SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ - Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School (SPFHS) Football lost to the Linden Tigers on Saturday at home, 38-7.
Linden was held in check during the first half. After scoring two quick touchdowns in the opening quarter, the Raiders responded with a score of their own on a well-executed 22-yard pass play from quarterback Cooper Heisey to receiver Jack Lynch. SPFHS continued their momentum when they recovered a fumble to gain possession when Linden was threatening in the Red Zone in the second quarter.
After a field goal at the buzzer, Linden led 17-7 at halftime.
However, penalties and difficulty moving the ball ultimately escalated the originally tight deficit at halftime to what proved to be an insurmountable deficit by the fourth quarter.
Leading the way on defense were seniors Vinnie Ruzek and Yusef Wheeler, who each recorded five tackles. Offensively, Heisey finished 8-24 on passing with 78 yards and one touchdown. Receiver Dwight Layler had three receptions for 28 yards. Jumar Etkins led the way rushing with 12 carries for 53 yards.
As for the Tigers, quarterback Joey Krempa finished with 150 yards and one touchdown going 15-19 passing. Markel McDuffie had 61 receiving yards on five receptions. Jayden Johnson had an impressive 104 yards on eight carries with partner running back Brandon George contributing 85 yards on nine carries.
Losing the home conference game puts the Raiders at 0-2 on the young season as Linden improves to 1-1. SPFHS fell to Warren Hills last week, 23-10. The Raiders had high hopes in the preseason for this season after a disappointing finish last year.
Catch the Raiders in their next game on Friday, Sept. 23rd, as they take on Immaculata at Somerville High School as they fight to reverse their season’s course.