LIVINGSTON, NJ - The West Side Rough Riders shocked the Livingston Lancers by a score of 26-7 on Friday night at the Lancers' homecoming. The relatively sloppy game was played in brisk and windy conditions that played a large role in determining the style of play and outcome of the affair.
Livingston came into Friday night’s game with a solid 4-1 record while West Side stood at an underwhelming 1-4. Furthermore, Livingston came in averaging a solid twenty-two points scored per contest. Yet, the Rough Riders were the ones who looked more like the team preparing to play in the state playoffs come November.
The Lancers turned the ball over twice in the first half yet only trailed 7-0 at the break as a result of a five-yard touchdown run by West Side’s Marquis Clyburn. The Rough Riders were also led by their diminutive but effective quarterback Edgar Ruiz, who ran the Rough Rider offense effectively by creating big plays with his feet. Ruiz not only scrambled often to give himself extra time to find receivers, but also kept drives alive with creative running plays.
The Rough Riders gained 136 yards on the ground on thirty-six carries, dominating the time of possession. West Side also stayed away from committing a turnover and took advantage of a tipped-ball for a long, 84-yard touchdown pass from Ruiz to Clyburn. The score was Clyburn’s second of the night, extending West Side's lead to 20-7. It also put the exclamation point on a disappointing loss for the Lancers about halfway through the 4th quarter.
On the positive side for Livingston, Anthony Cappuccino had another productive night as the star back ran for 107 yards on nineteen carries. However, the Rough Riders kept Cappuccino, who came into the contest with eight touchdowns in his first five games, out of the end zone. Also, Cappuccino lost a fumble early on in Livingston’s first drive, setting the tone for the team’s generally flat performance.
Every game Livingston had played up until Friday night's contest was decided by eight points or less. Livingston had been able to survive some close calls including a great comeback win against Millburn to start the year. The Lancers will look to return to this form next week as they take on Seton Hall Prep on Saturday, October 23 at 1 p.m. in South Orange.