Football: Edison shuts out J.P. Stevens, 12-0, on Thanksgiving
12/2/2013 9:46 AM

Chiekuba "Chewy" Chukwuneke locked up his third school record on the first play of the game, but he needed one more monster game to make it a clean sweep of the rushing records at J.P. Stevens, a school known for its prolific runners over the years.

But Chukwuneke's final game happened to come against the hottest defensive team in the Greater Middlesex Conference.

With the 6-foot-6, 285-pound Derek Allen leading an attacking, hard-hitting defense, Edison blanked J.P. Stevens, 12-0, and prevented Chukwuneke from becoming the school's career rushing leading rusher before a crowd of over 1,000 yesterday at J.P. Stevens in Edison.

J.P. Stevens leads the holiday series, 25-18-4, but Edison has won six of the past eight meetings.

Chukwuneke, who entered the game as the career scoring leader with 288 points and the all-time leader in all-purpose yards with 5,105, needed 2 yards to become the all-time leading rusher for one season and did so on the first carry of the game with a 2-yard run. He finished with 1,632 yards, breaking the mark of 1,554 held by George Boothe in 1985.

Needing 219 yards to become the school's career rushing leader, Chukwuneke was held to 87 yards on 18 carries. Chukwuneke, who faced a defense strictly designed to stop him each and every week, finished with 3,404 yards, No. 2 all-time all-time behind Boothe's 3,535.

"Give it to Edison. They were the better team today,'' said Chukwuneke, chosen as the game MVP for his team. "I think I had a great career and it's a testament to the our previous coaching staff, our coaching staff now and all the players. It's disappointing right now, a little bittersweet, but we always gave it our best.''

Allen, who had a key interception and a key sack, was chosen as Edison's game MVP.

"The coach came in this week and put the number of yards he needed on the board,'' Allen said. "So that was a goal of ours. We have a very stingy defense and we were motivated.''

Edison completed its first winning season since 2007 and recorded three shutouts in its final four games, giving up just 21 points in a loss to Piscataway in the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 5 playoffs.

Although the Edison defense was applying the pressure on every play, J.P. Stevens hurt itself twice with high snaps over the quarterback's head in crucial situations out of the shotgun formation. The second one proved to be the pivotal play of game.

J.P. Stevens trailed, 12-0, with over 5:00 left to play when it faced a third-and-7. Using a double pass from Chukwuneke back to quarterback Ryan Schneider, who heaved a pass to 6-5 Francois Ballou, who made a miracle catch over two defenders for a 42-yard gain to the 8. Two plays later, on second-and-goal from the 2, a high snap pushed the ball back to the 29-yard line. After an Allen sack on fourth down, the drive went from the 2-yard line all the back to the 45.

Edison lost its 1,200-yard passer, James Waldron, to a sprained ankle in the opening quarter, but Ibrahim Mosaad came in during the middle of his team's first drive and led a 64-yard march with a 1-yard sneak as Edison grabbed a quick 6-0 lead. Mosaad keyed the drive by converting a third-and-11 with a 14-yard run, then converted a fourth-and-1 with a 1-yard run.

Late in the third quarter, J.P. Stevens was driving and had the ball near midfield, trailing, 6-0, but Allen intercepted a screen pass and returned it to the J.P. Stevens 20. Mosaad hit Donnel Wright with a 7-yard TD pass five plays later on the third play of the fourth quarter for a 12-0 lead.

"My eyes were open wide when I saw that pass,'' Allen said. "I really wanted to take it home, but at least I set my team up.''

"I'm proud of the way our team played, especially defensively,'' Edison coach Matt Fulham said. "Chewy had a great game to beat us last year, so we used him going for the records as a motivating factor. He's a great player. This program has come a long way. Just nine years ago, the school was going through one of the state's longest losing streaks ever, so they've really fought back.''

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