EAST ORANGE, NJ – The East Orange Campus High School varsity football team lost to Bloomfield HS, 31-20, Friday night, Oct. 20, at Foley Field in Bloomfield.
It was the Jaguars’ third straight loss and moved their record to 3-3.
The Jaguars were in a particularly unique situation. They were coming off a bye week, needing to win at least two out of three games to lock a spot for the state playoffs. So when they went nearby to visit the Bengals of Bloomfield, they wanted to take that step in that direction. “It’s about the process that we are in,” said EOCHS head coach coach Rae Oliver. “We are still a young team and we are looking to still be competitive.”
The Jaguars drew first blood by dropping a big 52-yard bomb from Quadir Scott to speedy wide receiver Fayeson Carney on the first play. “That play set the tone for us as we sent Rady Rojas for the score, not too long after that,” said Oliver. Rojas scored from four yards out to give the Jaguars an explosive 7-0 lead.
The Jaguars didn’t waste any time on their second series, blasting their way to two big first downs and then airing it out on a 31-yard connection from Rojas to Andre Higgs, who finished with two catches for 52 yards and a touchdown. The Jaguars would extend the lead to 14-0 by the end of the first quarter.
But Bloomfield had something to say in the second quarter. They opened the quarter by going 48 yards in six plays, capping the drive by slipping running back Lenny Mumford through the middle of the Jaguars’ defense untouched for 15 yards and a score.
The Jaguars’ response was immediate as they worked their way to a devastating 40-yard bomb to Carney from Rojas to extend the lead to 20-6. The Bengals found the end zone two more times to close the half at 20-18.
Both squads went scoreless in the third quarter, but it would be all Bloomfield in the fourth quarter. They found their stride with the help of Jeremy Witherspoon. Witherspoon was the game-changer, sparking the Bengals offense by rushing 23 times for 102 yards and three touchdowns. Witherspoon scored on a 1-yard run and a 3-yard run that gave Bloomfield the lead. “We knew that East Orange was a very athletic team and would be difficult to play against,” said Bengals head coach Mike Carter. He also stated that the interception late in the game would be the icing they needed to keep EOCHS from responding quickly. Bloomfield would close the game with the victory and put the Jaguars’ playoff hopes in jeopardy.
Rojas finished three of nine passing for 82 yards, two TDs and one interception and had 10 rushes for 20 yards and one TD.
The Jaguars will visit Morristown on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 1 p.m. “We are fully aware that we needed this win to stay ahead of the playoff cutoff,” said EOCHS head coach Rae Oliver. “We will get there, but it will be a process as we get all of our players back on track.” Bloomfield will play Bayonne in Bayonne Friday evening, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m.