Saint Joseph running back shines in all-star football game

Scott Jacobs

Jordan Davis really wanted to beat the all-stars from northern New Jersey on July 18 in the Autoland Classic at Kean University.

Davis, Saint Joseph Regional High School’s recently graduated running back, suffered through double digit postseason defeats to northern New Jersey programs in three consecutive years as a member of the Metuchen school’s program.

Each loss prevented the Falcons from making a state title run.

So when Davis got selected for the Autoland Classic’s Middlesex County All-Star team, he had one last chance to beat a great squad from the northern half of the state, in this case the Union County All-Star team. And Davis took full advantage of this opportunity, carrying the ball 16 times for 84 yards and a touchdown.

His 13 yard-touchdown run in the fourth quarter opened up a two-score lead for Middlesex County. Central New Jersey’s Middlesex County team went on to defeat Union County, 23-7, at Kean’s Alumni Stadium in Union.

The annual all-star game, originally called the Snapple Bowl, pits recent graduates from Middlesex County and Union County against each other. The game also raises funds for the Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside and the Lakeview School of Edison, a program of the New Jersey Institute for Disabilities.

Middlesex County’s victory in this summer’s game increased its all-time series lead to 16-10.

Davis was proud to shine in his final scholastic game.

“It’s our last game in New Jersey,” Davis said after his touchdown. “We have to show out.”

Davis certainly “showed out” on his touchdown scamper. He took the handoff, cut left toward the sideline and sprinted up the field through a gaping hole. The running back from the Metuchen school then broke away from the crowd down the left sideline, leaping into the end zone for Middlesex County’s first touchdown of the game.

The 5-9, 165-pound back ran behind some solid lines at Saint Joseph, but he ran behind an all-star wall on July 18 at Kean. Just like he would after a high school game, Davis was quick to credit his line following his big run.

“It’s like I never lost a beat,” Davis said. “These guys are big and they opened up holes.”

Davis will leave for Kutztown University in a few weeks, and he will play football at the Division 2 Pennsylvania school. Now he can look toward his next chapter with satisfaction about the one that just ended.

“I wanted to go out of New Jersey with a bang,” Davis said. “I’ve never beaten a north Jersey team in my life.”

To a large degree, Middlesex County beat Union County because its defense played great. Middlesex intercepted two passes and held Union County to no points in the second half on July 18.

After the central Jersey team took a 9-7 lead early in the third quarter, Edison High School’s Kamille Pryor picked off a pass along the left sideline. The free safety leaped up, pumped his fist and walked to the sideline as his teammates mobbed him.

The play continued Middlesex County’s  momentum swing and helped lead to the two touchdowns that put the game away. It also capped a senior year when Pryor helped Edison go 8-3 and reach the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 5 sectional playoff semifinals.

“It’s a blessing that I have the opportunity to play here, and that I’m healthy,” Pryor said.

Now Pryor will move on to play Division 2 collegiate football at the University of New Haven in West Haven, Connecticut. He will study business analytics and marketing, with plans to go into real estate.

“I’m not going to go there with a big head. I have to work for it,” Pryor said. “And I’m going into real estate because I’m good at talking to people.”

“I can help people out,” he added.