PATERSON NJ - If two quarters comprised an entire football contest, the Eastside High School and Head Coach James Magazine would have been on the winning end of an 8-6 victory Friday evening. However, after leading 8-6 at halftime, the Ghosts succumbed to the powerful running game of Hackensack. The final score saw the Comets prevail 28-17.
The first half served notice to upcoming opponents that Magazine’s squad has greatly improved from last season. Two spectacular plays highlighted the Ghost’s efforts:
On the Comet’s first offensive possession, senior running back Tymere Robinson led the way with several big gainers topped off by a concluding short run up the middle for a touchdown. The Hackensack defense and specialty teams then answered the call by continually forcing the Knights’ offense to accept poor field position.
Late in the second frame, Hackensack was poised to score again with a second and goal from the Knights’ nine-yard line. However, the result of a muffled exchange between quarterback and ball carrier was a loose pigskin. Charging in, an alert Ghosts’ defensive back scooped up the ball and raced 80 yards for a score. The spectacular turn of events tied the score. The 2-point conversion saw Eastside forge ahead.
The second and third quarters featured adept signal calling by the Comets’ junior quarterback Jayden Robertson and pass catching by senior wide receiver Jordan Wimberly. However, the alternating quarterback rotation of Ghosts’ senior Michael Jackson III and junior Wymeir Reed III also proved efficient in both passing and running. The difference was spelled in the Comets’ ability to maintain longer drives. In addition, Robinson was complimented in the ground game by backfield counterpart junior Jayden Smith. The former continued to reel off long runs, including one that was called back due to a holding penalty.
Again, with another Robinson touchdown, Hackensack looked to put the game comfortably away, yet Eastside came up with another big play.
The Ghosts’ Ahsin Jacobs awaited the subsequent kickoff. Fielding the ball at his own 20-yard line, the sophomore speedster looked, and faked left, hesitated, and bolted right. Turning up field, Jacobs passed a wall of Comet defenders and raced up the sideline, untouched for a scintillating score.
The rest of the contest saw a defensive struggle with the final score favoring the home squad and Head Coach Benjie Wimberly victorious.
A stalwart defensive effort was turned in by Hazezon McCrae who delivered numerous crunching tackles from his defensive back position.
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