Columbia High School Cougars Ride ‘Power Play’ to Playoffs

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John Power had a simple goal in his first year as the Columbia High School football coach.

“We have to get the boys to believe that we are building something that can last,” Power said last year. “They have to put in the work, change the culture and do what it takes to be part of a team. We have good days and bad days and it shows when we play. But once the boys commit to doing the right things every day, the wins will come.”

CHS Football

A year later, the wins came—especially a frantic 21-14 victory last week over Irvington High School. The Cougars raced out to a 21-0 lead, thanks to quarterback Brandon Robinson (12-for-20; 162 yards, two touchdowns). Robinson hit junior running back Kiambu Jones for a 43-yard TD, while sophomore Ozzie Williams ripped through the Irvington defense on a punt-return score. Senior running back Jerrad Brown-Hawk (11 carries, 54 yards) helped the Cougars control the clock as they held off a furious fourth-quarter rally to seal the win.

The clutch team work guaranteed the Cougars could extend their season. They are prepared for a first-round game in the quarterfinals of the North Jersey Section 2, Group 5 playoffs. The 5-4 Cougars are the seven seed in the playoff bracket. They will travel to Westfield for a 1 p.m. game Saturday (Nov. 14) against the 8-0 and second-seeded Blue Devils.

The high-flying Westfield has been outscoring opponents by an average of 26 points. Meanwhile, the Cougars have outscored expectations for the program. The winner will advance to the semifinals next weekend against the winner of third-seeded Piscataway and sixth-seeded Union.

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