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HSN football photo by Luke Sags
Photo by Luke Saglembeni/LukeSags Photography

High School North football photo Ted Gillen

A dominant run following a second surprising regular season loss pointed to good things from Jeremiah Pruitt (left) and the entire team, and ultimately ended with the High School North Mariners celebrating a second consecutive state title.

'Great kids' define legendary era

Nov. 28, 2023-- High School North football followed up its 2022 NJSIAA Group 5 state title with another, beating previously-unbeaten Passaic Tech in Piscataway last night, 23-13.

It was an old-school game featuring a lot of groundwork and stout defense. HSN senior quarterback Micah Ford-- heading to Stanford next year-- rushed a whopping 41 times, netting just under 200 yards and a touchdown. Senior wide receiver and defensive back Jeremiah Pruitt hauled in a TD on offense, and made several huge plays on defense, including an early, awe-inspiring interception.

The Asbury Park Press notes that "Toms River North is the first public school to win two state championships," which account for the two years since the NJSIAA expanded to an overall group state champion. The Press also posits that the Mariners have a strong case to be considered the top public school football program in all of New Jersey. 

[Update 11/30/23: The Asbury Park Press has, in fact, named Toms River High School North the top public school football team in New Jersey.]


Photo by Luke Saglembeni/LukeSags Photography

Wherever this team ultimately lands on "all-time" lists, its legacy is secured. With a 26-2 record over the past two seasons, two state titles, and star players on both sides of the ball-- at the skill positions and in the trenches-- this era of Mariners football is officially legendary.

Better yet, as maintained by Principal Ed Keller throughout this unprecedented run of success, "They're all great kids."

Congratulations to all of these great kids, their families, the coaching staff, and everyone involved in the program. Game photos forthcoming. Special thanks to HSN's own Luke Saglembeni for his outstanding photos capturing the era-defining win, many of which are featured here.

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