MAPLEWOOD, NJ – The Seton Hall Prep Pirates (6-0-0) scored the first three touchdowns of the game and never looked back en route to a 49-22 victory over the Columbia Cougars (2-3-0) on Friday Night at Underhill Field.
The Prep got things started early, first on a five-yard touchdown run from sophomore Julian Spain and then on a 10-yard touchdown run from junior Nasir Austin. They added another after a seven-yard touchdown run from senior Andrew Harmon to take a 21-0 lead halfway through the second quarter.
Columbia finally put points on the scoreboard when senior Manny Grant broke free for a 29-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter. A two-point conversion from Sydney Scruggs gave Columbia eight points, but it wouldn’t be enough as they would allow the Pirates to score two more touchdowns before the halftime whistle.
First, it was senior Frank Maldonado who scored on a 72-yard reception from sophomore quarterback Eric Oden. One possession later, senior Kevin Taylor took a 35-yard reception in for the score to give the Prep a 35-8 lead into halftime.
The second half would prove to be more of the same for both sides. Columbia scored two more times, once in the third quarter and once in the fourth quarter, but the Pirates also scored twice, putting the game well out of reach.
For Columbia, quarterback Deion Hudson went 8-for-17 with 198 yards and a touchdown; however, he also threw two interceptions. Hudson now has seven touchdowns and nine interceptions on the season with a completion percentage of 54.3.
Manny Grant ran for one touchdown and finished with four receptions for 129 yards. Grant leads the Cougars this season with 18 receptions for 355 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
For the Pirates, Oden went 3-for-5 with 77 yards and a touchdown for the Prep, while starting quarterback, senior John Burkly, went 2-for-4 with 67 yards and a touchdown.
The Pirates only had three receivers catch balls on the night, but they made each one count. Maldonado finished with one reception for 72 yards and a touchdown, while Taylor pulled in two balls for 38 yards and a touchdown. Senior Clay Austin chipped in with two receptions for 34 yards.
The Prep had nine players record at least one carry on the ground, including Andrew Harmon who led the Pirates with nine carries for 100 yards and two touchdowns. Julian Spain also rushed two in for scores.
The Columbia Cougars will be in action next Saturday when they head to West Orange to take on West Orange High School. The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.
The reporter is participating in a hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts.