EAST ORANGE, NJ – The East Orange Campus High School varsity football team lost a tough 20-14 decision to Seton Hall Prep on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 29, at Paul Robeson Stadium.
The Jaguars lost their second straight and fell to a 2-2 record. East Orange Campus was coming off a one-point loss to Montclair, 28-27, the previous week.
The Jaguars and SHP Pirates resumed their series after not facing each other for the past few years due to new rules for non-public and public schools.
So with the rivalry on reboot, it was like nothing was ever lost between the two schools as the competition was stiff.
The first quarter was all defense for both squads as no one was able to get past the 35-yard-line on the either side of the field. East Orange’s stingy defense, led by LB Ian Brown (15 tackles, 1 Sack, 1 Deflected Pass) and DB Locksley Burke (16 tackles), made Pirates QB Aidan Gilman look for other outlets as the Jaguars had him completely bottled up in the first quarter.
It would take a jailbreak blitz from the Pirates early in the second quarter to break the stalemate. With 11:37 remaining in the first half, East Orange was set to punt from its own 38-yard line when the Pirates’ Vincent Henrich blocked Leonard Munford’s punt and returned 30 yards for a touchdown by Andrew Mitzak.
Seton Hall’s defense escaped a scoring threat by the Jaguars after QB Nasir Montgomery marshaled his squad down field with the help of WR Kasim Daniels and Quadir Scott, RB Bryant Manuel and Al-Shadee Salaam. With time winding down in the half, DB Foster Bryant knocked the ball out of Salaam’s hands and Foster also recovered the ball at the 1-yard line. The fumble recovery preserved a Pirates’ 7-0 lead going into the half.
The third quarter saw the Pirates jump out to a 13-0 lead after both teams traded punts on a defensive struggle. SHP QB Aidan Gilman showed the Jags that he had some wheels on him when he slipped through their defense for a 35-yard touchdown. But the Jags weren’t going to just take that lying down. Campus QB Nasir Montgomery (17 of 23 for 186 yards passing, 1 TD, 2 interceptions; 96 yards rushing on 17 carries, 1 TD) found a crease of his own for a 35-yard touchdown response with 5:35 left in the third frame, cutting the Pirates’ lead to 13-6. It didn’t take long for Seton Hall to find the end zone again. This time Gilman found WR Giye Jenkins for a 32-yard connection and the 20-6 stretch.
Montgomery found another answer for the Jags as he tossed a 22-yard touchdown to WR Mahjid Means-Terrell. Then he found Kashim Daniels in the back of the end zone for the two-point conversion, pulling East Orange within striking distance of the Pirates’ 20-14 lead. But Gilman and company did everything to fight the Jaguars off in the waning moments of the game.
“We knew that East Orange would come for us as we did a good job in holding them off,” said SHP head coach Bill Fitzgerald. “They show us a different look from what we’ve prepared for, but that is the nature of the game.”
On the other side of the field, East Orange head coach Rae Oliver was not overly happy in the outcome, but said that he is willing to look at this as a work in progress and simply requested all to come see them in action against West Orange in the Battle of the Oranges this Friday evening, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m. at Robeson Stadium.
“We will be ready to really show our potential,” Oliver said.
East Orange will conclude its three-game gauntlet at home, while SHP plays home next week to Montclair then on the road the following week to Delbarton.
The Jaguars will also on live stream via the www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/d1medipro
Photos by Steve Ellmore: East Orange (gray uniforms) vs. Seton Hall Prep
Editor’s note: This article was updated to correct the details of the SHP blocked punt; SHP fumble recovery; Gilman’s TD yardage; Montgomery’s TD pass yardage and two-point conversion; and Montgomery’s stats.