EAST ORANGE, NJ – The East Orange football Panthers were on the road this past weekend for their contests against Somerville-Branchburg United in Somerville and Silk City Cardinals of Paterson. The Panthers were victorious in two of the four games they played.
The weekend got off to bang when the 11U Panthers were a part of an event at Paul Robeson Stadium when they watched East Orange Campus High School take on Paterson Kennedy High School. But that wasn’t the extent of their day. They left the game to travel 45 minutes to Torpey Sports complex to take on the United. The Panthers ultimately would have two touchdowns called back on them in their 20-6 loss to the United on Saturday evening, Sept. 30.
On Sunday morning, Oct. 1, the Panthers were back in Paterson for their games against the Silk City Cardinals at the campus of Passaic County Technical Institute in Wayne. The day got underway with the 8U team winning big, 26-0, over Silk City 8U B squad.
The Cardinals 10U squad responded in kind by taking flight and pitched a shutout. Led by Jordan Cleaves’ two touchdown performance, the 10U Panthers were not able to answer the Cardinals as their defense was able to keep them from scoring. The Cardinals opened the scoring with a 52-yard kickoff by Julian Zimmerman. Later in the first quarter, the Cards found the end zone again with Marquan Carter’s 18-yard scoot to paydirt. Cleaves would score on 30 and 27 yards.
Silk City played host to the 11U Bergen County All Stars and the Morris County Crusaders 12U teams. Silk City and Bergen County had fireworks right from the opening kickoff. What looked to be a track meet, Bergen County took the opening kickoff 72 yards with Silk City responding in kind on a 62-yard return. When the dust finally cleared on the 11U game, it would be the Bergen County All Stars walking away with a 22-18 victory.
In the 12U game, it would be the Cardinals, led by Dujuan Samuels’ three touchdowns, which would power them past the Crusaders 26-6.
The final game of the day saw more fireworks as the 13U Panthers came calling on the 13U Silk City Cardinals. The Cardinals kept to the theme of the day by opening their game with a 92-yard touchdown return by Quadir Alexander. But the Panthers were not going away easily. In fact, they brought out their playmakers with QB Kaleb Harmon-Simmons, RB Calvin Scott, RB Nysir Henderson and DE Moungue Nyame. Simmons would feed his backfield the ball three times before connecting with RB Calvin Scott coming out of the backfield for a 43-yard screen pass and touchdown to tie the game at 6-6 in the first quarter. Scott would score again in the second quarter on a 23-yard blast, capping a seven-play, 53-yard march to put the Panthers up 12-6 at the half. The Panthers weren’t done yet in the second half when put together an impressive 12-play drive that was capped by FB Nysir Henderson when he plunged into the end zone from 2 yards out.
But the Cardinals had a little fight left in them as they battled back into the game. Cardinals RB Na’Quan Williams turned on the afterburners and flew 60 yards to score to climb back in the game, 19-13. But the Panthers’ stingy defense made it even more difficult for the surging Cardinals. Led by DE Moungue Nyame’s key sack in the fourth quarter, the Panthers were not letting the Cardinals catch up with the help of an interception by QB/DB Kaleb Harmon-Simmons. But the game was coming to the wire and the Cards had one last trick up their sleeve. They broke the huddle with 10 players while one other player was still getting instructions from the Cardinals’ sideline. QB Sammy Viera fooled everyone by leading everyone towards the Panthers’ sideline before unleashing a 43-yard bomb to wide open WR Jahiem Best and knotting the game at 19-19. The contest would end in a draw at the end of regulation.
The Panthers will be home against Union County and Bergen County for the 8U and 11U games. “Due to the Hudson County games being cancelled and forfeited, we are looking to fill our schedule with other teams for our 10U and 13U levels,” said Panthers president Tyrone Miles. “However I urge our team parents and fans to contact us for updates on our website www.leaguelineup.com/ppypanthers; our social media www.facebook.com/ppypanthers; or you can call me at 201-341-3933.” Game time for the 8U Game will be 10 a.m. at Paul Robeson Stadium in East Orange.