Piscataway Edges East Orange Campus in Scrimmage
PISCATAWAY, NJ–On this Labor Day Weekend, the Piscataway Chiefs, looking to do better than its semifinal round loss to Union in last year’s North Jersey Section 2 Group V playoffs, took on a familiar foe in East Orange Campus in a controlled scrimmage at Ciardi Field. P-Way faced the Jaguars from Essex County in the North Jersey Section 2 Group IV playoffs back in 2011, and emerged victorious (7-0) in the semifinal round en route to its last sectional championship on a thrilling last minute touchdown by Tevin Shaw for a 41-34 victory over Elizabeth.
This time, the two teams faced off in a controlled scrimmage where each team got 7 plays to move the ball and get either a first down or a touchdown. Piscataway made big plays on both sides of the ball as WR/RB Tyrell Bush had a 65 yard TD run and a 20 yard TD catch to stake P-Way to a 14-0 lead, and then after East Orange ended the first half with a TD reception to pull within seven points, the Chiefs got an interception returned for a touchdown by Mohammed Attieyeh for a 21-7 lead, and despite a late score by East Orange Campus, Piscataway was able to win 21-14.
The scrimmage began with each team getting several plays devoted to kicking field goals and punting. No kickoff or punt returns were run in this scrimmage. Piscataway did a much better job of kicking and punting with the likes of QB Danny Haus dropping back to punt. East Orange had difficulty, especially on field goals. Neither team scored on their first possession of the scrimmage, but that would change when P-Way began their second drive.
On the first play of the Chiefs second offensive series, Bush went in motion from the left side, took a handoff, ran right, and found an opening as he scampered down the sideline for a 65 yard touchdown. The Chiefs still had 6 more plays to go through on their drive, and Danny Haus, Bush, Elijah Pierson, and Elijah Barnwell put them all to good use.
Piscataway was able to gain several more first downs and got into the red zone. Haus then found Bush on a fade route toward the left corner of the end zone from about 20 yards out. Bush then battled a defender for the ball, leaped up for it, and made the catch. The Chiefs then added the extra point for a 14-0 lead.
East Orange Campus couldn’t really get anything going offensively until the end of the first half. The Jaguars defense managed to hold the fort though by not allowing any touchdowns for the rest of the first half. Then, the Jags offense found lightning in a bottle just before the half on a wide receiver screen pass to the right side that turned into a 45 yard jaunt to the end zone for a touchdown, and a 14-7 P-Way lead.
East Orange Campus continued to stay within striking distance and had the ball with a chance to tie late in the third period when the Chiefs came up with a big defensive play. The Jaguars tried to through a pass to the left side of the field, but the ball was thrown behind the receiver, deflected, and fell into the hands of Attieyeh, who then returned the ball down along the East Orange sideline for a touchdown and a 21-7 lead.
Piscataway was able to maintain the two touchdown lead throughout much of the fourth quarter before East Orange started its final drive. The Jags moved the ball into P-Way territory, but were faced with a 4th and 8 when they put together a pass completion to a receiver in the slot, who had to fend off to Chief defenders for a first down. Several plays later, East Orange campus completed a pass to the right side of the end zone to wrap up the scoring as Piscataway won, 21-14.
Although the Chiefs gave up several big plays including three in the air that resulted in both of the Jaguars scores, they still managed to perform better on both sides of the ball as well as special teams. Piscataway did a solid job of running the football and stopping the run on defense. The Chiefs also managed to minimize mistakes such as penalties and turnovers, which has hurt them in the past.
P-Way has always had the big play capability on both sides of the ball, and with veterans such as Haus, Barnwell, Pierson, Bush, Attieyeh, and Elorm Lumor, the Chiefs should be in contention again for the Red Division crown and a North Jersey Section 2 Group IV title. Minimizing mistakes, especially on offense will go a long way in helping Piscataway contend for division and state titles this year.