No. 13 Paramus (N.J.) Catholic scored first and then surrendered 30 consecutive points in a season-opening 42-20 loss to Eastern Christian (Elkton, Md.).
Paramus scored midway through the fourth quarter on a 10-yard touchdown to Donald Stewart to cut the lead to two scores. Three minutes later, Eastern Christian took over on downs and added another TD on a 24-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Esdale to seemingly extinguish the Palladins’ comeback hopes.
While Paramus added another fourth-quarter TD — again a 10-yard pass to Stewart — the margin was too great to overcome.Eastern slammed the door with a 55-yard interception return for a touchdown in the final minute, the Honey Badgers’ fourth INT of the night.
The turning point came late in the first half. Eastern Christian made its third interception of the half and took over at its own 47 with 90 seconds left in the half. Eastern was able to move the ball down to the 16 with 5.6 seconds remaining. Eastern got the touchdown on the next play with a fade pass in the end zone when the defensive back jumped at the wrong time. Adding the two-point conversion, Eastern had a 22-7 lead at halftime.
The Honey Badgers capped its run of 30 consecutive points with a 54-yard run from Tavion Washington just after halftime.
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Eastern plays among the toughest schedules in the nation and opened with a 27-20 loss to three-time defending Georgia state champion (it was Buford’s 41st consecutive victory). The Honey Badgers also have games scheduled against current No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale), No. 17 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), Baltimore powerhouse Gilman and two defending New Jersey state champions in St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City) and St. Joseph Regional (Montvale).