Injury-depleted Orange HS football team falls to Weequahic

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ORANGE, NJ – Dealing with injuries to key players, including senior wide receiver/defensive back Nyquee Hawkins, who is a Virginia Tech commit, the Orange High School football team fell to Weequahic HS, 40-7, Friday night, Sept. 21, at Bell Stadium.

The Tornadoes had their two-game winning streak snapped and moved to a 2-2 record.

“Injuries to key players hurt us this week,” said OHS Tornadoes Head Coach Randy Daniel. “We were down to our third string and JV players, making it difficult to stay in the game with their potent offense.”

Hawkins was injured in the 45-0 blowout over Ferris Bulldogs in Jersey City the previous week.

OHS and Weequahic were looking to maintain their winning ways.  Weequahic was coming off an unexpected bye when Glen Ridge High School forfeited their game because of injuries.

The game was billed as an early test for both schools as Orange, a Group 4 school, was heavily favored to win the matchup. But Weequahic’s Tyler Phillips, Charles Bruton, Nazir Peters and Donovan Wadley had something to say differently. Weequahic’s Head Coach Brian Logan felt it was a good game, but there were some things that they could work on. “We should have gone into the half, 21-7, but the referee was holding the ball in the waning seconds,” he said.

The teams were evenly matched,  with the opening kickoff going into Orange’s possession. From then on, the game suddenly changed when Tornadoes QB George Crespo coughed up the ball inside his own 40-yard line. Weequahic took full advantage by quickly marching down for a 1-yard touchdown by RB Charles Bruton.

The Indians struck paydirt again in the opening quarter with a 15-yard strike from QB Jerron Phillips to WR Tyler Phillips (no relation), who had a stellar outing with five catches for 125 yards and three touchdowns.

Orange finally responded late in the first quarter when Montez Boswell found a crease off the left side where he rumbled for a 35-yard gain before bulling his way in for the lone Tornadoes score in the first half to cut it to 14-7.

The second half saw the Indians go on a 26-point explosion with Orange holding on by a thread.

“We will have to look towards our next game against Bloomfield,” said Daniel. “We will look to see what have this week now that we are without our big players and try to find a way to pull out a win with our new starters.”

The Indians’ win put them near the top of the Group 1 standings as they have a bye this week before taking on the Hillbillies of Verona High School. “With Charles Bruton’s two rushing touchdowns and Donovan Wadley adding the final touchdown, we are excited to see what we will do next,” said Logan.

Orange will visit Bloomfield on Friday, Sept. 28, at Foley Field at 7 p.m. Bloomfield fell to Bayonne, 38-6, Sept. 21 to move to a 2-2 record.

Photos by Steve Ellmore

Orange HS vs.  Weequahic, Sept. 21