ORANGE, NJ — The Orange High School football team fell to Barringer, 25-14, on Friday, Sept. 23. The Tornadoes lost for the third straight time to move to a 1-3 record.
The OHS Tornadoes came into this week’s contest against Barringer with one thing in mind: stop those Blue Bears in their tracks. On the other hand, Barringer had the same feeling when it realized that Orange High star quarterback Maurice Williams was back on the field after missing the first three games due to administrative reasons. Barringer had something to prove, as well; they came into the game looking for the 109th win for legendary head coach Dave McCombs, who is in only his second year at the helm after a long respite from head coaching.
The first half was all Blue Bears as they controlled the ball on the ground with the one-two punch of quarterback Alexander Feliciano and running back Rakir Brown as they combined for eight plays and 75 yards for the the game’s first score in the second quarter, with Brown diving into the end zone from 3 yards out. Ball control was the name of the game for the Blue Bears, as they took advantage of an Orange turnover on downs midway through the second quarter. Starting again from their own 35-yard line, Feliciano and Brown felt the ground wasn’t enough as they combined for a couple of short passes, setting up Feliciano for a 5-yard touchdown to give Barringer a 13-0 lead to end the first half.
The third quarter was pretty much like the first half. Barringer controlled the ball but scored only with just 5:05 left in the third quarter, taking a 19-0 lead after Brown broke free for 23 yards. The Tornadoes had had enough of this ball control stuff, as Williams started to take the game over late in the third quarter. Williams, who finished 11 of 16 passing for 200 yards and one touchdown, and 14 carries for 76 yards and one touchdown, found one of his favorite targets in Ma’Khy Acey late in the game for a scrambling 12-yard touchdown dart with just 10:46 left in the game, cutting the Blue Bears’ lead to 19-6.
Barringer would find its ground-and-pound game against the Tornadoes’ defense once more, driving the ball almost the length of the field in 12 plays and sending Brown for the 25-6 lead.
But hold on to your rally caps, because the Tornadoes were not done yet. Williams engineered another late touchdown, this time using his speed as he would walk in from a yard out with 3:52 left in the game, closing the gap to 25-14.
The Blue Bears weren’t going to let this game slip away, as they got stingy with the ball, making sure that Orange wouldn’t snatch the carpet from under them.
“We were certainly looking to protect this win, as we want to make sure we have a good shot at the playoffs down the road,” said McCombs. He went on to say that, although he’s happy for his 109th win, his focus is that Barringer is 3-1 with the Snyder Tigers from Jersey City making the trek to Schools Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 1.
Orange head coach Khalfani Alleyne wasn’t pleased with his squad’s performance. He simply stated that waiting until the last quarter wasn’t enough to do anything as far as winning a game. Orange dropped its third game in a row and will face Millburn on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 1, at 1 p.m. at Bell Stadium.
Photos Courtesy of Kerry E. Porter.