Photos by Jerry Simon: Bloomfield (white uniforms) vs. Passaic County Tech, in state playoffs, Nov. 10, at PCT.
WAYNE, NJ (updated Sunday Nov. 12, 8:38 a.m.) – On a very, very cold night, the Bloomfield High School varsity football team stayed red-hot.
Battling temperatures in the low 20s, the seventh-seeded Bengals stunned second-seeded Passaic County Tech, 21-3, in the quarterfinals of the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1, Group 5 state playoffs on Friday night, Nov. 10, at PCT in Wayne.
Senior running back Jeremy Whitherspoon ran for 99 yards and two touchdowns on 37 carries and junior quarterback Kyle Tice completed eight off 11 passes for 61 yards, including a 21-yard TD pass to junior receiver Will Robinson, to lead the Bengals. Junior receiver Brandon Holt had four receptions for 30 yards for the Bengals, who won their fourth straight game to improve to a 6-3 record in one of their biggest wins in their long history.
Bloomfield also snapped Passaic County Tech’s eight-game winning streak. Passaic Tech, which lost to Montclair in the season opener, finished 8-2 after being in the North Jersey Section 1, Group 5 state championship in each of the past three seasons, including winning it all in 2015.
Senior middle linebacker Joe Bumpus had 13 tackles, senior middle linebacker Jeremiah Askins had seven tackles with one tackle for a loss; senior linemen Chris Lazard had six tackles with one for a loss and sack; senior lineman Joe Penz also had six tackles with one for a loss; and junior outside linebacker Andrew Terc had five tackles with one for a loss for Bloomfield.
Passaic Tech last season lost to Ridgewood in the North Jersey Section 1, Group 5 title game.
The Bengals won their third playoff game in their history since the NJSIAA playoffs began in 1974. Their other two playoff wins came in 2012 when they reached the North Jersey Section 1, Group 5 championship game.
Bloomfield will now visit third-seeded Union City in the semifinals Friday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. Union City defeated sixth-seeded North Bergen, 35-0, for its fifth straight win to improve to 7-3. North Bergen finished 7-3. It was the second time Union City beat North Bergen this season, winning 28-0 in North Bergen on Oct. 27. The Bengals beat Union City in the 2012 semifinals before losing to Thanksgiving Day rival Montclair in a thrilling 16-13 double overtime final at MetLife Stadium.
Following the semifinal game, the Bengals will host Montclair on Thanksgiving Eve, Nov. 22, at 6 p.m
NJSIAA NORTH JERSEY SECTION 1, GROUP 5 STATE PLAYOFFS
7-Bloomfield def. 2-Passaic Tech, 21-3
3-Union City def. 6-North Bergen, 35-0
5-Ridgewood def. 4-Clifton, 31-20
1-Montclair def. 8-Livingston, 63-6
7-Bloomfield (6-3) at 3-Union City (7-3)
5-Ridgewood (8-2) at (1) Montclair (9-0)
Sept. 8, Won, Columbia, 41-13
Sept. 15, Won, at Nutley, 49-21
Sept. 22, Loss, North Bergen, 21-0
Sept. 28, Loss, at West Orange, 34-18
Oct. 13, Loss, at Livingston, 27-26
Oct. 20, Won, East Orange Campus, 31-20
Oct. 27, Won, at Bayonne, 43-21
Nov. 3, Won, Morristown, 48-21
Nov. 10, Won, at Passaic County Tech, 21-3*
*NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 1, Group 5 state playoffs