Nov. 1, 2022-- The closest game High School North football has played this season was its first, a 28-21 win at Washington Township. What followed was a hard-fought, 40-27 victory over Rumson Fair-Haven at Rutgers University that lived up to its moniker: Rumble on the Raritan.
Since then, the Mariners dominated the regular season and Shore Conference schedule, defeating opponents by an astonishing total score of 383-19.
And that doesn't include the team's NJSIAA South Jersey Group 5 win over Old Bridge last week, a 49-7 quarterfinal romp.
The team is undefeated at 10-0, the top seed in SJG5, and ranked no. 6 in the entire state. Quarterback Micah Ford-- who scored four touchdowns in the win against Old Bridge-- has more than 1,200 yards each passing and rushing, and as a junior has become one of the most sought-after college recruits.
That level of success is unique in its own right, and yet under the leadership of head coach Dave Oizerowitz the team has characteristics-- chemistry, personality, cohesiveness, whichever word fits-- that demands attention and admiration.
"This is a special group of young men who deserve the success they have earned," said HSN Principal Ed Keller, who can often be found on or near the sidelines, home or away. "They genuinely like each other, and the family atmosphere they've instilled has helped them throughout the season's first 10 weeks."
Next up for the Mariners is a semi-final SJG5 matchup Nov. 4 versus Marlboro, which narrowly beat Washington Township 21-17 Saturday. As North looks to remain unbeaten, and earn a trip to the title game, they have a lot of support in their corner.
"Good luck to High School North football as they move through the Group 5 playoffs," said Keller. "Our school firmly stands behind them."
So does the entire district and Toms River community.
All photos courtesy of High School North student Luke Saglembeni and Luke SagsPhotography.