IRVINGTON, NJ – (updated Sunday Nov. 5, 9:24 a.m.) – A year ago, the Irvington High School varsity football team lost at Wayne Hills in a game that decided the inaugural North Jersey Super Football Conference-Freedom White Division title.
This time, the Blue Knights returned the favor.
In the same scenario as last year – with the exception of the site of the game – head coach “Smoke” Pierre’s team rallied to beat Wayne Hills, 30-20, to capture the NJSFC-Freedom White Division championship on Friday night, Nov. 3, at the IHS Sports Complex.
The Blue Knights won their fifth straight game and improved to 7-2 overall and 5-2 in the division in the final regular season game. Wayne Hills fell to 6-3 overall and 3-1 in the division. Wayne Hills did not play division opponent Belleville this year.
After Wayne Hills took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, Irvington answered on quarterback Brandon Robinson’s 25-yard TD pass senior receiver Jasiah Provillon to cut it to 7-6. Wayne Hills kicked a field goal for a 10-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Robinson threw a 66-yard TD pass to sophomore running back Zakee Swann to put the Blue Knights up 12-10 with 10:16 left in the second quarter.
With 3:12 remaining in the second quarter, Wayne Hills took a 13-12 lead on a field goal after the Blue Knights stopped a threat inside the 10-yard line
The Blue Knights dominated the rest of the way. Freshman running back Zahir Abdus Salaam scored on a 3-yard run to give the Blue Knights the lead for good, 18-12, with 6:12 remaining in the half.
Robinson scored on a 10-yard TD run with 16 seconds left in the half to make it 24-13.
Robinson hit Swann on a 91-yard TD pass to extend it to 30-13 with 7:46 left in the third quarter. Wayne Hills scored on a long TD pass with 4:04 remaining in the third quarter, but the Blue Knights held on for the win.
Last year, the Blue Knights lost at Wayne Hills, 48-27, in the regular season finale for their first loss. Irvington lost to Randolph, 13-12, in the following week in the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1, Group 4 state playoffs to finish 8-2 in coach Pierre’s first year at the held.
Irvington will now get ready for the postseason, but will compete in the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group 4 state playoffs that begin Nov. 10-11.
The Blue Knights, seeded fourth, will host No. 5 seed Linden in the first round. The winner will face the winner between No. 8 seed Millburn and No. 1 seed Phillipsburg in the semifinals.
NOTE: Irvington free safety Jason Antwi recently gave a verbal commitment to Monmouth University.
NORTH JERSEY SECTION 2, GROUP 4
8-Millburn (2-6) at 1-Phillipsburg (8-0)
5-Linden (5-3) at 4-Irvington (7-2)
6-Sayreville (5-4) at 3-Colonia (7-2)
7-Orange (4-5) at 2-North Hunterdon (8-1)
Sept. 8, Won, Lincoln, of Jersey City, 38-0
Sept. 15, Won, at West Orange, 28-7
Sept. 22, Loss, at Smyrna, Del., 30-18
Sept. 30, Loss, at Nutley, 34-12
Oct. 6, Won, Millburn, 46-12
Oct. 13, Won, at Wayne Valley, 30-27
Oct. 21, Won, Belleville, 84-0
Oct. 28, Won, at Passaic Valley, 26-21
Nov. 3, Won, Wayne Hills, 30-20