Post 583 – West Orange 17 East Orange 7

West Orange scored 17 unanswered points after the game’s opening drive to beat East Orange, 17-7. Two touchdowns in the second half drove the Mountaineers to the win in the Battle of the Oranges. 

First Quarter: East Orange moved the ball down the field and got on the board when Matthew Ziao scored on a 2-yard run through the middle. Ziao was involved in two plays setting up the touchdown: a 33-yard run and 20-yard reception. Makhi Green took the ensuing kickoff 58 yards to the 39. A twisting and turning run by Shakhi Carson brought the ball to the 20 and West Orange scored on a 32-yard field goal. 

Second Quarter: East Orange bridged the two quarters with a drive well into West Orange territory. A couple of Ziao runs, a pair of West Orange penalties, and a Damon Phillips run set up a fourth-and-two on the 23 that was converted on a 3-yard run by Sharif Bryan. A penalty brought the Jaguars back to the 30, but a Rae Oliver to Al-Shadee Salaam pass put the ball on the 10. The drive was snuffed out when Dorian Rawls sacked Oliver on a blitz on fourth down. West Orange drove past the 50 when Mason Murdock found Green for 25 yards to their 44. A fake punt pass to Abe Simon gave the Mountaineers a first down on the East Orange 43. But a pass that brought them inside the 10-yard line was called back on a penalty and time expired. 

Third Quarter: Carson returned the kickoff to the West Orange 47 and a pair of passes to Green brought two first downs, but the Mountaineers turned it over on downs. East Orange moved the ball on the ground to midfield, but ended up punting. West Orange turned to Green again, catching three passes, the last bringing the Mountaineers to the 4-yard line aided by a facemask penalty. Carson scored on the following play to put West Orange in front for the first time, 10-7. 

Fourth Quarter: Disaster struck for East Orange early in the quarter. A high punt snap was snagged by Bryan, but he was tackled on the East Orange 25. On fourth-and-11, Murdock found Green down the middle, at the goal line for the score. East Orange had a chance to draw closer, but a fourth down pass was batted down, falling incomplete. West Orange kept the ball and ran out the clock.   

Conclusion: After the opening drive, West Orange kept East Orange off the board the rest of the game. The defense kept East Orange from threatening the last two-and-a-half quarters, covering four East Orange drives. The offense had four possessions in the second half: scoring two touchdowns, driving well into East Orange territory on another, and running out the clock on their last drive. Carson and Green were the most visible players, but it was a team effort. 

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