Football: Randolph's Defense Stalls Irvington; Simmons, Lubrano Spark Offense in 13-12 Playoff Win


IRVINGTON, NJ – In a game that was tied for the better part of three quarters, the Randolph Rams came out on top in a hard-fought 13-12 road win over the No. 2 seeded Irvington Blue Knights.  The key to the game was the Rams defense, who brought down the hammer on an Irvington offense that had averaged 35 points a game this season. 

“Our kids stepped up big in this one and handled adversity well,” said Randolph head coach Tarig Holman, who referenced the injuries his team had overcome. “We play next man up in Randolph and that’s typical of the type of kids we have. To come out and play like that against a great team, says a lot about our character. Our coaches did a great job.”

 The Rams got off to slow start, coughing up the ball on the game’s opening drive. The turnover gave the Blue Knights possession in the red zone on their first drive.

Sign Up for E-News

Irvington capitalized on the good field position, scoring a touchdown a few plays later on a one-yard keeper by senior QB Jyvon Brown. However, the Blue Knights missed the extra point (kick failed) as special teams factored into the team’s play-calling throughout the game. 

Randolph bounced back immediately following the early score with a long kick return near mid-field. A methodical drive, which included a conversion on 4th-and-1, found the Rams inside their opponents’ one-yard line. However, a personal foul on first down pushed the Rams back 15 yards and they were unable to overcome the penalty. They did, however, cut into the Blue Knights’ lead with a 25-yard field goal by senior Nick Zach. 

Following their first score, the Rams defense kicked it up into full gear, forcing a three-and-out on Irvington’s next possession. 

The Rams responded with yet another methodical drive, which included several third down conversions, but once again they stalled in the red zone. Zach added another field goal to tie the game up at 6-6. 

In the final drive of the first half, Irvington converted on a long pass on 3rd-and-30 as they threatened to score deep in the Rams territory. Randolph’s defense held strong and forced a turnover on downs to keep the score tied at halftime.

It wasn’t until half-way through the fourth quarter that the game would see its next score. Rams’ senior Jeramie Simmons torched the secondary when he grabbed a center screen pass, and rumbled down field for a 64-yard catch-and-run to set the Rams up inside the Blue Knights 15 yard line. 

“I stayed behind my linemen and I trusted them the entire time to make the right blocks and I did the rest,” Simmons recalled. “I owe it all to my lineman on that play.”

A few plays later, senior running back Eric LuBrano, who was filling in for an injured teammate scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 10-yard swing pass from junior quarterback Justin Suarez (Zach kick good). LuBrano fought off the would-be tackler as he twisted and fell into the end zone. That gave the Rams their first lead of the evening and would prove to be the game-winning score.

“I ran a wheel route out of the backfield, and Justin got the ball to me on a throwback,” said LuBrano. “I made the catch and just barely got into the end zone.  It was an incredible feeling.”

Versatility at the running back spot has been a huge part of the Rams success this season.  They have enjoyed a stable of productive bodies who have stepped up at one time or another when a teammate had to leave the game, and tonight was no different.

“It felt great to have the opportunity to carry the ball tonight,” said Lubrano. “I just did the best I could to fill in for my team, and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates help.”

Irvington didn’t go down with a fight, though. 

After driving down the field quickly, the Blue Knights cashed in on a 17-yard touchdown pass with just 1:59 remaining on the clock. Junior Jasiah Provillion made an incredible one-handed diving grab on third down for the score, which brought the game to 13-12.

Without a trusted kicker, Irvington decided to try a two point attempt to grab the lead.

An illegal substitution penalty pushed the Blue Knight’s two-point attempt back five yards. Following a time out, Brown tried to score from eight yards out on a quarterback keeper, scrambling around the right side and heading for the corner of the end zone. 

But the Rams defense slammed the door, and Brown came up just short as he was shoved out of bounds by a diving Chris Flynn at the one yard line.

 A failed on-sides kick attempt all but sealed the game for the Rams. 

Three running plays ran the final seconds off the clock as Randolph celebrated its fifth consecutive win, and first time advancing to the semifinals since 2010. 

“I’m really proud of my kids, and we had excellent fan support, everyone showed up,” added Holman, who is in his second season with the Rams. 

Randolph will visit Wayne Valley next Friday Nov. 29, to compete in the NJSIAA North 1 Group 4 semifinals at 7 p.m. Wayne Valley defeated Morris Knolls 32-14. 

“It’s a one game season now,” suggested Holman. “If we focus and play hard, I think we showed that we can play with anybody.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Traffic Lights Still Out on Route 10 in Randolph Wed. Afternoon, Plan Alternate Route

May 16, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- The traffic light on Route 10 at Canfield Avenue continues to be out, according to reports from the township. Traffic lights at the intersections of Route 10 and Dover Chester Road and Route 10 and Center Grove Road are also out. Motorists should plan alternate routes.

As of 2:00 pm, JCP&L estimates approximately 37,000 customers are without power due to last nights weather ...

RHS 21st Annual Film Festival Wed. May 30

May 17, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ -Please join the Randolph High School Mass Media Program and CAMERAS Boosters at the 21st Annual RHS Film Festival on Wed. May 30!  Screen student's short films, commercials, music videos, STEM videos and PSAs. 

See the amazing work of tomorrow's filmmakers, editors and producers. Enjoy dinner, compliments of area restaurants including Casa de ...

10-Year Old Boy Battling Cancer Receives Generous Donation From Randolph Hockey Family

May 20, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real life battles off the ice there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the Randolph Varsity hockey team, when they came together to deliver good wishes and ...

May is Older Americans Month: Time to Give Back to Morris County’s Seniors Every Day!

May 24, 2018

The June 5th Primary has entered the home stretch.  For the first time in 8 weeks, there is no where I need to appear other than at the doorstep of a registered voter to ask for their support in the election booth.

Since I decided to pursue the open Freeholder seat in March, I have been all across Morris County.  I have been out and away from my family every day since, attending such ...

April Was a Busy Month for Mayor Forstenhausler

May 14, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- Mayor Forstenhausler had a very busy month of April. Below is a summation of where the current Mayor of Randolph has been spending his time:

4/18/2018 – I attended a Morris County League of Municipalities Meeting at the Morris County Correctional Facility hosted by Sheriff James Gannon. We discussed the opioid epidemic, Hope One, and toured the Hope Wing where addicted ...

Garden State Harley Davidson is Working With Mallory's Army to Help "Blue Out Bullying"

May 23, 2018

MORRIS PLAINS, NJ -  Garden State Harley-Davidson, is hosting a benefit ride on Saturday, June 2, 2018 for the charitable organization, Mallory’s Army. The fifty mile, scenic, police escorted ride will leave the dealership at approximately 11am and wind its way through Morris County. Upon return to Garden State Harley-Davidson there will be a BBQ, Music, and ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, May 28, 11:00 AM


Randolph VFW Memorial Day Ceremony


Mon, May 28, 11:00 AM

VFW Post 7333, Randolph

Memorial Day Ceremony

Community Calendar


Thu, May 31, 7:00 PM

Randolph Township Free Public Library, Randolph

Life-Sized Candy Land

Arts & Entertainment Education Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Randolph High School Student Designs APP to Help Students and Will Attend Apple Conference

May 22, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- Randolph High School sophomore Ethan Humphrey created the Assigned! APP to help students keep track of their assignments.

He is off to San Jose, California to attend the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference June 4-8 with other APP developers from across the globe. Ethan received a scholarship to attend the conference after inventing his APP.

"The conference will ...

Randolph Middle School Students Wins Morris County Superintendent MS Leadership Award

RANDOLPH, NJ- Randolph Middle School Principal Dr. Dennis Copeland has announced that eighth grader Melissa Narvaez has received the Morris County Superintendent Middle School Leadership Award.

The award was presented at a recent dinner on May 1, 2018.

"I am extremely proud of her and all of her efforts and dedication that she has provided to the Randolph Middle School community," ...

Randolph Speech and Debate Team Celebrates the End of a Successful Season

RANDOLPH, NJ- As the season of speech-giving and debating came to an end in March, the team closed the year with it’s annual banquet at the Randolph Diner on April 25. This celebration followed the renowned States and Districts Tournaments.

Speech and debate, also known as Forensics, is composed of several competitive events that require competitors to either act, give speeches, or ...

Former Randolph Football Coach Joseph Lusardi Reminisces Over Upcoming Retirement

May 21, 2018

Randolph, NJ -- In the back of Randolph High School, in an athletic room not often used, a man full of inspirational and uplifting words told the story of his plans for retirement at the end of the school year, and his 20 year tenure in the Randolph Township School District.

“There are things in life that I would like to do with the family,” Coach Joe Lusardi says of his ...

Letter to Editor : Why I Support Roman Hirniak in his Campaign for Re-election

May 23, 2018

Dear Editor:

My family and I have lived in Randolph Township for thirty-one years, during all of which I have been a volunteer firefighter with the Township Fire Department.  I’m very proud to say that my sons have followed in my footsteps and are or were also members of the Randolph Department.  Over several of those years, I was privileged to have been elected by my fellow ...

Morris County Tourism/Travel Expenditures Reach $2.2 Billion. (Yes. Billion)

May 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ -  The Morris County Tourism Bureau is championing the power of tourism during National Travel and Tourism Week (May 6-12) by releasing new data from the 2017 Economic Impact of Tourism in NJ Study by Oxford Economics.  The report reveals a strong year for the County of Morris.

 Key highlights ...

CCM Photo Club Names High School Photo Contest Winners, More than 600 Submissions Visually Captured Turbulent Times

RANDOLPH, NJ – The Photo Club at County College of Morris (CCM) recently announced the winners of its sixth annual photography contest for New Jersey high school students. The competition’s sponsor for this year, Millburn Camera ASAP Photo, Millburn, awarded gift certificates to the top three winners. 

Winning first place with a $300 gift certificate was Reese Vanduk of Sparta ...

Atlantic Health System and Kindred Break Ground on State-of-the-Art Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute

Building will be first phase of a health services campus at Giralda Farms

MORRISTOWN, NJ and LOUISVILLE, KY – MAY 22, 2018 – Atlantic Health System and Kindred Healthcare today broke ground on Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute, which will offer New Jersey best-in-class inpatient rehabilitation in a modern, state-of-the-art setting.

The new Atlantic Rehabilitation ...

CCM Offers Free Summer Cyber Security Camp for High School Students

RANDOLPH, NJ – Building on its reputation as a nationally recognized center for cyber security education, County College of Morris (CCM) will be offering high school sophomores, juniors and seniors the opportunity to enroll in a free one-week GenCyber cyber security camp at the college this summer.

With $59,800 in funding from the National Security Agency and National Science Foundation, ...

Gum Litter and what YOU can do about it

May 14, 2018

Gum is non-biodegradable, meaning it doesn't’t break down ever….

Today, the unlikely problem surfaces. The average person chews 275 sticks of gum per year. With the amount of people in daily society, it’s no mystery why chewing gum is the second most littered item after cigarette butts.  Did you know that gum is banned in Singapore?

In addition to littering human ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!


Gum Litter and what YOU can do about it

May 14, 2018

Gum is non-biodegradable, meaning it doesn't’t break down ever….

Today, the unlikely problem surfaces. The average person chews 275 sticks of gum per year. With the amount of people in daily society, it’s no mystery why chewing gum is the second most littered item after cigarette butts.  Did you know that gum is banned in Singapore?

In addition to littering human ...