MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The Columbia High School Cougars (4-3) defeated the Belleville Buccaneers (2-4) by a score of 42-7 to bring their 2020 season to a close, capping off one of the more successful seasons in recent years.

Columbia’s defense overpowered the Buccaneers from the beginning of the night, forcing Belleville to go three and out on their first drive. On the Cougars first drive a 46-yard run by Michael Caines and a 17-yard run by Steve Henry set up a QB sneak by Kai Arrington that gave Columbia a 7-0 lead. Columbia’s offense would go on to score 35 unanswered points to begin the ball game. 

Steve Henry stole the show on Columbia’s following drive. The junior running back took a handoff 52 yards, breaking numerous tackles on the way into the endzone to extend the Cougar lead to 14. 

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Belleville and Columbia exchanged turnovers, then another big run by Steve Henry set up the Cougars at the one yard line. From there Joseph Holdbrook took a handoff into the endzone for a touchdown. 

On Columbia's next drive Michael Caines took a handoff 69 yards into the endzone, putting the Cougars ahead 28-0 at halftime. 

To open the second half Columbia continued their tear, stripping a fumble from Belleville’s return man on the kickoff to set up a 23-yard touchdown run by Steve Henry. 

Belleville finally got on the board late in the fourth quarter, when quarterback Anthony Cecere found an open Chris Vitale for an 18-yard touchdown.

In a thrilling end to the ballgame and the Cougars season, senior Kai Arrington took the kickoff back 69 yards into the endzone providing the final score in a 42-7 blowout Columbia victory. 

Michael Caines and Steve Henry both rushed for well over 100 yards, Henry scoring two touchdowns and Caines one. 

Columbia’s defense continued the success they’ve had throughout the season. Senior linebacker Tristan Reynolds had two interceptions, a sack, and made several big tackles that shut down Belleville’s offense. Defensive lineman David Fadael, Zamar Grove, and Justin Anderson all contributed tackles for lost yards or sacks, and were able to disable the Buccaneers running game.

Head Coach Gary Mobley and the Cougars finish the regular season with a winning record for the first time since 2015 (there are no playoffs this season due to Covid-19). Steve Henry rushed for over 600 yards on the season, and both Jahqiel St. Cyr and Michael Caines had over 200 receiving yards. Quarterback Kai Arrington finished the year with over 300 passing yards as well as three rushing touchdowns. 

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