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Friday’s South Jersey roundup: Donovan Leary sets state record with brother in Timber Creek’s playoff win

The Leary brothers became the all-time leading passing duo in New Jersey state history as Timber Creek edged Raritan.

Timber Creek quarterback Donovan Leary looks for a receiver during the Timber Creek at St. Joseph’s H.S. (Hammonton) football game on Oct. 26, 2019.
Timber Creek quarterback Donovan Leary looks for a receiver during the Timber Creek at St. Joseph’s H.S. (Hammonton) football game on Oct. 26, 2019.Read moreELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer

Donovan Leary, combined with his brother Devin Leary, broke the New Jersey state record for passing yards combined between two brothers by passing for 228 yards in Timber Creek’s nail-biting 27-26 win over Raritan in the Central Group 3 quarterfinals. The Learys now have 13,221 yards combined, beating out the 13,146 yards set by Chris Simms and Matt Simms, sons of former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms. Leary surpassed the record by throwing for 161 yards in just the first half.

Timber Creek held on to win after Raritan scored with just more than three minutes remaining and elected to go for two to take the lead. Dior Boyd intercepted the pass attempt and Timber Creek ran out the clock for a 1-point victory. Marcus James hauled in two touchdowns receptions from Leary after Justin Houston opened the scoring with a touchdown catch in the first quarter. A 10-yard touchdown run by Elijah Williams gave Timber Creek a 27-20 lead with just more than seven minutes remaining.

Vineland football overcame a 21-point deficit midway through the third quarter to beat Southern Regional, 24-21, in the South Group 5 quarterfinals. Nahzir Broome got the Fighting Clan on the board in the third quarter with a touchdown run and added a 2-yard score in the fourth. Tyreem Powell scored a 1-yard rush in the fourth quarter but Vineland still trailed due to failed 2-point conversions. With 48 seconds remaining, Tyreem Powell Jr. ran in the go-ahead touchdown. An interception by Barry Turner sealed the comeback victory.

Malin Jasinski found George Thorpe for a 10-yard touchdown with 10 seconds remaining to give Seneca a 27-23 victory at Ocean Township in the South Group 3 quarterfinals. Jasinski also punched in a 3-yard touchdown on the ground in the win. Najheem Johnson took a 65-yard rush to the end zone in the first quarter for Seneca and Travis Laster had a 40-yard touchdown run. Trebor Pena scored three touchdowns and had two interceptions in the loss for the Spartans. Ocean Township held a 23-21 lead after a go-ahead field goal halfway through the fourth quarter.

Xavier Coleman scored two touchdowns as Lenape blew out Edison, 39-6, in the South Group 5 quarterfinals. Coleman broke off for a 37-yard score on the Indians’ first play from scrimmage and added a 6-yard score later in the first quarter. A 37-yard touchdown run by Luke Cole and a 20-yard field goal by Dylan Shank made it 25-0 Lenape at halftime. Edison had just two first downs in the first half. Lenape closed out the win with a 1-yard touchdown run by Hamza Bruce and a Tyler Davis fumble recovery in the end zone.


Caleb Nartey rushed for two touchdowns as Hammonton took care of Brick Township, 35-0, in the Central Group 4 quarterfinals. Nartey closed out the first half with a 74-yard score to make it 21-0 at the break. He opened the second half with a 21-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Ryan Barts ran for an 81-yard touchdown himself to open the scoring. Jaiden Abrams added two touchdown runs of his own, one for 28 yards and another for 22.

Cherokee survived a last-minute field goal attempt to beat Manalapan on the road, 12-10, in the Central Group 5 quarterfinals. The Chiefs went down 10-0 early after a 1-yard touchdown by Andre Johnson and a field goal at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, Cherokee got on the board when quarterback Billy Osborn found Caden Burti for a 4-yard touchdown pass. Trailing 10-6 with less than seven minutes to play, Osborn ran in a 2-yard touchdown to give Cherokee the lead.

Boys’ Soccer

Delran shut out Oakcrest, 3-0, to claim its fifth consecutive South Group 2 title. Ryan Burrell, Daniel Strohlein, and Frankie Taylor scored in the win.

Triton defeated Ocean City, 3-0, to win the South Group 3 title. Max Hawk, Jayden Martinez, and Aiden Sommers scored in the win.

Christian Bonilla scored with 8 minutes remaining to give Lindenwold a 2-1 victory over Haddon Township in the South Group 1 final.

Parker Nickelsen scored in overtime to give Toms River North a dramatic 1-0 win over Egg Harbor Township in the South Group 4 final.