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***Adam McDaniel's pair of picks helped lead Westfield's defensive unit as the Blue Devils once again won N2G5 playoff championship!

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***It took a while for Hasbrouck Heights to put it into full gear but when the Aviators did finally soar they did so in impressive style to earn title. See "Feature Articles"

***The transfer topic on Jersey's high school landscape is still a hot subject which brings to mind last year's vote on the complex issue. Learn much more in "The Buzz"

Weequahic head coach Brian Logan (gray sweatshirt) helps hold the NJSIAA championship trophy as some happy Indians including senior lineman Tyyan Foster (55) enjoy post-game glow after the North 2, Group 1 final which Weequahic won, 18-8, over its Newark city rival Shabazz on Saturday at Kean Unv. (Photo by Gene Nann-nannphoto)

Weequahic’s Defense Remains Aggressive
While Knocking Off Shabazz In N2G1 Final
By Steve Tober
For sidelinechatter.com

UNION- Dior Desuah adheres to the time-honored message that both Weequahic head coach Brian Logan and defensive coordinator Leander Knight repeat each and every day in practice.

“They always tell us to play aggressively from the start of the play to the finish,” said the Indians’ standout sophomore defensive tackle. “We take a lot of pride in stopping any offense we face, no matter who they are, and we were determined to be the most aggressive team out there today.”

Dior recorded 12 tackles and had a fumble recovery that led to a first quarter Weequahic touchdown, one of six turnovers committed by Shabazz as the Indians completed a perfect 12-0 season with a very defensive-minded 18-8 victory over the Bulldogs in the North 2, Group 1 playoff final contested before a good-size crowd at Kean University’s Alumni Field on Saturday.

The playoff title was Weequahic’s second in five trips to a sectional final and first since the Indians defeated Raritan, 6-0, in the 2006 Central Jersey, Group 2 final at Rutgers.

Shabazz (8-4), which also lost to Weequahic, 22-8, on Thanksgiving Day at the Indians’ Untermann Field, had won the N2G1 title two seasons ago defeating Dunellen, 14-6, at Kean, and was also making its fifth appearance in a playoff title tilt.

“It’s all about defense in a game like this and our kids came up with the big plays, especially with the turnovers we helped create,” said Brian Logan, the Weequahic head coach. “When you are able to score off your defense it makes up for a lot of other things that may not be going that well from an offensive standpoint that day.”

The powerful 6-foot-1, 250-pound Dior and Weequahic defensive teammates, including standout ends Messiah Williams and Christian Roper, helped shut down the Shabazz ground game, while defensive backs Jahid Alexander, Tyler Phillips (two picks) and Ihmir Marsette combined for four interceptions, including a 33-yard return of one pick for a touchdown by Alexander during a frenetic third quarter sequence that saw the Indians score two defensive TDs in the space of 17 seconds.

The second score during that short span came with 2:02 left in the third when senior DB Ali Beh scooped up an errant lateral and rambled 15 yards for the TD that extended the Weequahic lead to 18-0.

“We are always told to play to the whistle and when I saw the ball loose there on the turf I just picked it up and headed into the end zone,” said Beh. “It felt amazing, and I just felt good to be able to help our defense continue to do the job out there.

“Defense wins championships and winning the turnover battle is a big part of that.”

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