Edison Football Shows Grit Against North Brunswick

In Well-Played Game, Eagles Defeated 13-10



Edison squares off against North Brunswick.


In a hard-fought home football game on Friday, September 9, Edison was defeated by the North Brunswick Raiders 13–10. Edison quarterback Anthony Calantoni ‘25 threw for 42 yards, Nyekir Eato ‘25 rushed for 91 and a touchdown, and receiver Jon Baio ‘23 led the team with sixteen receiving yards in the effort. 

Edison four-year quarterback Matt Yascko ‘23, as well as wide receiver and defensive back Malcolm Stansbury ‘23, did not play in the game because they were out with injuries. Calantoni substituted for Yascko. 

“I was very pleased with the effort our team gave Friday night versus North Brunswick,” said Eagles Head Coach Matthew Fulham. “We needed to make one or two more plays and the outcome would have been different.”

Both teams were on par with each other in skill, a fact evident in the game’s competitive play. 

The first quarter largely went by without major action, as each team’s offense struggled to score against their opponent’s strong defense. By the end of the scoreless quarter, Edison was preparing to kick the third punt of the night.

North Brunswick’s offense began the second quarter with command over the Edison defense. In only two minutes, North Brunswick moved the football from their own territory to the Eagles’ red zone. The drive was capped by a seventeen-yard touchdown pass from Raiders quarterback Frankie Garbolino to wide receiver and younger brother Jack. The ensuing two-point conversion failed, leaving the score 6–0, North Brunswick.

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Edison was unable to make much of their next drive, which ended in a punt. The Raiders, however, were able to burn five minutes of game time in a long drive to the Edison red zone. With eighteen seconds remaining, the drive concluded with a field goal attempt—blocked by Edison’s Josh Wright ‘23—effectively bringing the half to a close.

During halftime, the Edison cheerleading team performed for the fans on the spectator-packed bleachers. The marching band and color guard also performed their show “Chaos Order,” based on Dies Irae from Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi, The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel, and Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky.

Edison received the kickoff to begin the second half after kicking the ball to North Brunswick in the first quarter. In a seven-minute drive of strong runs by running back Nyekir Eato ‘25 and two timely pass interference calls against the Raiders defense, Edison advanced to the North Brunswick red zone. Eato concluded the drive with an eight-yard touchdown run, and kicker Selbin Sabio ‘23 converted the extra point to make the score 6–7, Edison’s first lead of the night. The ensuing three-and-out and botched Raiders punt put Edison back in control with two minutes and forty seconds remaining in the third quarter. Although they were unable to reach the endzone, Sabio’s 29-yard field goal added to the Eagles’ lead over the Raiders. In the minute remaining in the quarter, the North Brunswick offense executed a quarterback run and a quick pass play to move into Edison territory, drawing the third quarter to a close.

We needed to make one or two more plays and the outcome would have been different.

— Coach Matthew Fulham

The Raiders continued to run the ball to begin their set of downs in the fourth quarter. On third  and thirteen, with ten minutes and 34 seconds remaining in the game, quarterback Frankie Garbolino connected with receiver Alani Ajigbotosho for a thirty-yard touchdown pass over the middle. Kicker Justin Batts’ extra point attempt was good, making the score 13–10, North Brunswick—the last scoring play of the night.

Edison was unable to make much of their next drive, as a forty-yard pass to receiver Ricky Harvey ‘24 on second and twelve turned into second and thirty because of an offensive pass interference penalty. The Raiders followed the drive with a lengthy red zone trip of their own, threatening to score again. Eato’s sack on fourth and seven with three minutes and 37 seconds left in the game put the ball back into Edison possession for a final attempt to score. Baio’s first  down reception, followed by a Calantoni incompletion, put Edison in their own territory to begin the potential game-winning drive. On second and ten with three minutes and fourteen seconds remaining, however, Calatoni’s overthrown pass was intercepted by a Raiders defensive back, leaving the Edison defense with the task of preserving as much game time as possible for the offense to operate. 

Edison’s defense was able to force a quick Raiders three-and-out, calling a timeout after each run and pass play to stop the game clock and regroup. But a failed Edison punt return with two minutes and 46 remaining and the ensuing Raiders recovery seriously hurt the chances of a comeback, as North Brunswick now only had to keep possession of the ball to prevent Edison’s offense from taking over. A crucial first down run with one minute and fifty seconds remaining sealed the win for North Brunswick, and the Raiders kneeled out the rest of the game to emerge victorious, 13–10.

The game outcome shows that Edison is able to compete with other excellent teams. Edison’s season record so far is 2–1, while North Brunswick’s record is 2–0.

“Our focus now,” Fulham said, “is on improving our execution during practice and beating Sayreville.”

The Eagles played the Sayreville Bombers at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 16.

The livestream replay of the game against North Brunswick is available from the Edison High Athletics YouTube channel.

Game statistics are available from NJ.com.

The Edison High Film Club has photos available in its album

A previous edition of this article incorrectly listed the marching band’s pieces, and was corrected on September 19.