The Phillipsburg High School football team scored a touchdown on its final possession of the first half and first possession of the second half in its road game at Hunterdon Central.

The State linersdriven by a strong performance in the secondary followed by a subdued late rally Red Devils improve to 5-0.

Phillipsburg defeated Hunterdon Central 21-7 in an American Silver Division Big Central Conference game Friday night.

Phillipsburg forced a turnover in the early going when junior Cameron Bohall ripped a deep pass over the middle with 7:53 left before halftime.

The Stateliners took the team to their 28 and started a 14-play, 72-yard drive. Senior Xavier Moore bounced off a pair of would-be tacklers for a six-yard touchdown and junior Luke Brogan’s PAT gave Phillipsburg a 7-0 lead with 1:09 left in the second quarter.

The Red Devils had a fumble to start the second half, but Phillipsburg junior Patrick Day forced a fumble on the return and senior Hunter Cleaver recovered at the Hunterdon Central 40.

The Stateliners moved the ball 22 yards on six passing plays before Jett Genovese found Matthew Szczerba Jr. open up the middle for an 18-yard touchdown pass.

The Red Devils moved the ball into the red zone on their next possession thanks to a 49-yard pass from Arjay Hart to Michael Curb. Hart then threw four straight incompletions and Phillipsburg took over at its 16.

Genovese’s sophomore connection with Scerbo Jr. capped a nine-play scoring drive with a 24-yard touchdown pass that put the Stateliners ahead 21-0 with 1:39 left in the third quarter.

Hunterdon Central got on the scoreboard 1:12 later when Hart connected with fellow junior Connor Gray on a 27-yard touchdown pass, but the Red Devils’ final two drives ended in Hart interceptions.

Genovese completed 11 of 15 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns. The sophomore added 71 yards on the ground on 11 carries.

Szterbo Jr. finished with seven catches and 103 yards.

Moore led the game on the ground with 84 yards on 16 carries. Juniors Caleb Rivera and John Wargo combined for 50 yards.

Vargo led Phillipsburg’s defense with six tackles, while Rivera finished with four tackles and two sacks. Bohall had two interceptions in the fourth quarter and now has four picks on the season.

The Stateliners improve to 5-0 for the first time since 2019 and will look to remain undefeated when they host Bridgewater-Raritan (2-4).

Hunterdon Central drops to 2-4 and will look to rebound when it travels to Hillsboro (4-1).

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Desmond Boyle can be contacted at

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