Before Falling to West Orange, Columbia High Cougars Football Dominated Barringer

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Columbia Cougars Football Team submitted this story, detailing a win over Barringer on September 24, shortly before their loss to West Orange (42-7) at home at Underhill on October1. The Cougars are now 3-2.

The Barringer Blue Bears kicked off to the Columbia Cougars on September 24 to initiate the contest held at Newark Schools Stadium. Coming off a tough loss the previous week to East Orange, the Cougars came out roaring. The Cougars’ first possession included junior QB Tariq Huff hitting sophomore Max Gigante for a 12-yard reception, senior Steve Henry added an 11 yard run and Huff hit sophomore Zhamir Rowan for a big-time 50 yard touchdown reception. Sophomore Henry Aaron added the point after for an early 7-0 Cougar lead. 

Columbia picked up on defense where the offense left off, quickly forcing the Blue Bears into a fourth and 16. Punting to Columbia with 4:16 left in the first quarter, a hungry Zhamir Rowan got his hands on the ball again and returned the punt to the Barringer 46-yard line. A couple of plays later, standout tailback Steve Henry made way past the Barringer defensive line and found the end zone 35 yards later. Shortly after, the quarter ended with Columbia up 14-0. 

Barringer opened the second quarter with the ball on their own 39-yard line. Unable to find their offensive footing against an aggressive Cougar D, Barringer was forced into an apparent 4th and 30 on the heels of a big sack by David Fadael. But the officials tossed the flag and a personal foul against Columbia gave Barringer new life. On the new set of downs, Barringer fumbled in their own backfield and a frenetic pursuit of the ball ensued; Barringer recovered but found themselves in the position of 4th and 32. 

Receiving the Barringer punt, the Cougars took over on their own 14 with 2:08 left in the second quarter. After a couple of first downs, CHS was facing a fourth and 1 on their own 39 yard line. Coach Gary Mobley gave the go ahead and Steve Henry went to work — picking up 6 yards and securing the new set of downs. Shortly thereafter, wideout Dylan Carthens picked up another first down with a nice 17-yard reception. 

Late in the second quarter, the sticks showed a third and long for the Cougars. Huff scrambled for a first down to the Barringer 20-yard line. Bearing down on the goal line, Huff hit Steve Memo in the end zone just before the half, bringing the score to 21-0 going into the locker room. 

The third quarter began with Aaron kicking the ball deep into Bear territory and the kickoff squad only allowing for a 11-yard return out to the 20-yard line. The Columbia D quickly forced a punt on 4th and 6 from the Barringer 24 yard line. Fielding the punt, Rowan returned the ball to the CHS 42. On the heels of Henry ripping off a 20 yard gain, junior Akbar Holiday and sophomore Yassan “Pop” Fields got into the act, each gobbling up solid yards and giving Columbia a first down on the Barringer 8-yard line. The Blue Bears were rallying on defense with their backs against a wall and forced the Cougars into a 4th down and 6. But they couldn’t hold up on that final down when Huff connected with sophomore Steve Memo in the end zone for 6 points; bringing the score to 28-0 with 3:45 left in the third quarter.

CHS quickly got the ball back and took over near midfield. With fifteen seconds left on their own 45 yard line, sophomore Max Gigante went in motion, Huff faked a handoff that left the defense frozen and flat-footed — turning upfield with his experienced offensive lineman out in front, leaving the Bears watching as he sped 55 yards into the end zone, making the score 35-0. 

The Cougars didn’t find their way into the end zone in the fourth quarter. In an attempt to get on the board with 1:55 left in the game, Barringer attempted a FG from the Columbia 19 yard line. A bad snap foiled their bid for three points and the game wound down. 

Unfortunately for sophomore Henry Aaron, that meant he didn’t have the chance to kick a 6th and possible school record-breaking extra point. It’s fortunate, though, for his older brother and Class of ‘21 CHS grad Nick, with whom he now shares the record for 5 in one game. 

The Cougars improved to 3-1 and face a quality West Orange squad at Underhill Field at 7pm on Friday, 10/1. Fans are welcome!

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