IRVINGTON, NJ — The Irvington High School football team ended another great season.
The fourth-seeded Blue Knights finished with a solid 7-4 record after losing to top-seeded Northern Highlands, 30-16, in the semifinals of the North Jersey Section 1, Group 4 state playoffs on Friday night, Nov. 15.
Northern Highlands, who improved to 8-2, took a 13-0 lead in the first quarter as Ethan Harris scored on runs of 15 and 2 yards.
The Blue Knights got on the scoreboard later in the first quarter when Al-Jay Henderson scored on a five-yard run and Taiyon Battle added the two-point conversion run to cut it to 13-8.
Northern Highlands extended it to 16-8 in the second quarter on a 32-yard field goal.
In the third quarter, Battle had a seven-yard TD run from the wildcat position and Henderson scored on the ensuing two-point conversion run on a reverse to tie it 16-16 with 8:03 left.
Northern Highlands broke the tie on a 37-yard touchdown pass later in the third quarter. Harris had a two-yard TD run in the fourth quarter to close out the scoring.
The Blue Knights, under fourth-year head coach Ashley “Smoke” Pierre, were looking to advance to a sectional final for the second year in a row and third in program history. Last year, Irvington fell at Phillipsburg, 42-7, in the North 2, Group 4 sectional final to finish 8-4.
The Blue Knights won the Super Football Conference-Freedom White Division for the third straight season, going undefeated in the division in all three seasons.
In 2017, Irvington went 8-3 after reaching the semifinals of the North 2, Group 4 semifinals where they lost to Phillipsburgh, 21-20.
In Pierre’s first season in 2016, Irvington went 8-2 after losing to Randolph, 13-12, in the first round of the North 1, Group 4 playoffs
Sept. 6, Won, at Orange, 32-7
Sept. 13, Won, at Union City, 21-12
Sept. 20, Loss, Ridgewood, 20-6
Sept. 27, Won, Millburn, 30-13
Oct. 4, Loss, Bergen Catholic, 42-6
Oct. 11, Won, at North Bergen, 48-0
Oct. 19, Won, Ferris, 54-0
Oct. 26, Won, at Barringer, 42-0
Nov. 2, Loss, at Montclair, 24-21
Nov. 9, Won, (5) Cranford, 22-21*
Nov. 15, Loss, at (1) Northern Highlands, 30-16
*North Jersey Section 1, Group 4 playoffs (Irvington is No. 4 seed)