EAST ORANGE, NJ — The East Orange Campus High School football team cruised to a second straight victory to start the season as the Jaguars defeated Passaic, 42-0, Saturday afternoon, Sept. 14, at Paul Robeson Stadium in the home opener.
The Jaguars improved to 2-0. In the season opener, EOCHS defeated Newark East Side, 50-2.
The Passaic Indians had just one goal: win as a team. But their goal was hard to obtain as they were coming off a big loss to Union City after holding them to within a touchdown late in the third quarter. Passaic head coach William Widener, an Orange High School alumnus, had to find a way to overcome the daunting task of getting his squad past a veteran East Orange Campus Jaguars squad led by Nasir Montgomery, Keshawn Munford, Quadir Scott and Ian Brown.
EOCHS head coach Rae Oliver was expecting a good game, but wanted to keep an open mind as kickoff drew close.
The Jaguars jumped out to an early 20-0 first quarter lead when the Indians fumbled the ball twice deep in their own territory. The first fumble was from the opening kickoff, giving East Orange early red-zone access from Passaic’s 22- yard line. Montgomery wasted no time in finding Matthew Parchment on a 20-yard strike, which set up Bryant Manuel’s two-yard push into the house with 11:24 left in the first quarter.
Matthew Ziao repeated the same action after his defensive unit pounced on an errant Passaic fumble on its 14-yard line. Montgomery and co. quickly moved 10 yards before Ziao broke through from five yards out, putting the score at 14-0 with just 6:48 left in the opening period.
Scott got into the act from his defensive back position, intercepting a Passaic pass and waltzing into the end zone from 33 yards for the 20-0 score.
In the second quarter, East Orange kept the pressure on, forcing the Indians to punt three times but also giving up almost 60 yards in penalties as well. But Montgomery found Scott on a quick hitch play in which Scott pulled a crossover move, reversing his field for a 22-yard score and putting the score out of reach, 28-0, after a two-point conversion before the half.
The third quarter was more of the Montgomery-Scott show where they hooked up for a dazzling 52-yard reception that set up Manuel’s one-yard dive into the end zone. The point-after kick was no good to leave it at 34-0 with 9:49 left in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Montgomery hooked up with Scott at the 6:35 mark for another 22-yard pitch-and-catch to close the scoring.
Oliver’s staff had a message for their Jaguars’ backup players: “You need to be ready and step up.”
Oliver’s squad will head into a bye week before going to the heart of its schedule with Montclair, Seton Hall Prep and West Orange.
EOCHS will face Montclair on Sept. 28, at 1 p.m. at Robeson Stadium. Montclair defeated Nutley, 49-21, Sept. 14, in Nutley after losing to West Orange, 29-6, in the Rumble on the Raritan at Rutgers University during Week 0. “We have that marked on our calendar,” said Oliver of the home tilt with Montclair. He explained that his Jaguars had the opportunity to win last season’s meeting with Montclair, but costly penalties and Montclair’s ability to take advantage of that, cost them the game. East Orange is 4-1 in the last five games dating back to cutoff weekend in 2018, while Montclair stands 3-2 for the same time period. “We shall see,” as Oliver walked off after the stadium was clear.
East Orange Campus (2-0)
Sept. 6, Won, at Newark East Side, 50-2
Sept. 14, Won, Passaic, 42-0
Sept. 28, Montclair, 1 p.m.
Oct. 5, at Seton Hall Prep, 2 p.m.
Oct. 11, at West Orange, 7 p.m.
Oct. 19, Livingston, 2:30 p.m.
Oct. 25, Columbia, 7 p.m.
Nov. 1, at Bloomfield, 7 p.m.
Nov. 28, Barringer, 10:30 a.m.
Photos by Kerry E. Porter