By TOM WILLIAMS
Jada Byers of St. Joseph set new records for a Cape-Atlantic League player – plus South Jersey and state records – with his impressive 10-touchdown performance in the NJSIAA semifinals. Equally amazing is that no player at a CAL school had ever scored more than six touchdowns in a game in the seven decades CAL schools have been playing football. Yet Byers’ record-shattering game came about 18 hours after another player – junior Patrick Smith of Holy Spirit – had scored seven TDs.
Cedar Creek’s Lou Barrios has thrown 34 touchdowns this season, seven more than any quarterback ever at a Cape-Atlantic League school. Barrios has thrown five TDs in a game (the CAL record) four times – no other QB has even done it twice. And one of his favorite targets – Malachi “Max” Melton – caught four in one game to tie that record.
All four of them – Byers, Smith, Barrios and Melton – will be in action Sunday during New Jersey’s final weekend of football at Rutgers University.
But there is more.
Freshman Ja’Briel Mace of Mainland scored 19 touchdowns and 116 points this season, both new records for a CAL freshman.
Cedar Creek sophomore JoJo Bermudez, Ocean City junior Jake Schneider and Holy Spirit sophomore Elijah Steward lead CAL receivers this season with 10 TDs.
Cedar Creek junior Taylor Manning has 61 kicking points – 49 PATs and four field goals – a school record and the fourth most points in a season by a CAL kicker.
Smith and senior Keon Henry of Pleasantville each have three return TDs – three kickoffs for Smith and two punts and one kickoff by Henry.
Cedar Creek (36.8) has scored the most points per game and Pleasantville (10.8) has allowed the fewest among the 17 CAL football teams playing in the West Jersey Football League.
There are lots more individual and team numbers to see. Check out all those who are among the tops in scoring as we enter the season’s final weekend here.
And you can check out the top teams in the NJSIAA’s Southern Region in the current Online 25 here.