Correction: The East Orange Campus vs. Barringer series is the sixth longest in state history.
EAST ORANGE, NJ (updated Monday Nov. 28, 2:25 p.m.) – Rady Rojas proved to be the hero for the East Orange Campus High School football team on Thanksgiving.
Rojas, a junior running back, scored three touchdowns and kicked a 32-yard field goal with 12.7 seconds left in regulation to lift the Jaguars to a thrilling 23-22 win at Schools Stadium in Newark.
Rojas finished with 206 rushing yards on 27 carries.
“Rady was a beast for us,” said Jaguars head coach Al-Majid Hutchins.
With the win, the Jaguars finished the season with a solid 6-4 record. It marked the seventh straight season that the Jaguars have defeated Barringer in the teams’ Thanksgiving Day series. Barringer won the 2009 meeting when the series was resumed.
Barringer opened the scoring in the first quarter when Zamar Wise threw a 55-yard touchdown pass to Kariem Stewart for a 6-0 lead.
The second quarter was scoreless as Barringer led 6-0 at the half.
The Jaguars tied it 6-6 when Rojas scored on a two-yard run with eight minutes left in the third quarter. The two-point conversion failed.
Barringer broke the tie on Jocquai Burton’s 72-yard interception return for a touchdown with under a minute left in the third quarter. Wise scored on the two-point conversion run for a 14-6 lead.
Rojas had a one-yard touchdown run with nine minutes left. Rojas also scored the two-point conversion run to tie it 14-14.
Rojas later scored on a 72-yard run with six minutes left to give the Jaguars a 20-14 lead. The two-point conversion failed.
Barringer answered on Wise’s 50-yard touchdown run with two minutes remaining. Wise then scored on the two-point conversion to give Barringer a 22-20 lead.
East Orange Campus took over at its own 35-yard line following the ensuing kick. The Jaguars drove deep into Barringer territory, setting up Rojas’ game-winning field goal.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak, including the recent loss to Elizabeth in the state North Jersey Section 2, Group 5 playoffs.
This was the 105th meeting between the teams, which is the sixth longest series in the state. East Orange holds a 57-39-9 series advantage.
East Orange Campus (6-4)
Sept. 9, Won, at Memorial of West New York, 61-15
Sept. 17, Loss, Columbia, 34-28
Sept. 23, Won, Livingston, 28-3
Oct. 1, Won, at Paterson Kennedy, 14-8
Oct. 8, Loss, at Montclair, 55-10
Oct. 22, Won, Bloomfield, 32-29
Oct. 28, Won, Morristown, 42-18
Nov. 5, Loss, at West Orange, 33-14
Nov. 11, Loss, Elizabeth, 42-13*
Nov. 24, Won, at Barringer, 23-22
*North Jersey Section 2, Group 5 playoffs