They went for two and converted making it a ten-point game, 26-16 with 3:43 remaining in the third quarter.

NJ would answer on the next series, with an eight play, 53-yard drive lasting 3:37 and ending the third quarter. Every play on the drive was a running play, and the final rush for touchdown was by Wil Washington for two yards. The score after three quarters was 33-16 NJ.

NY got the ball to start the fourth quarter and they would score after a seven play, 78-yard drive lasting 5:50. A Legree 35-yard touchdown to Steph Benjamin culminated a drive where Legree had 66 of the 78 yards on the drive, with a twelve-yard run and 54 yards passing. The extra point attempt was blocked by Booker, which left NY down by eleven, 33-22. NJ trying to run the clock out on their next possession went three-and-out.

NY would have a chance to score with 3:24 left in the game, and Legree got NY down the field with both his arm and legs, but they would not score. MVP's for NJ were Washington on offense, who had 16 yards and two touchdowns rushing and Kivlehan on defense with two tackles and one interception. For NY, Legree with 141 total yards and a touchdown and Alex Rivas on defense, who had a game-high eight tackles.

The NJ team took advantage of multiple NY mistakes, and was able to capitalize and win the ballgame. The play by future Scarlet Knights for the team on both sides shows that Coach Schiano is recruiting the right people from the state of Rutgers.

Scarlet Report Top Stories