In my time as a student, NBTHS football has always had that #1 Wide Receiver that you could always count on for a big game when it matters. In my Freshman year it was Dahvey Hicks, my Junior year it was Marquis Perry, and in my Senior year, it’s Zahmir Dawud. In the biggest game of the season so far, Dawud delivered the crowd dressed in Christmas outfits a present with 4 touchdowns guiding the #2 seed Raiders into the semi-finals with a 45-31 win over Hunterdon Central.
The action started early on with Justin Batts strip-sacking Hunterdon Central QB R.J. Hart to give NB prime field position which they capitalized on with Frank Garbolino running in a touchdown to get the fireworks underway. The next Hunterdon Central drive featured a massive Isaiah Barnes sack to force a punt. From there, it only took a few minutes for Zahmir Dawud to get on the board as he ran in a 45-yard touchdown to give the Raiders a 12-0 lead. However, Hunterdon Central started to chip away with a methodical drive and touchdown to cut the lead to 12-7. After a 3-and-out for the Raiders, Hunterdon Central blocked the attempted punt and put themselves in prime field position which they didn’t pass up as Hart tossed a beautiful lob to give Hunterdon Central a 14-12 lead. It didn’t take long for Dawud to get back into the endzone however as he punched in his second touchdown of the night on an 11-yard run set up by a huge kickoff return by Jack Garbolino to make it 20-14. Then at the end of the half, Hunterdon Central kicked a Field Goal to make it 20-17.
The 2nd half started off with a bang as Hunterdon Central grabbed the lead off of a slew of penalties resulting in a touchdown. After that though, Dawud ran in his third touchdown of the game giving North Brunswick the lead back to 27-24. But on the very next play, Hunterdon Central returned a touchdown on the kickoff to put them back on top 31-27. But those would be the last points that Hunterdon Central would score as a touchdown from Frankie Garbolino and a 42 yard interception and TD by Willie Wilson’s would push the score to 45-31 and the game out of reach.
The Raiders, after that hard-fought win, will face Edison at home in the semi-finals next week at Steve Libro Field at 7:00 pm.
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