Edison Defeats South Brunswick at Homecoming Game



Edison and South Brunswick get in position for a play.

Edison football defeated South Brunswick in a solid 42–21 homecoming win. Edison quarterback Mathew “Matt” Yascko ‘23 threw for 271 yards and one touchdown, Nyekir Eato ‘25 rushed for 109 yards and three touchdowns, and receiver Malcolm Stansbury ‘23 led the team with 107 receiving yards and a touchdown. Michael Strachan ‘23 rushed 85 yards and scored a touchdown.

“It was a good game,” said Head Coach Mr. Matthew Fulham. “Not in the beginning, we played poorly in the beginning, but we came on in the second half and played well.”

Edison began the first half with the game’s opening kickoff to the waiting South Brunswick return team. The Vikings slowly advanced to around midfield before quarterback Braden Paulmenn ‘24 connected with receiver Damarion Potts ‘23 for a 67-yard touchdown score down the sideline. Kicker Matthew Grzelak ‘24’s extra point connection made the score 7–0 in favor of South Brunswick. The score remained 7–0 at the close of the first quarter, as neither offense was able to move far down the field before being forced to punt. 

Edison began the second quarter riding the momentum of two timely first down catches late in the first quarter, but lost possession of the football after a failed fourth and seven passing attempt in Viking territory. On their ensuing possession, the Eagles made their way into South Brunswick territory for the first time after Yascko and Eato’s series of short runs. Eato’s three successive first down runs and an incomplete pass brought the Eagles deeper into the South Brunswick endzone before Eato reached the endzone on a nine-yard run. Kicker Selbin Sabio ‘23’s extra point conversion tied the score 7–7 with four minutes and 51 seconds left to play in the half. 

…I thought the team was fantastic

— Mr. Charles Ross

The Vikings were unable to make much of their next possession, punting after a quick three-and-out. On the following Edison drive, however, Viking Raffieu Deen ‘23 recovered and returned a fumble by Eagles receiver Ricky Harvey ‘23 for a thirty-yard defensive touchdown. South Brunswick successfully converted its extra point and returned possession to Edison after having established a 14–7 lead. On the Eagles’ next possession, the Edison offense quickly moved down the field on a series of short, first down completions to receivers Strachan, Kevin Smith Jr. ‘23, and John Baio ‘23. Edison continued into the red zone following a crucial fourth and four completion between Yascko and Stansbury. A few plays later, on second and goal with 48 seconds remaining in the half, Yascko scored on a one-yard run, bringing the game to a tied 14–14 score following the successful conversion attempt. South Brunswick kneeled with forty seconds remaining to end the half.

During halftime, the Edison cheerleading team performed for the fans. The marching band and color guard 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. Individual nominees of the homecoming court were then introduced and paraded in front of the Edison bleachers. 

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Edison began the second half on the receiving end of South Brunswick’s kickoff. While unable to gain yardage as fast as they had during the second quarter, the offense moved the ball to midfield by running a few short run and pass plays. But on second and six with nine minutes and 43 seconds remaining in the quarter, Yascko found Strachan deep over the middle for a 52-yard touchdown score. Sabio converted the extra point try, making the score 21–14—Edison’s first lead of the night. 

South Brunswick responded to Edison’s score with an explosive drive of their own. After fielding the kickoff to their own 35-yard-line, the Viking offense made it to midfield before scoring on a trick play—a 47-yard flea-flicker pass from receiver Khiri Summers ‘23 to Potts—and converting the extra point try to tie the score. On the ensuing kickoff, kick returner Harvey ran, cheered onward by an amazed crowd, inside and down the sideline for a nearly 90-yard kick return touchdown. The call was reversed, however, on the basis of an Edison penalty, bringing the offense back to a first and ten from the Viking 20-yard-line. Two plays later, Eato’s rushing touchdown was also called back by an offensive holding call. The offense, however, did find their bearings, advancing into first-and-goal territory on a trio of two short receiver receptions and a quarterback run. On third and goal, with four minutes and 42 seconds remaining in the quarter, Eato reached the end zone on a four-yard run, putting Edison in the lead, 28–21, with the extra point try successful.

Beginning deep in their own territory, the South Brunswick offense moved their way into Edison territory on a series of first down quarterback pass and run plays. A false start penalty and poor game clock management did, however, require the team to burn two of their three provided timeouts for the half. With 18 seconds remaining in the quarter, the Vikings found themselves faced with a fourth and twenty deep within Edison territory. Quarterback Paulmann’s pass was subsequently intercepted by Edison defensive back Tori’ahn Rattray ‘24, putting a stop to the Viking drive at the close of the third quarter.

We’re still a forty point team, and we’ll always be a forty point team

— Anish Bellary ‘23

Edison began the fourth quarter with a flash. Three plays into the quarter, Yascko threw another long touchdown pass—this one to Stansbury for 53 yards—to increase Edison’s lead to 35–21 with Sabio’s extra point kick. The Vikings were unable to do much with their ensuing possession, finding themselves in a potentially game-sealing fourth-and-twelve play with seven minutes and 39 seconds left to play in the game. Using their final timeout before running the ball short of the first down marker, South Brunswick turned the ball over on downs to Edison, leaving the Eagles with great field position in the exchange.

The Edison offense responded with a 15-yard first down run from Eato and a strong 32-yard run from Harvey, who was running on the reverse sweep. Three small runs later, the Eagles reached the end zone on a nine-yard Eato touchdown run on fourth and one, making the score 41–21 with three minutes and 24 seconds remaining in the game. Sabio’s conversion attempt was good, adding a point to Edison’s lead. With the victory firmly in Edison’s hands, the Vikings ran the final run plays of the night to drain the clock. On first and ten with forty seconds remaining in the game, South Brunswick ran a final time for no gain, solidifying Edison’s 42–21 homecoming day win.

Edison was ecstatic with the team’s performance. 

“Oh man, I thought the team was fantastic,” said Principal Mr. Charles Ross. “Started off slow, seems like a bad habit lately, but then we turned it on, stopped making mistakes, really had a couple of good plays for a lot of different players.”

“It was an amazing game. We started off a little bit slow, but we ended off great as always,” said Anish Bellary ‘23, kicker. “We’re still a forty point team, and we’ll always be a forty point team.”

After attaining this win, Edison expressed confidence in making the state playoffs.

“I think it assures us of getting in the playoffs,” said Fulham. “I think we need another win next week and possibly we’ll have a home playoff game.”

“Quite possibly, we could have a home playoff game on the 28th, so that’ll be the first home playoff game in all the time that you guys have been alive,” said Ross.

“We played our hearts out today and showed who the best team in the county and state is,” said Bellary. “We’re definitely going to go twelve and two and win the state championships.” 

“St. Thomas is a very good football team, but we’re gonna try our best,” added Fulham. 

The livestream replay of the game against South 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.