Edison football team seeks a return to the postseason

By JIMMY ALLINDER Correspondent


Edison High School’s 54-13 thumping of crosstown-rival J.P. Stevens High School in the 2014 football season finale was significant for multiple reasons.

First, the victory featured an outstanding performance by freshman quarterback Haaziq Daniels, who unleashed a schoolrecord six touchdown passes, serving notice his arm will be an important part of the offense for a team hoping to return to the postseason after a one-year absence.

Second, Edison, which was 4-6 overall a year ago, hopes the Thanksgiving Day victory will be the springboard for a better season this fall. After two consecutive appearances in the NJSIAA North Jersey II Group V playoffs, the Eagles failed to qualify for the playoffs in 2014 when they shifted to Central Jersey Group V.

Matt Fulham, who begins his second decade as head coach, believes Daniels’ maturity — along with the return of senior running back and linebacker Isaiah Hunt, senior offensive and defensive lineman Mike Diakunczak and junior running back and linebacker Reilly Gonzalez (who led the team in tackles) — will help propel his team to the playoffs.

The Eagles’ record included a 3-5 mark in the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Red Division against arguably the most formidable public school schedule in the state. As a member of the conference’s large-school division, the Eagles face quality opponents every week. However, the tougher schedule should result in additional power points and likely help Edison qualify for the playoffs.

“The goal is to return [to the postseason],” said Fulham, who played high school football at Sayreville War Memorial High School. “In order for that to happen, we need to be more competitive in the Red Division.”

Along with Hunt, Diakunczak and Gonzalez, all three of whom are captains, the Eagles will rely on a blend of youth and experience. Senior Dallas LaPosta (center/nose guard) and juniors Jason Kelly (guard/defensive end), Lance Rice (offensive/defensive line), Nick Yanik (wide receiver/linebacker) and Dominion Ezechibueze (running back/defensive lineman) have shown significant improvement since last year.

Seniors Elijah Davila (wide receiver/defensive back) and Ben Baez (wide receiver/ defensive back) and junior James Stewart (running back/defensive back) have been explosive in scrimmages, Fulham said.

Edison opens the season at Monroe Township High School Sept. 11, followed by a home game with Old Bridge High School Sept. 18.