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


Scotch Plains Man Arrested for Exposing Himself to Girl at Farley Park

April 19, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — A 26-year-old Scotch Plains man was arrested and charged with lewdness after he allegedly exposed himself in front of a girl at Farley Park, police said.

The girl's family members contacted the Scotch Plains police, who arrested Melvin A. Hanciles, who lives near the park on Farley Avenue.

Sergeant David Lavery and Patrolman Chris ...

2018 Municipal Budget is on Collision Course with Principles of Financial Soundness & Stability

April 18, 2018

Having chaired the town council’s finance committee in the recent past, I appreciate the hard work that goes into developing a municipal budget for a town as large and dynamic as Westfield. But as I have expressed publicly and also to the mayor and my council colleagues, I do not support the adoption of Westfield’s 2018 municipal budget. Although the budget contains much that I ...

Upcoming Events


Thu, April 19, 7:00 PM

Westfield High School Auditorium, Westfield

Panel on Transitioning to 100% Renewable Energy

Education Green


Thu, April 19, 8:00 PM

Molly Maguires Irish Pub and Restaurant, Clark

Open Mic Night @ Molly Maguires in Clark

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Thu, April 19, 8:00 PM

Union County Torah Center, Westfield

“The Jewish View on Reincarnation”

Religions And Spirituality

Westfield Police Blotter: Residence Burglarized & More

April 18, 2018

April 11, 2018 10:23 a.m.

Raymond Rodgers, 56, of Westfield, NJ was arrested in the area of E. Broad Street. Rodgers was arrested pursuant to an unrelated traffic investigation. Rogers was transported to Westfield Police HQ without incident. At WPD HQ, Rodgers was processed and released after posting the full bail amount ($250). Rodgers was arrested on the strength of an outstanding Westfield ...

Nominees Sought for Historic Preservation Awards

April 19, 2018

The Westfield Historic Preservation Commission seeks nominees for the Harry Devlin Commendation awards program honoring outstanding efforts in the restoration, expansion, alteration, and maintenance of older properties. Any recent project visible to the public that exhibits established historic preservation standards is eligible.  Residential, commercial, professional and institutional ...

McKinley School Kicks Off its Annual Fundraising Effort for Pediatric Cancer Research

It was an enthusiastic start as students and staff kicked off the 7th Annual McKinley School Mini-THON, a schoolwide, energetic effort to raise money for leukemia and pediatric cancer research.

“As you know, McKinley School does a lot to give back [to the community],” said McKinley principal Marc Biunno as he addressed students and staff gathered in the gymnasium on April 11.

Get Your Home Ready for Summer Before its TOO HOT

Finally, the weather is getting warmer and you are shedding those down coats. Now is a great time to start thinking about summer and getting your home prepared. Paying attention to a few maintenance items can alleviate painful repairs later on if you wait too long. The line ahead of you will build as the summer rush starts. So, let’s not wait.

Check your roof   (hire the expert ...

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

Fear of Rising Rates? Remember The Reason You Own Bonds

If the current interest environment has you concerned about your bond portfolio, remember why you are investing in bonds.  The role bonds, or fixed income, play in a portfolio is not solely based on performance.  Bonds are used to offer stability, particularly when stock market volatility is rising. Rate hikes can dampen bond performance, but keep perspective on how rising rates impact ...

Hellenic Therapy Center

April 13, 2018

Dropping Off Our Kids At College – Learning How To Adjust

Hellenic Therapy Center


Whether your kid is a freshman entering college for the first time or returning back to college, there are so many emotions we experience as parents.  There are differences in a parent’s reaction to the departure of a first child, an only child or even the last child.  Feelings ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 14

On this week’s AtlantiCast, an internationally recognized orthopedic oncologist takes a leadership role at Atlantic Health System, see the newest weapon in the fight against HPV-related cancers, Atlantic Health System leads the Castle Connolly / Inside Jersey Rankings, and much more!



Oct 21, 1944 - Apr 14, 2018
Kathleen A. Hertell passed away peacefully with family at her bedside on April 14, 2018. Loving ...
Read more

Edison Cop Arrested, Charged With Computer Theft and Stalking

April 18, 2018

EDISON, NJ - An Edison police officer has been arrested and charged with computer theft and stalking.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief Thomas Bryan of the Edison Police Department on Tuesday announced the arrest of Paul Pappas. The 43-year-old officer, an Edison resident, has been charged with computer theft/criminal activity in the second degree and stalking in the fourth ...