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Every week Morris Sussex Sports, along with co-sponsors Football University and Athletic Republic of Randolph, identify one player out of the 37 teams we cover as our Player of the Week. We look beyond just stats. Our goal is to honor the best individual performance and how that effort was able to lift his team beyond its perceived boundaries. If you play varsity football in Morris Sussex next week just could quite possibly be your turn to be the FBU Player of the Week Powered by Athletic Republic of Randolph.

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Week 2 delivered a phenomenal weekend of football with a quite a few of outstanding individual performances.  Mount Olive QB Liam Anderson went off for 322-yards and 3 TDs through the air, Sparta gun-slinger Matt Maute passed for 287-yards and 2 TDs and Parsippany Hill’s signal caller Nick Verducci threw for 238-yards and 3 TDs and ran for another 78-yards and a TD with his legs.

In fact there were 17 players that rushed for over 100-yards and more defensive players who caught an interception than we can count.  But out of the 37 teams Morris Sussex Sports covers, no player made as big of an impact in Week 2 than Mendham’s Jack Anderson.

Down 20-0 in the first quarter, Anderson looked around at this teammates and decided he needed to start to make plays if his Minutemen had a chance to come back.  And make plays he did as he responded with a kickoff return for a TD, followed by a punt return for another TD.  Then the senior ball carrier busted out for 191-yards and 2 TDs on the ground.  If that wasn’t enough, he added an interception to help his squad beat the Marauders 42-27.

Jack Anderson, who is an FBU graduate poses with Football University

Jack Anderson, who is a Football University graduate, poses with FBU’s Vice President of Player Development Joe Bouffard as he accepts his Player of the Week Award.

Morris Sussex Sports:  When you were down 20-0 in the first quarter what were you and your teammates saying to each other?
Jack Anderson:  At first it was a little shaky but we knew we were the better team, so we never put our heads down. We got back up and fought harder. The captains Tommy Spinelli , Braden Stagg, Brian Speicher and I knew what we had to do in order to win and we got the job done. The offensive line did an especially great job blocking all night making huge holes for Reid Randolph, Giuseppe Canino, Tommy Spinelli and I.

MSS:  After you returned a punt and a kickoff for TDs did you feel nothing could stop you?
JA:  I didn’t feel as nothing could stop me. But I definitely had a boost in confidence and that’s when everything just started to click from there.

MSS:  What was the goal for the Minutemen before the season?
JA:  A state championship. My teammates and I worked very hard throughout this whole off-season and we feel like we deserve a chance back at the state finals.

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Not only was Anderson the star of the offense and special teams, he also was the leader defensively as he picked off a sure Mount Olive touchdown in the end-zone (photo by Game Face Photos).

MSS:  What about your team do you think is different from a lot of other teams around the conference?
JA:  I feel like our team is very close together. I feel like there is not a huge difference between being a sophomore or senior in our program because we all treat each other equally and respect one another.

MSS:  Who would you say is the flat out strongest player on your team?
JA: Giuseppe Canino. He’s a beast in the weight room, he has great blocks on offense and has a very good kicking leg. In the beginning of the season he got highest squat, bench, and clean.

And

Anderson credits his offensive line for creating big openings up front that allowed him to rush for 191-yards and 2 touchdowns (photo by Game Face Photos).

MSS:  Who turns into a different player when he puts a helmet on?
JA:  Brian Speicher. Off the field he is a nice and well respected kid but on game-day he becomes a bully on the field. He always does his job correctly holding down the line. Speicher is also a great leader on and off the field.

MSS:  What makes Coach Ressler the angriest?
JA:  Coach Ressler is usually happy but if we aren’t focusing up or not doing the right assignment on the field he can get a little ticked off.

MSS:  What makes him the happiest?
JA:  Coach Ressler is at his happiest when we execute our plays right and focus well on the field, in the weight room and also in the classroom.

MSS:  Who was your role model growing up?
JA:  Michael Jordan.

MSS:  What will it mean for your team and your community if you guys are walking through the tunnel onto the field at MetLife Stadium in early December?
JA:  It would mean everything. Ever since playing in Twin Boro we have always talked about it and set it as a huge goal for us. When we were freshman I remember our whole freshman team got the chance to suit up with the Varsity team during their run at the state championship. It was one of the most exciting and fun times that I’ve had here at Mendham. I really want to start that back up this season and lead another legacy for the years to come.

MSS:  Congrats Jack on being selected as the FBU Player of the Week Powered by Athletic Republic of Randolph for Week 2!
JA: Thanks for picking me! It is an honor.

George Muha has been covering high school sports since 2006. He feels high school scholar-athletes are the most important part of the community and highlighting their achievements on the field, in the classroom and within the community is his personal mission.

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