EASTON (PA) — Despite all the pomp and excitement of the Phillipsburg-Easton celebratory football game — and it was all shown in full on Thursday — the Stateliners were hungry for the biggest part — victory.
After six straight losses, some heartbreaking, Phillipsburg roared 35-14 at Fisher Stadium at Lafayette College in the 115th round.th meeting in the country’s longest running interstate rivalry.
“It means everything to us, the team played amazingly – hopefully a new era will begin here on this field,” said Phillipsburg sophomore wide receiver Matt Sherbo Jr., who made a difficult touchdown attempt in the third quarter.
Easton leads the all-time series 67-43-5.
Phillipsburg scored four touchdowns on the fourth down, the last of which came on a fake punt with 7:34 left in the game. Caleb Rivera snapped and broke free – and a couple of tackles – on his way to a 42-yard touchdown to lead 35-7.
The result was the longest winning streak of any school in the series.
Phillipsburg finished the season 11-1, recovering from a 28-7 home loss to West Orange on November 10 in the North 2 Group 5 final. Easton, however, really needs the Liners.
“This is our most important game of the year, so it’s very, very important,” said Pburg coach Frank Duffy, who went into the 5-0 game against Easton. “This is important for our community, very important for our children, I am very proud of them. What I am most proud of is that when we made mistakes, we recovered very quickly, we did not fall into the shell. We answered. Our kids are so resilient.”
Phillipsburg led 14-7 at halftime and got the start of the second half. The Liners got close to the Red Rovers, but a personal foul sent them back to 16th. After a fourth and a goal out of 16, sophomore QB Jett Genovese passed high into the end zone, where 6-foot-3 sophomore Matthew Sherbo Jr. used his ball size advantage against a smaller guard and a touchdown, as well as a 20-7 Liners lead.
Phillipsburg had a 271–170 lead in yards and a 357–256 lead in total yards. Easton was penalized seven times for 65 yards; Phillipsburg had 3 out of 36. Stateliners had 3 out of 3 on trips to the red zone; Easton 2-in-3.
Pburg senior Xavier Moore rushed for 130 yards with 17 carries, including 73 yards in the first quarter, and was named offensive MVP.
Junior Cameron Bohal led Phillipsburg with 11 tackles and was named Defensive MVP of the game. Phillipsburg senior Qian Walters was voted the best lineman of the game.
Junior Caleb Rivera rushed for 72 yards and landed twice on 10 carries.
Easton’s senior Aidan Hutchison ran for 190 yards and landed twice on 27 carries.
They said it
“I just trust our children to play in such difficult situations. They are so resilient, so resilient,” Phillipsburg coach Frank Duffy said of his team’s 5-for-6 fourth down conversion.