MONTCLAIR, NJ – “This was an example of not being prepared,” stated East Orange Campus High School football Head Coach Al-Majid Hutchins to his players after their game against Montclair High School this past Saturday. He is referring to the 55-10 loss for their second defeat of the season as they were looking to upset the Mounties at Woodman Field in Montclair.
Right from the opening kickoff, Montclair’s standout junior RB Daniel Webb carried the Mounties to a 20-0 first quarter lead that sent the Jaguars looking for answers in how to stop the Mounties’ rushing attack. Webb opened the game with a 90-yard kickoff return when he found a seam up the Montclair sideline for the early 7-0 lead. He followed that up with a 25-yard squirt up the middle, capping a four-play, 80-yard march with just over seven minutes left in the first quarter. The Mounties jumped on the ball after kicking an onside kickoff to put the still-stunned Jaguars back on defense. The move effectively kept the Jaguars to only two offensive series in which they punted each time. The third touchdown came with just 6:01 left in the first quarter when Webb capped a three-play, 50-yard drive with a 20-yard light burst behind his offensive line to stretch the lead to 20-0.
Late in the first quarter, the Jaguars, led by QB Q’uran Dixon, RB Giovanni Shine, and WR Naseem White, drove the ball down the field 52 yards in seven plays that led to Shine’s diving into the end zone from 5 yards out for a touchdown and a possible spark to the East Orange Campus quick-strike offense.
The Mounties felt that was enough as they erupted for 21 unanswered second-quarter points to put the game out of reach as the Jaguars were still trying to settle themselves and shut down the potent rushing attack of Webb and the Mounties. With the game well in hand, Montclair continued to stretched its 41-8 halftime lead beginning the third quarter.
Montclair scored another 14 points to cruise the remainder of the game, giving them a decisive 55-8 lead. EOCHS was able to force a late-game safety to bring the game down to 55-10 but it was already over as Montclair extended its record to 3-1 while sending the Jaguars into their bye week with a 3-2 record and undefeated Bloomfield Bengals coming to play at Robeson Stadium on Oct. 22.
“We have exactly two weeks to heal and prepare for Bloomfield,” said Hutchins to his players. “Two weeks! I expect everyone to put forth 100 percent effort in our practice and study hall schedule. There is no way we should have lost today or not taken this game seriously. So we are going to make the most of our week off and prepare for a battle that the other team is surely looking to take from us.”
EOCHS will have a two-game home stint starting with Bloomfield on Oct. 22 at 1 p.m. followed by a visit from an old Iron Hills Conference rival in Morristown High School on Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. East Orange will then close the regular season on the road with a Friday night showdown with West Orange on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. and then the annual Thanksgiving Day extravaganza with Barringer at Newark Schools Stadium on Thursday, Nov. 24, at 11 a.m.
The Jaguars are in the thick of the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group 5 playoff picture, only slipping one place behind Ridge High School, which is now ranked third in the sectional group power points. East Orange Campus holds a small edge over Bayonne, with Elizabeth and Union tied and Columbia rounding out the top eight slots. A win against Bloomfield will put the Jaguars back in the driver’s seat for home-field advantage with just two games left before the Nov. 5 cutoff.