The Phillipsburg High School football team scored touchdowns on its final possession of the first half and first possession of the second half in its road game at Hunterdon Central.
The Stateliners, powered by a strong performance in the secondary, then held off a late rally by the Red Devils to improve to 5-0.
Phillipsburg defeated Hunterdon Central 21-7 in a Big Central Conference American Silver Division matchup Friday night.
Phillipsburg forced a turnover on downs when junior Cameron Bohal broke up a deep pass over the middle with 7:53 left before halftime.
The Stateliners took over at their own 28 and embarked on a 14-play, 72-yard drive. Senior Xavier Moore bounced off a couple would-be tacklers on a six-yard touchdown run and junior Luke Brogan’s PAT put Phillipsburg ahead 7-0 with 1:09 left in the second quarter.
The Red Devils received the kickoff to start the second half but Phillipsburg junior Patrick Day forced a fumble on the return and senior Hunter Cleaver recovered at the Hunterdon Central 40.
The Stateliners moved the ball 22 yards on six straight run plays before Jett Genovese found Matthew Scerbo Jr. open over the middle for an 18-yard touchdown pass.
The Red Devils moved the ball into the red zone on their next possession thanks to a 49-yard pass from RJ Hart to Michael Carbo. Hart then threw four straight incompletions and Phillipsburg took over at its own 16.
The sophomore connection of Genovese to Scerbo Jr. capped off a nine-play drive with a 24-yard touchdown pass that put the Stateliners ahead 21-0 with 1:39 left in the third quarter.
Hunterdon Central got on the scoreboard 1:12 later when Hart connected with fellow-junior Connor Gray on a 27-yard touchdown pass, but the Red Devils’ final two drives would end with Hart throwing an interception.
Genovese completed 11 of 15 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns. The sophomore added 71 yards on the ground on 11 carries.
Scerbo Jr. finished with seven catches and 103 yards.
Moore led the ground game with 84 yards on 16 carries. Juniors Caleb Rivera and John Wargo combined for 50 yards rushing.
Wargo led Phillipsburg’s defense with six tackles while Rivera finished with four tackles and two sacks. Bohal made two interceptions in the fourth quarter and now has four picks on the season.
The Stateliners improve to 5-0 for the first time since 2019 and will look to remain unbeaten when they host Bridgewater-Raritan (2-4).
Hunterdon Central drops to 2-4 and will look to bounce back when it travels to Hillsborough (4-1).
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Desmond Boyle may be reached at [email protected].