The Game at a Glance: Weequahic scored four second quarter touchdowns to open up a 35-6 halftime lead and beat Cedar Grove, 55-20. The Indians gained 359 yards on the ground and five sacks on the night, including four in the first half.
First Half Highlights: On the opening drive. Weequahic's Qua'D Cheatham intercepted and returned it 23 yards to the Cedar Grove 31. Six plays later, Alkadair Ports took the pitch and went 19 yards for the score and it was 7-0, Weequahic. The teams exchanged punts for the rest of the quarter.
After taking a quick kick on the Cedar Grove 29, Sidney Gopre scored on the first play, stretching it to the sideline and cutting upfield for a 14-0 lead, sixteen seconds into the quarter. Cedar Grove was pinned down in its own end and with trouble brewing; the punt was shanked to the 16, with Weequahic having great field position. On the following play, Al-Raekwon Zigler-Woodson took it in for the score and a 21-0 lead. Cedar Grove came back on the next play from scrimmage when Joe Slattery found Paul Rufo for a 64 yard score. Cedar Grove was in position to close the gap further when they recovered a fumble on the Weequahic 7, but a penalty and the Weequahic defense held their ground and turned the ball over on downs. Weequahic then went on a nine play 87 yard drive, capping it off when Gopre went 7 yards for the score. The Indians scored again, when they recovered a fumble on the 32 and capped it off when lineman KyJahn Carter, an offensive lineman, went two yards for the score when he was lined up in the backfield, making it 35-6.
Second Half Highlights: On the half's opening drive, David Njoku intercepted and returned it 50 yards for the score, cutting the lead to 35-12. Weequahic came right back when Kedar Clarke went 12 yards on the quarterback keeper for a 41-12 lead. Cedar Grove struck back when Njoku went 8 yards on the sweep halfway through the quarter. He went 31 yards on the previous play to set the score up. The Panthers tried closing the game to a one touchdown deficit, but their hopes were squashed when Yusuf Williams intercepted in the end zone.
Weequahic drove down the field to open the fourth quarter, scoring when Gopre burst through the middle from the 5. Cedar Grove was driving when Uriah Golding returned an interception 54 yards to close out the scoring. Along the way on the return, Golding fumbled, picked the ball up, and ran the rest of the way for the score.
Play Of The Game: It was the drive in the second quarter when Weequahic's defense held their ground, leading 21-6. Had Cedar Grove scored, it would have been a one touchdown deficit. Weequahic then went down the field to make it 28-6.
Game Balls: The Weequahic offensive line of KyJahn Carter, Uriah Golding, Jahe Williams, GVaughn Thomas, and Isaih Chipepo did a very good job, clearing the way for 359 yards rushing. Gopre was a big factor on both sides of the ball: 103 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries, plus he was a major factor on defense, including two sacks and several pressures. Ports gained 99 yards on six carries and one touchdown. Clarke at quarterback had 87 yards on 15 carries. The defense had a big game, especially in the first half and showed tremendous speed.
Weequahic head coach Brian Logan - "This is my first time coming to Cedar Grove to play since I've been coaching at Weequahic. It's wonderful to come to somebody else's field and a get one for a change. Sidney Gopre, Al-Raekwon Woodson, Alkadair Ports, and the line up front; we just wear you down. We got a good pass rush, but what slowed us down was Jahe Williams cramping a lot. He might have had a couple in the first half, but he was cramping up from going both ways. I'm going to miss Sidney Gopre, he means the world to me. His successfully sacrificing means so much. This team is a family - it's all we got."
Weequahic running back/linebacker Sidney Gopre and a Rutgers commitment for football - "There were a couple of rough years, but we finally did it. This team has been through so much. Ever since our sophomore year when we lost our first championship to them; that's what we've been thinking about ever since. We were so amped for this game and got the win. We have a good line this year and we couldn't do it without them. We also have a tough defense this year and we just want to win… I'm pretty solid on Rutgers. There are a couple of other schools calling, but I'm pretty solid on Rutgers."
Weequahic WR/RB/KR/FS Alkadair Ports - "It was a great team effort. All week in practice, the coaches worked us hard. We're just getting ready for the playoffs. The coaches said all week that we had to beat them this year." When asked how many touchdowns he had on returns, Ports said he has six: two on kickoffs and four on punts.
Weequahic guard/linebacker Uriah Golding - "We work hard, we wanted to win, the hard work paid off, and we got the W. It felt really good on the interception, I just enjoyed the touchdown. I didn't know what to expect, I just got excited. On the way, I bumped into a player, the ball popped out; I scooped it up and scored."