Metuchen football bounces back with 20-13 victory


The Metuchen High School football team eliminated the turnovers that plagued them in a week-one loss to improve to 1-1 on the young season after a 20-13 win over Middlesex High School last week.

“We played really well defensively and caused four turnovers,” Metuchen head coach Bob Ulmer said. “We also didn’t have the mistakes we had in our first week. We turned the ball over just once and were plus three in the turnover battle. That was huge for us.”

Middlesex jumped ahead early thanks to a clock-eating drive to start the game. Metuchen responded with 13 unanswered points before the half and held a comfortable 13-point lead in the fourth quarter. The Blue Jays made things interesting with a potential game-tying drive but coughed up the ball for the fourth time to allow Metuchen to preserve its lead and run out the clock.

“We got off to a shaky start, but settled down after the first quarter,” Ulmer said. “We converted a lot of third downs into first downs, and we only punted the ball twice. Our offense played well.”

Metuchen quarterback Steven Deinzer led the Bulldogs with a solid performance. Deinzer threw for a pair of touchdowns and 183 yards. Deinzer also led the team with 46 rushing yards. Deinzer’s first strike came on a fourth-down play late in the first half when he connected with tight end James Warren.

“James had a heck of a game on both sides of the ball,” Ulmer said. “On Elijah Sellers’ touchdown run, James physically pancaked Middlesex’s defensive end. He’s a tremendous blocker.”

Linebacker Quinn Meng and nose guard Dorian Miller helped keep the Middlesex ground game in check.

“Middlesex couldn’t go up the middle because of the game Dorian had,” Ulmer said. “He was so physical, and he made it difficult for Middlesex to get anything going.”

Free safety Prince Richardson was another reason the Bulldogs came away with their first victory.

“He really made some big-time plays for us,” Ulmer said. “Overall, we played a much better game, but we’ll need to improve in some areas for this week’s match-up with Shore Regional.”

This week stages a rematch of last year’s NJSIAA Central Jersey Group I first-round playoff meeting between the two schools. The No. 7 Bulldogs pulled off a stunning 12-10 upset of No. 2 Shore Regional.

“They’re going to want redemption,” Ulmer said. “They just lost a tough one to Asbury Park, and they’ll be especially hungry for a win. They return a bunch of players, and they’re very big and very physical. We’ll have to play above our heads.”

The two teams will square off at 2 p.m. Saturday in Metuchen.

“We’ll need to play solid defensively and run the ball successfully,” Ulmer said. “It looks to be another tough test.”