Football: Westfield Defeats Plainfield, 30-14, at Annual Thanksgiving Day Game

The Blue Devils defeated the Cardinals, 30-14, at their annual Thanksgiving Day game. Credits: Sean Conklin

PLAINFIELD, NJ – It took more than a quarter for either team to score, but the Westfield High School varsity football team struck first in the 112th annual Thanksgiving Day football game as they defeated their cross-county rival the Plainfield Cardinals. Westfield’s 30-14 victory extended their state-best winning streak to 24 games and marked their 60th win in the rivalry game that extends more than a century.

Juandre House scored on a 13-yard run early in the second quarter to jump start the scoring for the Westfield Blue Devils. However, they failed to convert on the extra point.

“My line opened two holes for me, so I had two option. I just faked left and went right,” House said. “I just really wanted to set the tempo for the game.”

Sign Up for E-News

The Cardinals fumbled on their next possession and gave Westfield the ball deep in their own territory. After being stopped on the first three plays and being set back by two penalties, Westfield quarterback Philip Martini converted on a short fourth down pass to fellow senior Ian Humphrey. Two plays later, Martini scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak (kick good) to extend the Blue Devils’ lead.

In a form of déjà vu, Plainfield again fumbled on their next opportunity, but this time Westfield cashed in with a defensive score in the end zone (kick good). Drew Ortiz scooped up the ball for the touchdown.

That score marked 20 unanswered points for the Blue Devils in a six-minute span.

Nahseem Woodard, who lost the fumble on the previous play, got some redemption when he scored on the ensuing kickoff to put Plainfield on the board. He ran the ball back 86 yards while juking would-be tacklers in the process. The score narrowed Westfield’s lead to 20-6.

Martini capped off a methodical drive with a 1-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone to Conor Scanlon on a bench route just before the end of the first half.

“Me and Phil have been practicing on that play all week and everything worked out,” Scanlon said after the game. “Everything worked out and I was open; he threw me a great ball.”

Scoring was limited in the second half as both sides played well defensively. Two second half interceptions – one by Matt McIntyre and the other by Joseph Sangiacomo – for Westfield helped them shut down Plainfield.

Westfield added a field goal in the fourth quarter and Plainfield scored a late touchdown (two-point conversion good) to bring the game to 30-14 and that figured to be the final score.

“We told the kids before the game that this was a tradition and something to take serious,” Westfield coach Jim DeSarno said. “It’s what we do every year. We went out and played our game. The defense played really well.”

Next Saturday, Westfield will play for the NJSIAA State Championship as they square off in a rematch of last year’s game against Bridgewater-Raritan. Both teams are undefeated this year. The game will be played at MetLife Stadium, home to both the New York Giants and Jets.

“It’s just like last year, two undefeated teams getting after it,” added DeSarno. “It’s going to be a good game. We’re just going to do our thing next week. These kids have been playing well for 11 weeks.”

The undefeated Blue Devils ended last season as state champions in a 10-7 win over the Bridgewater-Raritan Panthers.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Health Authorities Investigating Death of Elizabeth Schoolgirl who had Flu

February 19, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ — The New Jersey Department of Health is continuing to investigate the cause of the passing of Daniela Genaro who attended Nicholas LaCorte — Peterstown School No. 3 after it was confirmed that the student had been diagnosed with influenza. Officials say, it "presently remains unclear whether or not the virus was the primary contributing factor to the child's ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update

February 15, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

I first want to congratulate Nick Calello and David Went for their promotions to patrol officers in the Westfield Police Department. I’d also like to welcome and congratulate new Patrol Officer Fortunato Riga, who joins the police department this week upon his ...

Upcoming Events


Thu, February 22, 8:30 AM

Hilton Garden Inn, Hamilton , Hamilton

Defending Your Independent Contractor & Wage & ...

Business & Finance Education Law & Justice


Fri, February 23, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve


Fri, February 23, 5:00 PM

Catanzaro Dining Hall at Saint Joseph High School, Metuchen

Friday Night Lenten Fish Fry

Food & Drink

Wardlaw+Hartridge Students Earn Scholarship Finalist Standing

February 17, 2018

The National Merit Scholarship Program has determined which of the 16,000 semifinalists named in September 2017 have met all requirements to advance to Finalist standing in the competition. All Finalists will be considered for National Merit Scholarships to be offered in 2018.

Wardlaw+Hartridge seniors Jennifer Guo and Suraj Chandran of Edison received their Finalist certificates from Susan ...

Westfield Police Blotter: DWI Arrest & More

February 15, 2018

February 7, 2018 10:25 p.m.

Officers Natale and Gill arrested Brian Mueller, age 55, of Westfield, NJ for driving while intoxicated pursuant to an accident investigation in the area of Mountain Avenue by Colonial Avenue. Subject was transported to headquarters, processed and released to a sober adult.


February 9, 2018 2:21 a.m.

Selena G. Palacios, age 22, of Westfield, NJ was ...

19 Homes Sold Last Week in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford & Mountainside

Nineteen homes sold last week, 2/11/2018-2/18/2018, in Westfield,  Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside and Cranford.*

TOWN                  ...

How Tax Reform Impacts You

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act brings a host of changes to tax returns for 2018. Highlighted are just a few of the new rules that may impact many of our clients. Please reach out to us to find out if and how your personal situation is impacted.

For Business:

·       A flat 21% corporate tax rate for C corporations replaces the 15% - 35% graduate rate ...

Sinai or Sanctuary?



And in the beginning, G‑d was homeless, and so G‑d asked His people to set Him up with some digs. Where does it say that? Well, nowhere, actually. But it does say that G‑d instructed Moses to tell the people, “They shall make for Me a Sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.”

Now the question is, was G‑d really homeless? ...

Westfield Public Schools Celebrate High School and Intermediate Music Honors

Westfield High School sophomore Brooke Walden auditioned and was selected to the New Jersey All-State Wind Ensemble and Orchestra for a second straight year.  Brooke was the top scoring piccolo player and ranked third on the flute.  She will perform in February with the Wind Ensemble and in November with the Orchestra.

Walden also was among 12 WHS musicians to perform in January with ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 13, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Love Craft Beer But Hate the Tour? State Assembly Moves to Make it Easier for You to Belly Up to the Bar

Good news is a brew for New Jersey craft beer advocates. In February 2018, the New Jersey Assembly’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee paved the way for the introduction of Bill A2196, which would remove a current licensing rule requiring breweries and distilleries to provide a tour of their facilities before serving alcoholic beverages to consumers. Currently, breweries holding a ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...


AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link:

Cat Found in Westfield

UPDATE: Reunited with family!

ORIGINAL POST: Cat found in Golf Edge area of Westfield. Call 908-913-0509.

Imagine a Chatham Toboggan Ride from the Top of Fairmount Avenue to Main Street

Did you know….
there was a time when Chatham kids could ice skate from downtown Chatham all the way to Florham Park? And that a toboggan ride could last from the top of Fairmount Avenue down to Main Street and beyond?

Those were the days!

This was back in the early to mid-1900s. The Passaic River meandered through grassy meadows and woods on the north side of Chatham. The marshy ...


Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
Read more

East Brunswick Rabbi Charged with Engaging in Prostitution with a Child

February 19, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Aryeh Goodman, 35, the rabbi from the  East Brunswick Chabad Learning Center, has been charged with one count of engaging in prostitution with a child and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.  He was one of 30 men charged with having sex with the teenager over a four-week period.

According to the New Jersey Jewish News, Goodman was ...