Cardinals Earn Their First Win of the Season By Defeating Tigers at Jost
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ—When the Big Central Football Conference unveiled its division alignments and schedules for the 2020 season, a number of unique situations began to unfold across the football landscape of Central Jersey. One of them was the pairing of Plainfield and South Plainfield in Division 3, which meant a regular season meeting between the two schools.
Although the teams do play each other on the Middle School level, both Plainfield and South Plainfield had never played each other before in varsity football competition. Both the Cardinals and Tigers have had their fair share of games against North Plainfield over the years, but had never competed against each other until this past Friday night. Plainfield took the short trip down Park and Maple Avenues in Tigertown to take on South Plainfield at Frank R. Jost Memorial Field.
Each team was trying to pick up some momentum. The Cardinals entered the contest winless on the season after back to back losses to Summit (32-0) and Rahway (34-7) at Hub Stine Field in Weeks 2 and 3 after getting an opening week bye. Meanwhile, South Plainfield also lost to Summit (35-0) last Saturday after defeating Warren Hills (21-14) at Jost on October 9th. The Tigers opened the 2020 season on October 2nd with a renewal of their rivalry with Somerville at Brooks Field that resulted in a 50-12 victory for the highly touted Pioneers.
Plainfield’s defense, anchored by basketball standout, Joshua Cordoba, who had 15 tackles and Tahmir Ellis, who added 6 tackles along with a forced fumble that he recovered and returned for a touchdown, lifted the Cardinals to a hard fought, 22-17 victory. Dajuan Thomas had an effficient game by rushing 4 times for 35 yards, and completing 6 of 7 passes for 113 yards including a TD pass to Jymirr Harvey, who finished with 2 receptions for 65 yards. Zayirr Mckeithan led the Cardinal ground game with 16 carries for 95 yards, or an average of 5.9 yards per carry and another PHS TD.
Senior SPHS quarterback, Tyler Balent was also effective by completing 9 of 15 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown, and rushing 4 times for another 17 yards. South Plainfield’s Kyon Simonson led all rushers with 27 carries for 187 yards, or just over 6.9 yards per carry along with a TD. Tiger veteran tight end, Austin Scott, led all receivers with 3 catches for 66 yards, and a touchdown. Tyejuan Taylor also contributed in the victory for Plainfield by scoring the team’s only two point conversion in the game
With the victory, Plainfield improved to 1-2 overall, and scored over three times more points than it had in its first two games combined. The Cardinals have been now outscored by their opponents 83 to 29, or by an average of 28 to 10 in their three games. Meanwhile, South Plainfield fell to 1-3 overall, and lost its 2nd straight game. The Tigers have been outscored by a margin of 121 to 50, or an average of about 30 to 13 per contest.
Both teams will be back in action next weekend with the Tigers hosting Rahway at Jost Field on Friday night at 7:00 PM while Plainfield hosts Somerville at Hub Stine Field on Saturday afternoon. Both Plainfield and South Plainfield have their work cut out for them with match-ups against not only two of the top teams in Division 3 of the Big Central, but perhaps two of the top 15 teams in the entire conference.