On Friday October 11th, ALJ students, family, friends and faculty gathered for another Friday night lights game at Crusader Field. The Johnson Crusaders prepared to compete against the Roselle Abraham Clark Rams. The Crusaders came into Friday night’s game with a record of 1-3. After starting the season with three tough loses, Johnson won a hard fought victory last week beating Governor Livingston 14-0. Looking to capitalize on this much needed win, and after a great week of practice, Johnson was eager to pounce on the Rams early and often with their versatile running attack. The Rams came into the contest 0-5 looking for a victory.
Johnson got on the scoreboard first and took an early 6-0 lead with a 24 yard touchdown run by Senior running back Evan Parenti. Parenti finished the game with 115 yards, leading all rushers. Johnson missed the extra point with 3:15 remaining in the 1st quarter. In the 2nd quarter, Junior QB Joe Greenbush added a 1 yard touchdown run and a 2 point conversion to give Johnson a 14-0 lead going into the half.
The Crusader’s defense forced a fumble with 3:35 left in the 3rd quarter. The fumble was recovered by Senior running back John Cuccolo setting up the Crusader’s first scoring drive of the second half. Johnson opened up the 2nd half scoring with a 12 yard touchdown run by Greenbush. Johnson missed the extra point with 2:56 remaining in the third quarter. Greenbush finished the game with 59 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns. Johnson’s defense stepped up yet again with a big interception by Parenti with 2:07 left in the 3rd.
Johnson opened up the 4th quarter with a 2 yard touchdown run by Senior running back John Cuccolo. Johnson missed the extra point with 10:31 seconds remaining. Cuccolo finished the game with 86 rushing yards giving Johnson over 260 total rushing yards. Johnson turned in a great performance on both sides of the football. Senior Max Carmino made an interception ending the Rams drive with 7:26 left in the game. Johnson’s Junior defensive lineman Griffin Jones made a sack to seal the victory in a 26-0 win.
The game was also the annual “Pink Out” event hosted by ALJ's Student Movement Against Cancer. Funds raised were donated to a Carl H. Kumpf student battling cancer.
Head Coach Anthony Delconte was pleased with their performance. “The guys did an awesome job and played hard to keep this thing going in the right direction. Roselle is always a tough game, and we knew we would be in for a battle. I am proud of the way we played, but we need to continue to improve if we want to keep this rolling,” said Delconte, “We have another tough opponent ahead in Middlesex, and we know it's going to take our A game to beat them."
Johnson is on the road next week to play against the Middlesex Blue Jays at Memorial Stadium in Middlesex.
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