Mainland’s Historic Football Season

by Marc Narducci | Dec 1, 2023
Mainland’s Historic Football Season
The Mustangs were the first team in South Jersey history to end a season 14-0. 

Mainland completed the 14-0 season with a 56-0 rout of Ramapo in the state Group 4 championship. Keep in mind that Ramapo entered the game as the No. 8 team in the state by NJ.com.

During the regular season, Mainland was dominant and while facing seemingly better competition in the postseason, the Mustangs never let up.

In five playoff games, they outscored opponents 237-47.

That averages out to a score of 47.4 to 9.4, meaning the average margin of victory in the postseason was 38 points.

Considering the competition in Group 4, that is an incredible stat.

Mainland’s closest playoff game was a 35-13 win over Millville in the South Jersey Group 4 championship.

That was even more impressive considering that Millville was the higher seed and was at home. In addition, it was a Millville team, with many of the same players that defeated Mainland, 18-14 in last year’s state Group 4 semifinal.

Mainland relied on one of the top ground games in the state, led by senior Stephen Ordille. This season Ordille rushed for 1,843 yards (9.0 avg.) and 30 touchdowns, according to NJ.com statistics.

In the two previous years he rushed for a total of 256 yards, but patiently waited his turn to be the No. 1 option. 

Last year’s top option for Mainland was J’Briel Mace, who rushed for 1,218 yards and 24 touchdowns. Mace is currently a freshman running back at Villanova. 

The ground game has long been a staple of the Mustangs, but sophomore quarterback John Franchini threw for 1,240 yards and 20 touchdowns this season. 

The leader on the other side of the ball has been senior defensive back Jamie Tyson, who leads the state with 12 interceptions. Tyson will join his former teammate Mace next season at Villanova. During the postseason Tyson had an interception in at least all five games, with six total. 

He was also a big part of the offense, with 26 receptions for 562 yards (21.6 avg.) and 11 touchdowns. Simply put, he has been one of the best two-way performers in the state. 

There was only one game in which Mainland didn’t win by at least 19 points – a 14-7 win over Hammonton. 

That was a true nail-biter as Ordille’s 3-yard TD run with 29.7 seconds left provided the winning margin. 

For the season, Mainland outscored teams 603-99.

And it was done against a highly competitive schedule. 

This was only the second year that the NJSIAA has conducted a state championship for public schools. Both years, the Group 4 state champion was from South Jersey, with Millville winning last year. 

It is a tribute to the talent in South Jersey, as Mainland’s season will go down as one of the most impressive all-time in South Jersey. 

 

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Author: Marc Narducci

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