Photos by Steve Ellmore: Orange (dark uniforms) vs. Chatham, Nov. 3.
ORANGE, NJ – (updated Monday Nov. 6, 11:01 a.m.) – The Orange High School varsity football team dominated the Chatham HS Cougars, 40-2, at Bell Stadium on Friday night, Nov. 3 for its second straight win to improve to 4-5.
The OHS Tornadoes will now get ready for the NJSIAA state playoffs. The seventh-seeded Tornadoes will visit second-seeded North Hunterdon HS in the first round of the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group 4 state playoffs this Friday at 7 p.m.
The Chatham Cougars were very optimistic when they came to Orange’s Bell Stadium. They knew that they had a daunting task on their hands stopping the powerful forces of nature in the Orange Tornadoes led by quarterback George Crespo and Nyquee Hawkins.
Hawkins ripped off two big runs from the opening series. Orange halted the Cougars in their tracks, forcing them to punt and giving Hawkins the opportunity to stretch and explode. Chatham’s first punt put the Tornadoes at its own 9-yard line. Hawkins took the handoff from Crespo, found a crease and was off to the races 91 yards later. He had a lot in the tank because he found the end zone again from 42 yards out.
Hawkins would have 210 yards on eight attempts and a score by halftime and finished the game with 17 carries for 261 yards and two TDs.
Crespo rushed nine times for 101 yards and a score while adding nine completions on 16 attempts for 173 yards and two touchdowns.
The Tornadoes’ receiving corp was open for business as Mahkye Boswell caught a 20-yard touchdown while Louis Thompson hauled in a 55-yard bomb from Crespo to put the game at 34-0 by the end of the third quarter. Orange was in the midst of pitching a shutout when DB Curtis Lynch got in the fun, running a 57-yard pick-6 to go up 40-0. But the Cougars avoided the complete shutout by getting a late safety.
“We wanted to keep the momentum going,” said Orange head coach Randy Daniel. He said he was extremely proud of his squad as they persevered through the tough losses and was still able to get in the playoffs.
The Tornadoes locked their playoff seeding at No. 7. They needed Millburn to lose to Passaic Valley in order to keep their spot and face North Hunterdon. “We plan to leave around 3:30 p.m. on Friday,” said Daniel. The one-hour drive to the Lions’ Den will give Orange a good shot at pitting their talent up against one of the heavily-touted teams in West Jersey.
The game will be held at 1445 Route 31 in Annandale.
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. 9, Won, at Ferris, 47-6
Sept. 15, Loss, Mahwah, 15-12
Sept. 23, Loss, West Essex, 10-7
Sept. 30, Loss, at Passaic Valley, 23-14
Oct. 7, Won, Barringer, 19-0
Oct. 14, Loss, at Nutley, 21-14 (OT)
Oct. 21, Loss, Parsippany Hills, 34-28 (OT)
Oct. 27, Won, at Central, 41-6
Nov. 3, Won, Chatham, 40-2