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Latest News in Netcong, NJ

Pennsylvania junior Ethen Knox believed to be the first running back in high school football history to top 2,000 yards in five games

Oil City (Pa.) junior Ethen Knox has done something no other high school running back has ever done. He's surpassed the 2,000-yard milestone in just five games. Nobody has done it quicker.After rushing for 301 yards in his first game, Knox has piled up totals of 402, 445, 424 and 432 yards. Only one other...

Oil City (Pa.) junior Ethen Knox has done something no other high school running back has ever done. He's surpassed the 2,000-yard milestone in just five games. Nobody has done it quicker.

After rushing for 301 yards in his first game, Knox has piled up totals of 402, 445, 424 and 432 yards. Only one other high school running back is known to have over 400 yards rushing four times in a season, and that's Tennessee Titan running back Derrick Henry during his senior year (2012) at Yulee (Fla.).

While Henry had back-to-back 400-yard games and three in four weeks, he never had four in a row, making Knox the first – and only – running back to accomplish the feat. With a 472-yard effort during his sophomore season, Knox is the only reported high school player with five 400-yard rushing outings in his career.

Additionally, no high school player has ever surpassed 2,000 yards in their first five games – until Knox. With 2,007 yards on 177 carries, Knox is averaging 11.3 yards per carry and 401.4 per game. No player has ever come within 60 yards of that per game average. The official record belongs to all-time great Ken Hall of Sugar Land (Texas), who averaged 337 yards in 1953 while rushing for 4,045 yards in 12 games.

It should be noted that the National Federation of High School Sports record book lists two other rushing yards per game averages above Hall. John Giannantonio of Netcong (N.J.) is listed with a 594 yard average, however that total is based on his all-purpose yardage total of 4,756 yards in eight games. His rushing total for the 1950 season was just over 3,000 yards (according to several New Jersey media sources), but the exact total is unknown. Giannantonio likely has an average close to 375 yards per game, but nothing official.

No. 2 on the NFHS list is Wes Danaher of Calallen (Corpus Christi, Texas) with 356.9 yards per game based on 3,569 rushing yards in 10 games. However Danaher actually played 15 games that year and his average would be 238 yards per game.

It should also be noted that the number of games with over 400 yards rushing for both Giannantonio and Hall are unknown. Hall rushed for 520 yards in one game in 1953, but no other 400-plus yard games are known. Likewise, Giannantonio is known to have rushed for over 500 yards in a game but there is no record of any other games over 400.

The averages listed in the NFHS record book are for a complete season, so it's possible that a player could have averaged 400 yards per game early in the season and thus gone over 2,000 yards in five games. Research by MaxPreps, however, has determined that no player even comes close to Knox's five-game total.

Here's a look at the 10 running backs who have come closest to rushing over 2,000 yards in their first five games of the season:

1. Tyler Ebell, Ventura (Calif.)Season total: 4,495 yardsFive-game total: 1,785 yardsBest game: 400 yardsAverage: 357 yards

2. David Dotson, Valley View (Moreno Valley, Calif.)Season total: 3,523Five-game total: 1,772Best game: 507Average: 354

3. Derrick Henry, Yulee (Fla.)Season total: 4,261Five-game total: 1,753Best game: 510Average: 350

4. Paul McCoy, Matewan (W.Va.)Season total: 2,301Five-game total: 1,723Best game: 661Average: 345

5. Kenneth Hall, Sugar Land (Texas)Season total: 4,045Five-game total: 1,685 (based on 337 average)Best game: NAAverage: 337

6. Arkeel Newsome, Ansonia (Conn.)Season total: 3,763Five-game total: 1,671Best game: 401Average: 334

7. Thomas Tyner, Aloha (Beaverton, Ore.)Season total: 3,415Five-game total: 1,657Best game: 643Average: 331

8. Kellen Overstreet, Penney (Hamilton, Mo.)Season total: 4,259Five-game total: 1,587Best game: 437Average: 317

9. Travis Henry, Frostproof (Fla.)Season total: 4,087Five-game total: 1,565Best game: 428Average: 313

10. Daniel Bangura, Harvest Prep (Canal Winchester, Ohio)Season total: 4,128Five-game total: 1,539Best game: 395Average: 308

As Jersey as…Mustard Pie

Spoiler Alert: This story ends with you trying mustard pie for yourself!What: Foodigenous Presents…Mustard PieWhen: Wednesday, September 28, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Where: Carmine’s Pizzeria, 75 Main Street, NetcongNow, even if you can’t make it…read on for a can’t-miss story.Despite the fact that Trenton-style tomato pie has continuously been sold at ...

Spoiler Alert: This story ends with you trying mustard pie for yourself!

What: Foodigenous Presents…Mustard PieWhen: Wednesday, September 28, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Where: Carmine’s Pizzeria, 75 Main Street, Netcong

Now, even if you can’t make it…read on for a can’t-miss story.

Despite the fact that Trenton-style tomato pie has continuously been sold at Papa’s Tomato Pie and other local pizzerias in Mercer County New Jersey since 1910, the majority of the state probably has no idea of what it is. Quite simply, Trenton tomato pie is a traditional round pizza with a twist: the cheese goes on first, then the sauce, which is often on the slightly sweeter side.

Here comes the fun part: As the story goes, Mustard pie is the accidental offspring of Trenton-style tomato pie.

According to the story, decades ago, an intoxicated customer walked into a pizzeria in the Chambersburg section of Trenton and slurred his order. The questionable local lore suggests that the pizza guy misheard mushroom for mustard and obliged. This sounds a little suspect to me but the result was a sobering spicy mustard pizza that was unexpectedly delicious.

In fact, Shuster’s kept it on the menu until they closed in the early 80s. Shortly thereafter, a former Shuster’s employee started working at Papa’s and brought the recipe with him. To this day, Papa’s proudly claims its role as the “Home of Mustard Pie,” complete with a loyal following.

Nowadays, mustard pie can be found at a sprinkling of neighborhood bars like JoJo’s Tavern and Pete’s Steakhouse Tavern, both in Hamilton. The two locations of the DeLorenzo’s in Mercer County make it as well. (You have to ask for it — it’s not on the menu.)

Each place has its own subtle take on the recipe, or brand of spicy mustard they use. No matter what though, it all starts with a liberal squirt of the yellow condiment, a sprinkle of cheese and healthy swirl of tomato sauce. This pairing might sound odd to the uninitiated, but believe me when I tell you: it works. Throw on some sausage and onions and you’ve got yourself a barbecue-esque flavor explosion.

I love food and I have a particular fondness for really local cuisine — so much so that I started my own little passion food blog, Foodigenous, over the pandemic. (The name is the clever merging of indigenous and food. (At the least, I think it’s clever.)

Through Foodigenous, my goal is to spotlight foods that are little known outside a particular area but adored by the folks who grew up with it. Not too much different from Andrew Zimmern, really, but I’m looking for the super local stuff that just hasn’t attracted a lot of attention yet. For instance, there was once a time when the only place to dip your spicy chicken wing into a vat of blue cheese was in Buffalo, New York. I think mustard pie is one of these foods.

Just recently, a few trendsetting Jersey pizzerias started to add this accidental offspring of Trenton-style tomato pie to their menus, extending its popularity outside of Mercer County. Nola’s, in Union County; The Pizza Terminal, in Verona; and Lillo’s Tomato Pies, in Hainesport, have all introduced their respective communities to the virtues of this Frankenpizza.

Seeing that this delicacy has yet to catch on in my childhood communities of Netcong and Stanhope in northwestern NJ (and to shamelessly plug my blog), I will be holding a Mustard Pie tasting event at Carmine’s Pizzeria, in Netcong, on Wednesday September 28.

Trust me, this event was no easy task to set up. Arm pulling and pleading happened. I was told “no self-respecting pizza maker would ever mix mustard with tomato sauce!”

Nevertheless, I persisted. And after I brought my own bottle of French’s and made the pie for them, the doubters were onboard. The general consensus was, “Wow, surprisingly good!”

If you haven’t made it to Mercer County, but trying this crazy indigenous food interests you, mark your calendar and stop on by and say hi. I will be the fella handing out coupons for free slices! Mustard pie is as Jersey as the Jersey Shore, just not enough of us realize it. Help me spread the word and prove its awesomeness to the world!

Bill Spadea crossing the Hudson to promote common sense

There's an election fast approaching. And as I make my way around the state, it's crystal clear that parents, teachers, cops, small business owners and everyone in between are fed up. They're fed up with over-regulation and intrusion of government in our daily lives.Fed up with absurd regulations that have government involved in everything from how you raise your kids to how you transport groceries from the checkout counter to your car.Fed up with a government that can barely delivery basis services or fix the roads.Fed ...

There's an election fast approaching. And as I make my way around the state, it's crystal clear that parents, teachers, cops, small business owners and everyone in between are fed up. They're fed up with over-regulation and intrusion of government in our daily lives.

Fed up with absurd regulations that have government involved in everything from how you raise your kids to how you transport groceries from the checkout counter to your car.

Fed up with a government that can barely delivery basis services or fix the roads.

Fed up that the government supported by their hard work and tax revenue prioritizes criminals over cops and illegals over homeless veterans.

We're getting larger and larger crowds of concerned and increasingly angry New Jerseyans are ready to drive change, now. I'm eager to get to the finish line on Nov. 8 and see a surge of brand-new local candidates win and get ready to take their seats on school boards, town councils and mayor's offices.

That's how you get NJ back on the right track. We start at the ground level and work our way up.

The other component is to motivate young people to pay attention and get involved — if only to cast a vote. Although we don't have a vibrant youth organization on the Jersey side of the Hudson, we're working to build it and there are plenty of young people showing up at events across the state.

Our friends in New York City are helping in a big way. Mobilizing volunteers and even designating a crew to focus on rebuilding the youth organization on the Jersey side. To that end, I've been invited to emcee the annual black-tie banquet in Manhattan on December 10th.

Looking forward to meeting and introducing strong conservative thought leaders like Jack Posobiec and Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Join me if you can!

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

The Growing Stage's Summer Arts Camp Returns

(NETCONG, NJ) -- The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, will present an in-person this summer for camp July 11 through August 12 at The Palace Theatre in Netcong. Summer Arts Camp is a week-long theatre experience filled with creative games, drama, stagecraft, music, and dance. The program is designed for children who will be attend...

(NETCONG, NJ) -- The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, will present an in-person this summer for camp July 11 through August 12 at The Palace Theatre in Netcong. Summer Arts Camp is a week-long theatre experience filled with creative games, drama, stagecraft, music, and dance. The program is designed for children who will be attending kindergarten in the fall of 2022 through students who have completed eighth grade in June of 2022.

It has been a year full of challenges for all of us, but The Growing Stage remains committed to providing quality arts education for our community.

Executive Director, Stephen L. Fredericks states, “We’re thrilled to be able to bring back our in-person Summer Arts Camp at the Palace. This program has been an integral part of our ongoing work in arts education since we started forty years ago. We look forward to welcoming the joy of our students in a safe, healthy environment and to have the chance to fill our theatre once again this summer with singing voices, dancing feet and the laughter found in making new friends.”

2022 Camp highlights include: 5 weeks of In-person camp will begin on July 11. Daily classes in drama, dance, music and stagecraft. Each week culminates in a Friday evening camp performance for families to attend. A safe and healthy environment for your child.

Each of the sessions have a specific theme and concludes with a Friday evening performance at 7:00pm. Families will be able to attend the event and a recording link will be provided as well for families to watch after the performance.

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info

Camp is under the direction of Lori Lawrence, Director of Educational Programming at The Growing Stage. The staff consists of carefully selected, trained professionals in the fields of theater, dance, music, and/or education. Their counselors are high school and college students who are interested in pursuing careers in education, theater, or the fine arts.

The Growing Stage’s programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals.

The Historic Palace Theatre is located at 7 Ledgewood Avenue in Netcong, New Jersey.

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info

This N.J. joint has mastered the cold pizza slice

New York City brags plenty about its pizza. Upstate New York? Not so much.But one New Jersey pizzeria is emulating an off-the-wall style of pizza that hails from Oneonta, a college town in the heart of New York state.And it’s cold cheese pizza.The unlikely style reportedly started at ...

New York City brags plenty about its pizza. Upstate New York? Not so much.

But one New Jersey pizzeria is emulating an off-the-wall style of pizza that hails from Oneonta, a college town in the heart of New York state.

And it’s cold cheese pizza.

The unlikely style reportedly started at Tino’s Pizza and Restaurant in Oneonta. The story goes that a regular slice of pizza was too hot for a customer to eat, and he asked them to throw some cold shredded mozzarella cheese on top to cool it down. A cold, cheesy star was born, and it is now a late-night drunk-food staple in the town.

Now, Carmine’s Pizza, a small pizzeria in Netcong, is serving the slice as a special — part of an event with food blog Foodigenous.com. Or at least they were on Thursday; it’s not technically on the menu anymore, they will still throw a handful of cold shredded mozzarella on a hot plain slice if you ask.

I was obviously skeptical of the cold cheese creation. First of all, New Jersey already makes better pizza than New York City — we definitely make better pizza than New York State. And I have had my share of cold cheese pizzas. They’re called leftovers!

But who doesn’t like shredded cheese? No one makes a pizza at home without snagging a handful of mutz to snack on as they put cheese on the pie. Extra cheese on a pizza is almost always a good thing. Maybe it could work cold!

So I made the trip across I-80 with an open mind and mouth. I got my two cold cheese slices and immediately thought one word. Lunchables. It looked like an oversized Lunchables pizza! I’m sorry, but after years of looking at glorious melted cheese atop a picturesque piece of pizza, there’s something jarring about seeing a cold mound of unmelted cheese on a slice. It looks like someone finger-painted over a pizza Picasso.

But after one bite I was sold. The combination of cold cheese and hot pizza made for a bizarre but definitely enjoyable bite. The cold cheese got a little melty, creating a tiny but glorious cheese pull, and added a touch of extra saltiness and chewiness to the top of the slice. And the cold cheese trick does work, I was able to eat a hot, fresh out the oven slice as quickly as I wanted to. That was pretty quick, because it was damn tasty.

I’m not saying I’m rushing up to Oneonta to try Tino’s take on the cold cheese slice. I still think the saving grace of my experience was that this was a New Jersey pizza, with a New York State topping.

But I definitely learned a lesson: Don’t judge a pizza by it’s cheesy cover.

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Jeremy Schneider may be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @J_Schneider and on Instagram at @JeremyIsHungryAgain.

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