IRVINGTON, NJ (updated Monday Nov. 7, 11:04 a.m.) – It’s now time for the playoffs.
This is what the Irvington High School varsity football team has been waiting for.
Under first-year head coach Ashley Pierre, the Blue Knights are looking to win a state playoff championship, something that has never been done in the program’s history.
Irvington received the No. 2 seed in the state North Jersey Section 1, Group 4 playoffs and will host seventh-seeded Randolph in the first round on Friday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. This is the first time the Blue Knights are in Section 1, Group 4.
The winner between IHS and Randolph will face the winner between fifth-seeded Fair Lawn and fourth-seeded West Morris in the semifinals the following weekend.
The top seed is expected to be Wayne Hills, which handed the Blue Knights their first loss of the season, 48-27, last Friday night, Nov. 4, at Wayne Hills in a game that determined the inaugural North Jersey Super Football Conference-Freedom White Division championship. The Blue Knights moved to an 8-1 record. Wayne Hills won for the eighth straight time and improved to 8-1.
Indeed, the Blue Knights want to face Wayne Hills again. If the two teams meet in the playoffs, it will be in the championship game, most likely held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.
In Friday’s game, senior quarterback Jyvon Brown passed for two touchdowns and ran for another for the Blue Knights.
Wayne HIlls was led by quarterback Brendan Devera, who passed for five touchdowns to give him 29 for the season, breaking the school’s single-season record.
The Blue Knights took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when Brown scored on a two-yard run on fourth-and-goal. Brown kicked the extra point.
Devera hit Tyler Hayek for a 23-yard scoring pass to tie it 7-7. Joe Mongelli ran for an 11-yard touchdown to make it 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Devera threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Jaaron Hayek to make it 20-7 in the second quarter. The two-point conversion pass failed.
Senior running back Alnazir Blackman ran for a one-yard touchdown for the Blue Knights to cut it to 20-13 later in the quarter. The extra-point kick failed.
Devera threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Evidence Njoku for a 27-13 halftime lead.
The Blue Knights fumbled on the second-half kickoff and Wayne Hills recovered the ball. Devera connected with Mongelli for a 13-yard touchdown pass to extend it to 34-13. Mongelli had an eight-yard touchdown run to make it 41-13 at the end of the third quarter.
Brown threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to junior Jasiah Provillon to cut it to 41-19 in the fourth quarter. The two-point conversion run failed. Devera hit Hunter Hayek for a 22-yard touchdown pass to increase it to 48-19. Provillon caught a one-yard touchdown pass from Brown. Provillon also caught the two-point conversion pass from Brown.
The Blue Knights are in the playoffs for the first time since 2014. They appeared in the North Jersey Section 2, Group 4 playoffs for three straight seasons (2012-2014).
IHS’ only state playoff championship appearance occurred 10 years ago. The Blue Knights lost to New Brunswick, 18-14, in the North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 playoff championship game at Rutgers in 2006.
Wayne Hills, seeded seventh, lost to No. 1 seed Old Tappan, 17-0, in last season’s North Jersey Section 1, Group 4 championship game at MetLife Stadium.
North Jersey Section 1, Group 4 playoffs
8-Roxbury at 1-Wayne Hills
5-Fair Lawn at 4-West Morris
6-Morris Knolls at 3-Wayne Valley
7-Randolph at 2-Irvington
Sept. 9, Won, at Lincoln of Jersey City, 46-24
Sept. 16, Won, West Orange, 22-3
Sept. 23, Won, Barringer, 36-23
Sept. 30, Won, Nutley, 20-0
Oct. 7, Won, at Millburn, 34-18
Oct. 15, Won, Wayne Valley, 52-25
Oct. 21, Won, at Belleville, 48-0
Oct. 29, Won, Passaic Valley, 33-20
Nov. 4, Loss, at Wayne Hills, 48-27