PATERSON, NJ – Zuri Glover scored three touchdowns – including two in the last five minutes of the game – to lead Eastside to a 31-27 Turkey Bowl victory over Kennedy in a wild game that featured six lead changes.
Glover’s 39-yard TD with 4:28 left in the game was the decisive score, putting the Ghosts ahead, 24-21. Then his 10-yard run with 37 seconds left sealed the game.
The Thanksgiving rivalry had been tied entering this year's game. The win gave Eastside a 41-40 edge in the series, with seven ties. Both teams finished the season with 4-6 records.
Glover scored the game’s first touchdown on a 36-year pass from Japhon Howard-Pickett, but Kennedy responded with a one-yard TD run from quarterback Rashon Islon.
On the last play of the first half, Kevin Viecco’s 41-yard field goal gave the Ghosts a 10-8 lead heading into the locker room.
Kennedy scored on the first possession of the third quarter, a 42-yard pass connection between Islon and Greg Oliver that made the game 14-10. (The two had connected on what would have been a 60-yard touchdown in the second quarter that was called back because of a penalty.)
With 2:24 left in the third quarter, Eastside responded, scoring on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Howard-Pickett to Terence Tate. That drive featured a big third-down completion to Tamir Rice. The Ghosts lead 17-14 going into the fourth quarter.
But midway in the fourth quarter, Shaon Stephenson scored from the three yard line to put Kennedy back on top, 21-17.
A short kick and a personal foul gave Eastside the ball at midfield. After a 10-yard completion from Islon to Rice, Glover’s second touchdown gave Eastside a 24-21 lead it would not surrender.
With 4:28 left, Kennedy had the ball and plenty of time for a drive. But Eastside’s Rasmeek Graham picked off a pass on the Knights’ first down and ran it in for an apparent touchdown. The touchdown was nullified by a penalty, but Eastside than ran down most of the clock before Glover notched his third score.
But the Knights didn’t quit. Oliver ran back the kickoff inside the Eastside 10-yard line and Islon hit Custis Francis on a TD pass that closed the gap to 31-27 with six seconds left.