East Brunswick High School
Football – 2004 Champions

Coach: Marcus Borden

Assistant Coaches: Keith Lane, Glen Pazinko, Tony Toto, Matthew Pazinko

Season Record 10-2
State Sectional Champions!!!

Varsity Letter Winners: Daniel Acciani, Robert Ayala, Greg Byrne, David Dalton, Raffaele Danise, Nicholas Dzielak, Chris Fegan, Dan Fessel, Michael Franchino, Laura Frey (Mgr), Eric Gaertner, Ilya Gershkovich, Joseph Gesualdi, Eric Halperin, Stephen Halupka, Aaron Horace, Jovan Jones, Daniel Lax, Matthew Mariano, James McCloskey, Aleksandra Ochman (Mgr), Antoine Ojeil, John Parke, David Ruffner, David Schuberth, Will Stoffers, Robert Wait

Game Summaries

East Brunswick football players celebrating after the victory

David Ruffner enjoyed the police and fire department escort

What a thrill to be watching my son play at Rutgers stadium

The East Brunswick High School Marching Band

East Brunswick playing Jackson for the championship

David Ruffner enjoys the victory

Dec. 5, 2004 – East Brunswick 17, Jackson 14:
The Bears won the Group 4, Central Jersey Football Championship (NJSIAA) by beating
Jackson in a great game in front of a very enthusiastic crowd at Rutgers Stadium.
Jackson’s first drive ended quickly when the Bears intercepted a pass on the ensuing drive,
East Brunswick drove down the field, but when then got close Jackson
was able to stop them and East Brunswick had to settle for
a field goal. On Jackson’s next
possession, they made it look easy, making a quick trip down the field for a
touchdown. East Brunswick deflected the extra point to keep the score to 6-0.
East Brunswick was able
to come right back with some clutch running by Matt Mariano and a long run by Nick Dzielak for a touchdown.
With the extra point it was 10-6 where it remained until half time thanks to some good defensive plays
by East Brunswick including a blocked field goal.
Early in the second half, East Brunswick made a series of great plays for first downs, including a
beautiful catch by Jimmy McCloskey. Then Matt Mariano threw a perfect pass to Danny Fessel who raced
down the middle of the field for a touchdown. With another successful conversion, the lead was 17-6.
Jackson got back into the game after they quickly scored a touchdown following a Bears fumble on a
punt return.
East Brunswick stopped the attempted two point conversion leaving them with a five point lead 17-12.
The Bears were able to shake it off and played great football for the rest of the game.
Danny Fessel made an interception and East Brunswick was nearly able to run out the clock, but
with 26 seconds left in the game, they elected to take a safety to avoid the risk of a punt from deep in
their own territory. Rafaele Danise boomed the ensuing free kick 65 yards to make Jackson start on their
own 20. With only 20 seconds left however Jackson made a long pass and was actually able to attempt
a long field goal in the last second, but it was well short and East Brunswick was victorious!
Nov. 26, 2004 – Old Bridge 20, East Brunswick 0: The Bears struggled in the muddy conditions at Old Bridge on Thanksgiving. The first half was a defensive struggle with neither team able to move the ball. In the second half, Old Bridge broke some big plays for scores while still keeping East Brunswick’s offense contained. Hopefully East Brunswick will shake it off for the game against Jackson on December 5th. Let’s all be there to cheer on our boys!
Nov. 19, 2004 – East Brunswick 28, Hillsborough 21 (In Overtime):
The Bears win the Semi-Finals of the NJSIAA playoffs by beating
Hillsborough in a very exciting game. The bears started the scoring with a run around the right
side by Matt Mariano on fourth down. With the extra point, the Bears were up 7-0.
Hillsborough mounted a
strong drive, but the defense stiffened and Hillsborough was forced to try for a field goal
which Chris Fegan of East Brunswick blocked. East Brunswick had trouble moving the ball
and near the end of the half Hillsborough tied up the
game at 7-7. In the third period, East Brunswick moved powerfully down the field and
scored a touchdown, but they didn’t
convert the extra point. Hillsborough then took a lead by scoring a touchdown
and making the extra
point to lead 14-13. East Brunswick fought tough and drove down the field and
on forth down was able to
plow in for a touchdown. Nick Dzielak with a tremendous second effort made a two
point conversion to make the score 21-14. Hillsborough was not ready to give up. They marched
down the field and scored and touchdown and made the extra point to tie the game. East Brunswick
started the overtime and scored quickly on a one yard run by Matt Mariano. When
Hillsborough got the ball, the Bears defense
was dominating. John Parke first made a tackle in the backfield, then Jimmy McCloskey intercepted
the ball which ended the game and the Bears swarmed
over the field. East Brunswick will play Jackson for the finals at Rutgers stadium,
December 4th. Be there to cheer on the Bears!
Nov. 14, 2004 – East Brunswick 13, Brick Twp. 12: The Bears win the first round of the NJSIAA playoffs by beating the Brick Twp. Dragons. The game quickly turned into a defensive struggle until Matt Mariano of East Brunswick broke free and dashed about 70 yards for a touchdown. He then added the extra point to put the Bears up 7-0. Brick mounted a drive, but was forced to settle for a field goal. Both sides struggled for field position after that until near the end of the half when Matt Mariano connected with Dave Dalton over the middle for a touchdown. East Brunswick was not able to convert the extra point and led at halftime 13-3. Late in the fourth quarter, Brick had a powerful drive for a touchdown with extra point to make the score 13-10. When the Bears were forced to punt, the snap went over Rafaele Danise’s head and he alertly kicked it out of the end-zone for a safety making the score 13-12. John Parke made an interception and it looked like the game was over, but Brick was able to stop the Bears and with some impressive clock management drove down into field goal range. With about 15 seconds left on the clock, John Parke dashed in to knock Brick for a loss. With two seconds left, Brick attempted a field goal which fell a few yards short and left the Bears victorious. Please come out to cheer on our boys 7PM Friday at East Brunswick High School for the semifinal game.
Nov. 5, 2004 – East Brunswick 14, Woodbridge 13: The bears got off to a bad start
with Woodbridge quickly going up 13-0 after returning a fumble for a touchdown. At the end of the half,
East Brunswick drove down and scored a touchdown. In the second half, it was back and forth, but with
fantastic punts by Rafaele Danise keeping Woodbridge pinned deep in their own territory, the Bears were
finally able to go on top with a diving touchdown by Jimmy McCloskey and the point after touchdown
by Matt Mariano. Next week is the playoffs, be there to cheer on the Bears!
Oct. 30, 2004 – East Brunswick 23, South Brunswick 21: This game was not good for those with heart conditions, but in the end, a good snap from David Ruffner, a well placed hold by John Parke, and a straight kick by Matt Mariano was all the Bears needed to go ahead of South Brunswick with 16 seconds left to go in the game.
Oct. 22, 2004 – East Brunswick 35, J.P. Stevens 0: The Bears routed J.P. Stevens with a strong showing by both the offense and defense. Nick Dzielak scored 3 touchdowns. Matt Mariano seemed to be able to complete passes to David Dalton at will. Danny Fessel and Will Stoffers both intercepted passes and to add insult to injury Rafaele Danise twice pinned the Eagles inside the 10 when the Bears did have to punt. Look out South Brunswick, the Bears are coming!
Oct. 8, 2004 – East Brunswick 16, Sayreville 7: East Brunswick completely dominated on
defense. Rafaele Danise made 3 tackles for loses and forced a fumble. Dave Dalton had two interceptions. This was a real team effort. Sayreville only converted one first down in the entire first half. The offense also played very well with long drives capped by Matt Mariano touchdown runs and a field goal kicked by Matt Mariano. The bears have proved that they are a top notch football team.
Oct. 1, 2004 – East Brunswick 28, North Brunswick 7: The Bears totally dominated the North Brunswick Raiders in front of the home crowd.
Matt Mariano completed two touchdown passes to Danny Fessel. Rob Ayala ran for the third touchdown. Matt Mariano also kicked a field goal and scored the final touchdown on a keeper. The defense was awesome – completely shutting down the Raiders until late in the game when they scored a touchdown on a long run. Way to go Bears!
Sept. 23, 2004 – Piscataway 19, East Brunswick 13: The bears lost a tough game to the top
ranked Piscataway team. The defense kept East Brunswick in the game with three fine goal line stands
in which Piscataway only scored 7 points. Dave Dalton saved a touchdown by batting away a pass. Late in the
game the Bears missed getting a first down by an inch. Even then, had East Brunswick managed to recover
an on-side kick, they still might have come back. These gutsy Bears never give up!
Sept. 19, 2004 – East Brunswick 55, Edison 2: The Bears cruised to victory over Edison.
Nick Dzielak, Matt Mariano and Rob Ayala all made great runs. The defense completely shut down Edison.
Crushing tackles were made by Dan Fessel, John Parke, Greg Burn, James McCloskey and others. Way to go Bears!
Sept. 10, 2004 – East Brunswick 41, Perth Amboy 14: The Bears proved dominating in their season
opener against Perth Amboy. Lead by Matt Mariano and Jovan Jones, East Brunswick was unstoppable. The defense
added three first half interceptions which helped the Bears roll to a 35 point lead at the half.