Weequahic leaves food for thought for future Soul Bowl
Underclassmen standouts like Marshall lead Weequahic past Shabazz
Mike Kinney – For The Star-Ledger
Rashawn Marshall and a few of his classmates played big roles for Weequahic on this gorgeous Thanksgiving Day, while also being sure to submit their advance orders for more of the same in Soul Bowls to come.
Marshall is a sophomore who has played with surprising maturity all season, and who performed with particular polish and spark against archrival Shabazz on Thursday morning. He carried 13 times for 131 yards and a career-best three touchdowns, and fellow sophomores Emmanuel Asante and Zakai Armstrong and freshman Ibrahim Sisse handled the rest of the scoring to steer Weequahic to a 29-0 victory over the Bulldogs in the renewal of the Soul Bowl at Untermann Field in Newark.
And as the youngsters had their fun romping around in the end zone, senior statesmen such as Jordan Augustin, Joshua Sanyaolu, Trinade Hay and Tygiuan Daniels directed Weequahic’s defense to its fourth shutout this season.
“We’ve got a lot of good young guys on this team and I always tell the, ‘If you get the opportunity, take it, let it go; leave it all out there on the field,’ ” aid the 6-3, 275-pound Augustin, who has followed that process on a regular basis for the past three seasons.
The under-recruited Augustin anchored a fierce defensive front along with Sanyaolu by recording five tackles for losses and a sack, and Augustin and Sanyaolu also provided the push for Marshall and Asante and protection for senior QB Zakir Martin, along with fellow offensive linemen Macnosa Omosalami, Ueriel Saldana and Jaylin Freeman.
“It feels real good, but I know I couldn’t have done it without my line, though. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here right now,” Marshall said.
Marshall either duped or dragged a few too many Shabazz defenders to believe that he would have come up empty without the bone-jarring Augustin on his side, but we understand and respect his point. Offensive headache as he has been for the opposition, Marshall is still only a sophomore with plenty of leadership opportunities ahead.
“Those are my hearts back there,” two-way lineman Sanyaolu said of Marshall and Asante. “I just told them, ‘Man, I’ve got your backs. I’ll open the hole and you’ve just got to hit it.’ ”
Sanyaolu, like Augustin, did quite a pretty nice job of clogging holes, as well. He rang up a team-high three sacks and had two other tackles for losses. Sanyaolu (6-0, 240) is a handful all on his own for rival lineman, but especially lethal when Augustin is double-teamed, and that happens rather regularly.
As for those other point-scoring underclassmen, Asante scored on a 5-yard run late in the second quarter for a 14-0 lead, Armstrong tackled a runner in the end zone for a fourth-quarter safety, and Cisse kicked four PATs to send Weequahic (7-5) to its second straight Soul Bowl victory and 10th since it was restored as a holiday favorite in 2009. Shabazz leads this overall series with its South Ward neighbor, 36-31-6.
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