There were no tricks. No gimmicks.
And no points allowed, either.
All afternoon long, the Woodbridge football team’s defense lined up in its base defense and challenged St. Joseph of Metuchen to move the ball.
St. Joseph could not.
Woodbridge recorded its second straight shutout and third of the season in a 21-0 victory.
The Barrons, who blanked formidable Parsippany Hills last week, 41-0, improved to 5-0.
“Whatever 11 guys we put out there … they all do the job,” Barrons coach Joe LaSala said simply.
The only time their defense was threatened was when the Falcons drove to the Woodbridge 2 after having taken over the Barrons 34 after a poor punt late in the first quarter.
That is when Woodbridge’s defense rose to the occasion.
On first and goal at the 2, Woodbridge’s front wall stopped Jordan Kinsler at the line for a 1-yard loss. On second down, Kinsler was met by Woodbridge’s Austin Magera and Isaiah Jackson for a 4-yard loss.
Next came a Falcons false start and, on third down, QB Matt Stanton threw an incomplete pass. Kicker Chris Wylde then missed a 29-yard field goal.
Time and time again, St. Joe’s tried running on Woodbridge but couldn’t get anything going up front. Kinsler rushed 15 times for only 7 yards.
“They’re all coachable and they love to play defense,” LaSala said. “Frank Juliano is our defensive coordinator and he put the guys in the right position.”
St. Joseph couldn’t move the ball the rest of the half after the missed field goal, going three-and-out on its two remaining possessions.
In the second half, things didn’t get much better. St. Joseph (2-3) amassed just four first downs after intermission.
Some of the Woodbridge defensive standouts included Jackson, Magera, Jayson Bradley, Ayman Elhossiani, Zack Smolder, and Jordan Harris.
St. Joe’s last offensive play of the game epitomized how rugged Woodbridge’s defense was all afternoon as Harris smothered Stanton for a sack and 5-yard loss.
“To be honest, we just used our base defense,” LaSala said. “Our interior linemen could hold down the line of scrimmage and the secondary had to play defense. The pass rushers were able to just go.”
Go they did, as Woodbridge (two sacks) had numerous pressures.
The Barrons’ offense wasn’t at all as lethal as the defense, but it was methodical. Woodbridge took advantage of a St. Joe’s miscue on just the second play of the game, when Stanton couldn’t get ahold of the center snap and Woodbridge recovered at the Falcons’ 27.
Three plays later, Ali Lee Jr. went in from 15 yards out for his first of three touchdowns. Magera booted his first of three PATs to make it 7-0.
Woodbridge embarked on a six-minute drive late in the first half and began pulling away. Lee grabbed a pass from quarterback Anthony Santino for a 6-yard score with 38 seconds left in the first half, capping a 76-yard, 13-play march. Santino got the drive going with two completions to Isaiah Allen for 17 yards and a third one to Magera for 9 more. Lee accumulated 34 yards on six carries during the drive.
Woodbridge added a touchdown in the middle of the fourth quarter when Lee rushed in from 4 yards out. The Stony Brook-bound Lee added a fourth-quarter interception.
“Stud, stud,” LaSala raved. “Stony Brook is getting a steal. He just does everything well.”
Lee finished with 96 yards on 21 carries, doing much of his damage behind a line that included Scott Bromirski, Harris, Stephen Daramola, Elhossiani, and Aiden Velez.
“Those guys are in great shape,” LaSala said. “They’re strong and experienced. We keep things simple. We just kind of wore them down.”