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Salem football star Ja’yon Mejias makes big plays no matter where he plays

The former quarterback has 10 receptions for 253 yards and six touchdowns this season as a wide receiver.

Ja'Yon Mejias played quarterback before moving the wide receiver.
Ja'Yon Mejias played quarterback before moving the wide receiver.Read moreTOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer

It was a two-point conversion attempt, a second try after the first was called back because of holding.

The call was probably one of Salem coach Montrey Wright's easiest decisions of the game.

"Ja'yon Mejias is one of the most explosive players in New Jersey," he said. "You've got to use him."

So Salem ran the exact same play — a fade to Mejias in the corner of the end zone.

It was like clockwork. Mejias and quarterback Jamael Bundy were in sync, as if they could have run the play 10 times and converted each time.

That's the way things are going these days for the Salem football team. The Rams (4-1) have won four in a row, and their offense has been electric over that span.

On Saturday, Salem jumped on an old rival to the tune of a 44-0 trouncing of Glassboro, a win that included Mejias' two-point conversion in the first half.

Mejias also caught a 37-yard touchdown pass from Bundy on the team's first possession. In an impressive show of concentration, Mejias caught the pass in the end zone after it was tipped by a defender.

"It just came down to my hand-eye coordination," Mejias said. "I looked down and saw that I could make the play."

Making plays — even when it doesn't look like there's one to be made — has been Mejias' trademark this season.

He also blocked a punt against Glassboro. The block sent the ball out of the end zone and resulted in a safety for the Rams.

"He's a dog," Wright said. "He does everything for us."

Mejias has 10 receptions for 253 yards and six touchdowns for a team that has outscored opponents, 208-20, over its last four games.

"I feel like a big brother on this team," said the 6-foot, 166-pound senior. "I want to set a real good example in school and on the field. As far as my role, I'm a real good practice player, and I make sure we practice hard, and I make sure we bring that into the game."

Mejias said he started playing football when he was 6. And from that point, until early last season, he was a dual-threat quarterback.

He said he loves the position, and still, in some ways, considers himself a quarterback. But when it became clear that his team was better with Bundy behind center — a fellow senior with a rocket for an arm, perfectly suited for a team loaded at wide receiver — Mejias said he was happy to move to receiver. It was an example of his living up to his team-first reputation.

"I'd been practicing at receiver a little bit," Mejias said. "I realized that I just wanted to win. And I knew wherever Coach put me, I'd feel really good about myself. I think I can win every matchup when I'm at wide receiver."

And playing quarterback for so long, Mejias said, has helped him build chemistry with Bundy.

"I feel like we're both coaches on the field," he said. "We both have an eye for the game. We know defenses, and when he's playing quarterback I always know where the ball is going."

It's a selfless style of play that Wright said is fueling his team.

"We've been successful because no matter who we've put on the field  there's no drop off," Wright said. "All the guys know what they have to do, and they're going out there and playing for each other.

"And Ja'yon is a big part of that."