SOUTH ORANGE, NJ -- The first game under the lights in Columbia High School History did not go as well as new head football coach Eugene Kline wanted, with a 48-0 loss for the Cougars against East Orange Campus High School Friday night.
Kline, who took over coaching duties from former coach, now athletic director, Dave Curtin, faced a tough opponent. Coming into the game, East Orange was ranked 26th in the state, according to highschoolsports.net.
Columbia kicked off, and East Orange scored on their first drive to take a 7-0 lead. After the kick-off from East Orange, Columbia set up for their first drive. A poor snap led to a safety for East Orange.
Realizing they needed to slow the pace, the Cougars came out and allowed their junior quarterback, Deion Hudson, to lead a more pass-oriented offense. On the first drive after the safety, even with the help of six penalties from East Orange, Columbia was unable to find the end-zone. Instead, they lined up for a 25-yard field goal, which was blocked and returned to the one yard line by Nagee Williams.
Hudson tried very hard to get Columbia’s offense going but was stopped by an outstanding East Orange defense.
The Jaguars’ defensive line put pressure on Hudson the entire game. The Jaguars’ defense combined for four sacks and forced Hudson to continuously scramble out of the pocket to try to make throws.
The Jaguars’ secondary caused more problems for Hudson when he did get a pass off. In the first half, Hudson completed only two passes; three were intercepted.
The Jaguars also dominated on offense, scoring 42 points in the first half. The large lead taken into halftime by the Jaguars triggered the mercy rule, which meant that the clock in the second half was continuous. This shortened the game, and all hope for the Cougars, who only had two possessions in the second half, both resulting in punts.
The Jaguars scored once more with a 37-yard touchdown run by Shamier Moon, which brought the final score to 48-0.
East Orange will play West Orange High School next, while Columbia will face East Side High School under the lights again.