Immaculate Conception football: Lions keep things simple in taking care of Glen Ridge
The Immaculate Conception football team bounced back nicely on Saturday with an easy victory over Glen Ridge at home.
After going down 6-0 early in the second quarter, the Lions scored 30 unanswered points to defeat the Ridgers, 30-6, at Codey Field in Montclair in a North Jersey Super Football Conference National Red Division win. The previous week Immaculate lost 21-6 at Cedar Grove.
The victory over Glen Ridge evened the Lions' mark in 2022 to 3-3, with a tough matchup next, at Immaculata on Friday, Oct. 7.
With a slick field from extensive rain on Friday, Immaculate did its thing on the ground, especially late in the first half and in the second half.
"We just buckled down and did what we do best," Immaculate head coach Maurice Lucas said about running the ball.
The key player in going to the ground was senior Eriq Harris, who ran only eight times but gained 190 yards and had two rushing touchdowns. Junior Jasin Shiggs ran six times for 79 yards.
With the Lions already down senior Marcus Gornowicz, Harris' partner in the backfield, because of an injury, Immaculate lost sophomore Jaluan Hutchins to an elbow injury early in the second half, so the Lions relied on Harris, who was playing banged up.
Hutchins had been moved from wide receiver to running back with the injury to Gornowicz and took the ball eight times for 57 rushing yards before leaving with his injury. "We tried it before and it worked pretty well," Lucas said about using Hutchins in the backfield.
In addition to the running back injuries, Immaculate was without starting quarterback Jordan Jenkins, a sophomore, who missed the game after suffering an injury against Cedar Grove.
The Lions replaced him with freshman Davion Young, who struggled in the first quarter when they had the quarterback in a shotgun formation.
But Lucas abandoned the shotgun later in the game. "We went back to him going under center and making it simple," the coach said.
That did the trick for the Lions, as it helped Young finish the day completing 8 of 12 pass attempts for 103 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for a touchdown. Young has seen time under center several times so far in 2022, including in the opener against Pope John.
"As the games go along, he's been getting better and better, especially with his judgments, and he didn't throw any picks," Lucas said.
The coach said he hopes to have Jenkins back along with Gornowicz against Immaculata.
The Lions defense pretty much shut down the Ridgers after what turned out to be their lone score after the start of the second quarter, giving them a 6-0 lead.
While Immaculate only sacked Glen Ridge quarterback Dylan O’Neill once, the defensive line, led by juniors Maraad Watson and Jahide Lesaine, kept the pressure on constantly.
Immaculate Conception Football Schedule
(Dates and times subject to change)
Oct. 7 at Immaculata, 7 p.m.
Oct. 15 Shabazz, 1 p.m.
Oct. 28 at Morris Catholic, 7 p.m.