The Jefferson Falcons hoped to get back in the win column after back-to-back football losses against Montville and Sparta. The task was tough for the Falcons, as they faced a physical Morris Hills team coming in to the Falcons Nest with the same 3-2 record. It was the Scarlet Knights upgrading to 4-2 on the night as they held onto a nail-biting victory 28-22, putting the Falcons back at an even 3-3 on the season.
The Falcons’ defense was able to stand tall early in the game as they matched up against Morris Hills’ big senior fullback Jeremy Busel. However, the Falcons had some trouble jump starting their offense early, as the score after the first was deadlocked at 0-0.
At the start of the second, the Falcons’ defense remained strong as junior Kieth Ferguson forced a Scarlet Knights fumble, regaining a Falcons possession. The Falcons were not able to capitalize on their opportunity as they were quickly forced to punt. The next drive, the Scarlet Knights marched down the Falcons turf, after a big run by Morris Hills set up a Charlie Rex rushing touchdown. Following the two-point conversion, the Knights were winning 8-0.
The Falcons would quickly fire back. With a minute left in the half, quarterback Bam Johnson led the Falcons down the field and capped off an impressive drive, with a short passing touchdown to junior Jeff Danyus. The Falcons went into half trailing 8-7.
After a halftime ceremony and announcements of the homecoming king and queens, the Falcons stormed back out on the field for the second half. To start the half, it was all Knights as they forced a Johnson interception, then marched down the field and scored a passing touchdown from quarterback Nick Carlotti to Lucas Novak.
The Falcons would answer quickly, as Johnson and senior receiver David Hanna connected for multiple quick passing plays, including a five yard touchdown to trim the Falcons’ deficit. Again the Scarlet Knights stormed down the field and punched in another touchdown before the end of the quarter. The Knights held the lead 22-14 at the end of the third.
The Falcons came out firing. On the first play of the fourth, Johnson connected with senior Nate Thomson for a touchdown. Then in need of a two-point conversion, Johnson threw to Hanna in the corner of the end zone to tie the game at 22.
The Scarlet Knights would waste no time bringing the momentum back to their side, as Carlotti connected with Novak for another touchdown early in their drive. However, the Knights were unable to convert their usual two-point conversion.
The score would hold for the next few drives as both defenses seemed to be in control. But, with just a minute and a half remaining the Falcons seemed to have something brewing.
The Falcons began to convert and move the chains while getting down the field, until they reached a fourth and long. Johnson hit his open receiver Caleb Rippey on a curl route, but he was dropped just a yard short of the first down, turning the ball over to Morris Hills with just 18 seconds left on the clock. The Knights would ice the clock and take the victory, 28-22.
Jefferson has now taken three consecutive losses after a hot 3-0 start, cooling them down to a 3-3 record. The Falcons head into Vernon next week in need of a victory to halt their three game skid and put them back over .500 for the season.