LIVINGSTON, NJ - Before Friday night was over, Livingston Lancers’ Head Coach Barry Kostibos hung his head in defeat. He had just witnessed a game in which his team gave up four touchdowns off of turnovers, he had to bench his starting quarter back, and to top it all off, he got outcoached by former Lancer assistant, and now current East Orange Jaguars’ Head Coach, Marion Bell.
Time is running out for the Lancers this season as they dropped to 0-6. East Orange soundly defeated the Lancers, cruising to a 27-0 lead in just the first quarter.
Nothing seemed to go right for Livingston. The Lancers entered the game with plenty of bravado and gusto after lineman Matt Tamburri guaranteed a win before kickoff, crediting the return of starting quarterback Joey Fischer from injury.
It turned out that neither the offense nor the defense could do their jobs, and the Jaguars made the Lancers pay.
Livingston honored their departing seniors before kickoff, but it was those same seniors that accounted for the majority of the Lancers falters. On their first play of the game, Fischer threw a floating spiral into the hands of East Orange cornerback Shamier Moon.
Moon then rushed up the gut maneuvering his way to a 57-yard touchdown, without even being touched by a Livingston defender. After a fumbled snap by Fischer, Jaguars’ quarter back Damon Thomas found a wide-open Marquis Adams for a 45-yard touchdown.
Two turnovers, two touchdowns, all in a span of less then two minutes; not exactly the best way to start off a game. What followed however, was even worse.
On Livingston’s third drive of the game they turned the ball over for a third time on Fischer's second interception of the night -- again to Shamier Moon. The Jaguars again followed with another touchdown, this time by backup running back Jafar Thomas. A missed extra point made it 20-0.
After a three and out by Livingston, East Orange quickly moved down the field running wild over a Lancer defense that seemed to have already given up. This time wide receiver James Thomas took it in on an option for the score to make it 27-0.
Livingston's mishaps were just beginning. After a tremendous return by Senior Brett Birnbaum, center Steve D’Angelo snapped the ball past Fischer deep into Lancer territory; the Jaguars would recover the fumble at Livingston’s 25-yard line.
At the end of the first quarter, confident in his four-score lead, Bell decided to put his backup quarterback and running backs into the game.
After a turnover on downs and a three and out by Livingston, East Orange took over on the Lancers’ 31-yard line. A 28-yard run later, third string running back Isaiah Mccal pounded his way into the end-zone to increase the Jaguars’ lead to 33.
After two more touchdowns by East Orange, an 18-yard pass to Morrell Berry and a 22-yard run by freshmen running back Nasir Hooker, Fischer seemed to let his emotions get the best of him.
Following another failed Lancer play that failed to gain yards, in frustration, Fischer took the football and threw it at an opposing Jaguar defender resulting in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Kostibos removed Fischer from the game and brought in Sophomore quarter back Matt Gibbons.
Gibbons then led the Lancers to their only touchdown of the night, a 24-yard pass to running back Jake Rosenbaum.
A last-second touchdown run by Mccal made the final score 51-7.
Kostibos optimistically addressed his team after the game proclaiming, “Our time will come!”
With only three games left, the clock’s ticking.