PATERSON, NJ- The Eastside High School Mighty Ghosts were called upon early to defend their home field versus the Hackensack High School Comets in their season opener on Friday.
The game was punctuated with the sadness over the loss former Eastside High School and Hackensack High School coach Darrell Smith who passed away days before the game. With both teams showing their respects for the formidable high school athletics icon it was on to the task at hand on the field.
Unfortunately for the Ghosts, after receiving the opening kickoff, the game would take a difficult turn just a few plays into the young season with quarterback Wymeir Reed sacked and stripped of the ball giving the Comets possession with good field position just 12 yards from the endzone.
The Comets wasted no time striking with their offence quickly and getting on the scoreboard first with a rushing touchdown and the added extra point to take an early lead. A second score quickly followed putting the Ghosts in an early bad position.
Not nearly ready to give up it was clear the Ghosts sought to gain some momentum which showed signs of developing with a flashy high-arcing pass between two Comet defensive backs by an aggressive Reed.
Though the series would yield no points it was as though a switch was flipped and their new found energy led to heavy pressure, and an eventual sack, on the Comets quarterback.
The Ghosts offense, seeking to strike while the iron was hot, marched down the field in the next series scoring their first offensive touchdown with a long pass from Reed to wide receiver Khali Brown who sprinted into the endzone to bring his team a few points closer.
Unfortunately the Ghosts would add only add a few more points on a touchdown pass to Ahsin Jacobs before eventually falling to the visitors from Hackensack 53-18.
After the game Coach Tyrone Turner told TAPinto Paterson that “it’s the team that makes the most mistakes that loses the game,” and on Friday, unfortunately, that honor went to the Ghosts.
Despite the loss the sense was strong that the season is far from over. Young quarterback Reed, in just his first game, showed off some skills that will surely come in handy in future games, safety Demille Townes forced a big turnover for his side, and a large cadre of players offered their own great plays in the unrelenting effort to make this season more successful than last year’s campaign which brough East Side High School just four wins.
Turner offered that while the team is a young one he expects no less from them than a more experienced squad but also realizes “they have room to grow “ notably through some improvements to the defense to take pressure off Reed and his offensive side.
For Turner and the Eastside Ghosts the clock already ticking to put those improvements in place as the team travels to Teaneck High School on September 8 for their next chance to register a victory.