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Irvington's imposing 6-6, 250-pound defensive end Lancine Turay (12) has his full focus on chasing down West Orange quarterback Vincent DeSantis as the talented Blue Knights put plenty of pressure on the Mountaineers on Friday night while registering a defensive-minded 28-7 win. (Photos by Greg Corbo)
Irvington running back Nim Salaam had big evening with 25 carries for 142 yards and two second half touchdowns as Blue Knights' ground game clicked.
Irvington QB Brandon Robinson (left) releases pass downfield at West Orange
Brandon Robinson finds hole up the middle as the rushed for 55 yards and two touchdowns to get Irvington on the scoreboard early with two first half scores.
Irvington Rides Its Solid Defense
WEST ORANGE- Lancine Turay is 6-foot-6, 250 pounds of strength, speed and athletic prowess, which is part and parcel of the 2017 Irvington football team which boasts its fair share of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) major college recruits.
But, the Blue Knights (2-0) need to clean up a few things on the offensive side of the ball moving forward as certifiable defensive stars such as Turay at end and Jalen Scott (6-2, 275) at tackle lead a unit of resistance which is right up there with the best in New Jersey.
Following Friday night’s 28-7 triumph at West Orange (0-2) in a North Jersey Super Football Conference contest, Irvington must cut down on mistakes as it now prepares to travel south to face Smyrna of Delaware (0-2) Friday night (Sept. 22).
“We need to play better, but we know we have the talent to put it all together if we continue to practice hard and focus on execution,” said Turay, who has offers from both North Carolina and North Carolina State in addition to Rutgers where older brother Kemoko is currently a red-shirt senior D-line standout. “We do a good job of stopping the run, but we need to play a complete game to continue move toward being the complete team we’re capable of.”
The Blue Knights limited West Orange to just 48 positive rushing yards on the night and limited the aerial attack to an additional 64 yards with Turay and Scott among those continuing to put pressure on Mountaineers quarterback Vincent DeSantis while almost virtually shutting down the ground game.
“Our defense helps the offense in the sense that the momentum of the ‘D’ carries over to the offensive side of the ball where we have to correct a few things, but that will happen and we’ll be the team we’re destined to be,” said Scott, a solidly-build 6-2, 275-pound D-lineman with offers from schools including Old Dominion, UMass, Toledo and Kent State. “We’re a team determined to win a state championship this season and to do that we have to play consistent football on both sides of the ball.”
What Irvington did do very efficiently in the second half at West Orange was run the football led by solid line blocking in front of senior back Nim Salaam, who rushed for 83 of his 142 yards and two touchdowns in the final two quarters as the Blue Knights extended their 14-7 halftime lead and made the margin of victory much more comfortable.
“Salaam ran well and the ground game picked it up in the second half,” said Irvington second-year head coach Ashley ‘Smoke’ Pierre. “We just need to take better care of the football and create a better temp offensively, but we have some talented kids out there and (senior) Brandon (Robinson) is one of the best quarterbacks around.”
Robinson, the impressive 6-4, 210-pound transfer from Columbia, was 12-of-23 for 104 yards and threw one interception. He also rushed nine times for 55 yards and scored his team’s first two touchdowns on runs of 1 and 9 yards.
“We know that we have the guys on offense to get the job done, there is no doubt about that,” said Scott. “It’s just a matter of time before we click on all cylinders.”
Irvington opened Friday night’s scoring on its second drive, moving 59 yards on eight plays and helped by a fourth down face mask penalty assessed against West Orange which preceded a 35-yard Robinson to Jasiah Provillon pass play that took the ball down to the 1 from where Robinson finished with a QB sneak and a 7-0 lead as Clervency Prince added the extra point placement for a 7-0 lead with 3:18 left in the opening stanza.
West Orange responded with a solid drive of its own, moving from its own 14 to the Irvington 13 on a five-minute march that bridged the end of the first and start of the second quarter but culminated with no points as Bryan Reitberger’s 30-yard field goal had the distance but hit the left upright.
Irvington made it 14-0 with 7:00 left in the second quarter on a 9-yard Robinson QB keeper. Once again, a key penalty hurt West Orange, this time a pass interference call that moved the ball from the 32 to the 17 to set the stage for the second Blue Knights score of the night.
West Orange persevered and cut the lead in half following free safety Jordan White’s interception and 47-yard return to the Irvington 32 which preceded DeSantis finding a wide open Michael Giovine in the right flat for a touchdown pass that made it 14-7 with 1:53 left in the half.
Irvington committed another turnover early in the third quarter with a fumble recovered by West Orange at the Blue Knights’ 39 yard line. However, after reaching the 27 the Mountaineers committed their own key fumble, a key turnover which saw Irvington recover at the West Orange 41 and needed just seven plays, including a pair of Salaam 12-yard runs, to set the stage for his first of two 1-yard TD bursts, making it 20-7 with 3:20 left in the third.
Salaam added his second TD of the half to cap a 10-play, 41-yard advance with 4:58 left in the fourth and also ran in the two-point conversion.
GAME NOTES- One of the Irvington fans down on the field to enjoy the post-game atmosphere of another Blue Knights win was the QB’s dad, Eugene “Bam” Robinson, the former Irvington boys basketball coach and now the head hoops mentor at Columbia…Zahir Salaam, Nim’s younger brother and Irvington’s very talented freshman running back and kick and punt return man, had two nice punt returns for the Blue Knights of 21 and 17 yards…Provillon, who had six receptions for 62 yards, has made a verbal commitment of North Carolina State…Irvington had blown past Lincoln, 38-0, in its season opener, while West Orange was edged by Union City, 15-13…Smyrna (Del.) has lost its first two games, but plays a high level schedule and draws as many as 6,000 to its home games.
Irv (2-0) 7 7 6 8 -28
WO (0-2) 0 7 0 0 - 7
Irv- Brandon Robinson 1 run (Clervency Prince kick)
Irv- Robinson 9 run (Prince kick)
WO- Michael Giovine 32 pass from Vincent DeSantis (Bryan Reitberger kick)
Irv- Nim Salaam 1 run (kick blocked)
Irv- N. Salaam 1 run (N. Salaam run)
Irvington: Brandon Robinson 12-of 23- 104 yards 1 Int.
West Orange: Vincent DeSantis 7-of-13- 64 yards 1 TD
Irvington: Nim Salaam 25 carries 142 yards 2 TDs
Brandon Robinson 9 carries 55 yards 2 TDs
Zahir Abdus Salaam 4 carries 10 yards
West Orange: QB Vincent DeSantis 4 carries 44 yards
RB CJ Wilson 10 carries -8 yards
West Orange held to 48 total positive rushing yards by Irvington ‘D’
Irvington: Jasiah Provillon 6 receptions 62 yardsDarryl Hill 2-16; Taion Battle 2-22
West Orange :Jordan White 2-30, Dorain Rawls 2-21
Follow Steve Tober on Twitter @Chattermeister
West Orange quarterback Vincent DeSantis (7) releases pass downfield under pressure from the relentless Irvington defense on Friday evening.
Irvington's Lancine Turay (12) looks to put wraps on West Orange QB Vincent DeSantis as the Blue Knights 'D' was relentless all night long.
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