High School Football:
Governor's Bowl MVP Won by Adam Talieferro
Saturday, July 8, 2000
By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer
The state of New Jersey was well represented in the third annual Governor's Bowl All-State Classic football game on the campus of the US Military Academy at West Point. With the game being played in the state of New York, home field advantage was taken away with the Garden State defense. Eastern defensive back Adam Taliaferro, the game's defensive MVP for New Jersey, dominated his position by forcing the New York offense to throw away from his side of the field. Taliaferro was well represented with his family in the crowd and South Jersey proudly cheering him on.
This game, which puts some of the best senior all stars from the neighboring states of New Jersey and New York against one another, is intended to showcase their talents before entering the college life. Taliaferro has been making his friends and family proud with all of his success he has achieved at Eastern High School. He has been accepted to Penn State University to be coached by the great Joe Paterno. Also, this talented player was a member of the National Honor Society.
Almost everyone in the South Jersey area and beyond knows Taliaferro for his exceptional running back skills for the Vikings. Eastern's head coach Larry Ginsburg has had the privilege of watching his star back graduate with First Team All State, First Team All South Jersey, First Team All Group IV and First Team All Conference honors. Considered the South Jersey Player of the Year, he holds the school record of 62 touchdowns and a total of 3,227 yards. He also owns the South Jersey Scoring Championship with 176 points.
When he attends the Nittany Lions in the fall, don't look for him in the offensive back field. "I enjoyed those days (at Eastern), but I think their done", mentioned Taliaferro near the end of the game. Taliaferro started and played most of the game as the starting defensive back. His presence was definitely felt with two fumble recoveries, two interceptions and a modest gain on a punt return. "Well it helped a lot with my head coach (Coach Ginsburg) being the secondary coach. I didn't have that much to learn. I didn't have to learn any new defensives which helped me out a lot," Taliaferro proudly quoted. Hmm, could this be the making of another Deon Sanders? Stay tuned.
The New York team won the coin toss but deferred the choice to New Jersey. After accepting to receive the opening kickoff, they scored on their opening drive and took an early 6-0 lead. New York moved the ball well on their opening drive to New Jersey's 38-yard line. On a second and six, New York's Trevor Dimmie had the ball stripped which the defensive MVP, Adam Taliaferro, recovered the first of his two fumbles. On the very next play, New York's Nashaun Carter intercepted a pass and returned the ball 37 yards for their only score of the game. New York's 7-6 lead vanished on New Jersey's next possession when the workhorse Malcolm Postell scored on a 6-yard run.
Both teams were having success moving the ball down field. New York again moved the ball deep into Jersey territory only to be stopped again by the defensive MVP. New York's quarterback Cedric Stevens tried to force a pass in the endzone which Taliaferro intercepted and stopped their scoring threat. Stevens didn't see Taliaferro watching his every move when he threw the ball. The score remained 12 to 6 in New Jersey's favor.
In the fourth quarter and holding a 34-7 lead, Jersey was forced to punt. On the return, the ball was fumble and picked up by, the defensive MVP, who rumbled into the endzone. But, the officials ruled that the ball was "muffed" and could not be advanced. The New Jersey fans were disappointed and Taliaferro did not get his touchdown...yet. The last score of the game was by, the defensive MVP, who intercepted a pass and ran 40 yards for the touchdown. The game ended with a 48-7 score and Taliaferro helped New Jersey capture their third straight Governor's Bowl Cup.
Photos by Boog Williams