West Orange football jumps to lead, upsets Phillipsburg in the North 2 Group 5 final

Maybe Thursday night’s North 2 Group 5 football title game would have led to a different ending for the Phillipsburg High School football team.

Maybe if a roughing the punter call hadn’t been called against the Stateliners after forcing a three-and-out on the first possession of the game it would have won Pburg early momentum and changed its fate against West Orange.

But it was so so early and sixth-seeded West Orange was so so good in beating top seed Phillipsburg 28-7 at Maloney Stadium that one early sequence gone wrong wasn’t worthy of changing a game.

West Orange (8-3) took an early 14-0, scoring on both of its first two drives and went on to win its first-ever sectional title in its first trip to the final.

Phillipsburg (10-1) will end its season Thanksgiving Day with Easton Area.

“We know we have a quality football team, we just had a bad night,” coach Frank Duffy said

“We got the job done for 10 games and I’m confident we will regroup and get back to it.”

West Orange’s Illinois-commit Saboor Kareem scored in double coverage in the end zone on a 32-yard reception from QB Amir Stewart with 9:05 left in the first quarter. Stewart scored the second TD of the game from two yards out with 3:48 left in the first for a 14-0 lead.

Duffy said that punt block was simply a result of being aggressive.