It wasn’t a national holiday in Oakhurst — a community in Ocean Township, New Jersey — on Friday, but it might as well have been.
With Ocean Township’s favorite child (sorry Bruce Springsteen, Ashley Tisdale and Wendy Williams) Kenny Pickett guiding Pitt football into an ACC Coastal division clash against Virginia Saturday afternoon, for a chance at the ACC title game in a few weeks, his hometown community rallied behind Pitt football on Friday.
Wayside Elementary School in Ocean Township made its Heisman Trophy choice very, very clear even before Saturday’s game.
— Kristen McHugh (@KMcHughGuidance) November 19, 2021
It was an all-out effort at Wayside Friday, with Wanamassa Elementary School also joining in on Kenny Pickett Day. The old saying of, ‘it takes a town to raise a child,’ is particularly true when talking about Pickett’s upbringing.
With photos from Tina Conti, Christine Roventini and Kristin McHugh, the educators from Ocean Township showed their dedication to Pickett and Pitt’s quest for an ACC title berth. With help from home and home away from home in Pittsburgh, Pickett delivered.
— Victor Milano (@WanamassaElem) November 19, 2021
With Pitt’s season on the line, a loss to Virginia handing the reins to UVA in the ACC Coastal, Pickett stood in when facing pressure and delivered. Pickett threw for 340 yards and four touchdowns on 26-of-41 passing attempts to lead Pitt to a 48-38 win over UVA to clinch the conference division and advance to the conference title game.
Pickett’s four touchdowns, all to star sophomore Jordan Addison, continued one of the best seasons in Pitt football history and in college football this season.
Pickett has thrown for 3,857 yards and 38 touchdowns on 386-of-426 passing attempts (just over 67 percent completion) and only six interceptions. But, more importantly, with the win over UVA, Pitt clinched an ACC championship berth against the winner of the ACC Atlantic division.
When Pickett returned to Pitt this season, spurning NFL Draft — Day 3 — hype, he bet on himself. With Ocean Township in his corner, he’s delivered. With Pittsburgh in his corner, how much more can he deliver?