ROXBURY, NJ – It will be a 2-hour-long bus ride to Succasunna today for the Clearview Regional High School Pioneers. But at the end of the 113-mile excursion there will be a football game, and that means everything, said Clearview Athletic Director Mike Vicente.

Due to COVID-19 cancelations, the Pioneers have been able to play only once this season, said Vicente. The virus ruined their plan to play today against a neighboring Gloucester County team from Washington Township.

“On Sunday I became aware … that they are struggling with some COVID and had to shut down today’s game,” Vicente said. “Right away, I started looking for possible opponents.”

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As it turned out, Roxbury High School Athletic Director Stuart Mason was facing a similar predicament. The Roxbury Gaels were supposed to take on Morristown tonight, but that school’s athletics are on hold for two weeks due to a positive COVID-19 case.

So, Vicente and Mason struck a deal: The 0-1 football Pioneers and the cheerleading squad will board four buses this afternoon to head to Roxbury to battle the 0-4 Gaels at 6 p.m.

“We’re excited,” Vicente said. “Roxbury’s been gracious to host us.”

Roxbury High School Football Coach Cosmo Lorusso is also pleased.

“We are happy to give our boys another opportunity to play,” he said. “This week, almost 50 football programs had to cancel games because of COVID. I tell the boys to play every game like it's the last game they will play this year because it just might be.”

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