After being tied, 7-7, with four minutes left in the first half, Irvington scored 31 unanswered points to beat Clifton, 38-7. Al-Jay Henderson scored three touchdowns and had an interception to lead the Blue Knights.
First Quarter: The game began with Clifton punting twice sandwiched around Irvington turning the ball over on downs. Irvington scored on its second possession on a 13-yard run by Henderson with a 21-yard run by Rahkeem Ross being the big play in the drive.
Second Quarter: Irvington moved towards midfield after a 27-yard pass from Al-Muhaymin Lockhart to Adon Shuler brought the ball to their 37. They advanced to the Clifton 41, but their fourth down pass fell incomplete. Two plays later Kyle Vellis connected with Omar Muheisen for 39 yards to the 17 and a personal foul penalty brought the ball to the 8-yard line. On the following play, Caleb Bonaparte scored to tie the score with four minutes left. After a Clifton penalty was tacked on to the ensuing kickoff, Vamunye Toure went 58 yards* with the touchdown on the return to put Irvington back in front. Clifton’s next two possessions ended in safeties for Irvington: the first on a bad punt snap and the second when the punter’s knee touched the ground in the end zone. There were many penalties and delays in the game, as it took 33 minutes to play the final five minutes of the half.
Third Quarter: Clifton opened the half with an onside kick that Irvington recovered on their 47. After that, Henderson was the story of the third quarter. He rushed for touchdowns of 7 and 39 yards. The Clifton drive between those two scores abruptly ended when Henderson intercepted at midfield.
Fourth Quarter: Henderson reached the 1,000 yard rushing mark in the fourth quarter on a 20-yard run. That drive ended when tackle Zaire Angoy lined up in the wildcat and rushed straight ahead, moving pile into the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown.
Conclusion: Irvington blew the game open once the game was tied, with Henderson being their prime mover. There was too much athleticism for Clifton to handle and Irvington played a very physical brand of football. Clifton was fortunate to be down only 18-7 at the half and they could not keep up in the second half.
*Courtesy of Ryan Patti of nj.com. I estimated the return as 50 yards.