Score one for Pennsylvania.
The Easton Red Rovers from the Pennsylvania side of the Pa.-N.J. border topped their neighbors to the north, Phillipsburg, 24-14, using a 21-0 run beginning late in the second quarter to push past the Stateliners to finish with a winning record.
The loss meant that Phillipsburg was not so lucky in a rare matchup between two proud programs where neither team entered guaranteed of a winning season. It didn’t start out sour for Phillipsburg, which took the lead on a pair of first half touchdown runs from senior Danny Fisher and sophomore Nasir Bell. Yet, with the Stateliners holding on to a 14-3 lead and heading for the halftime whistle, Easton senior quarterback Ben Nimeh came through with a huge, touchdown scramble in the half’s closing moments.
That shirt in momentum carried into the second half, grabbing the lead on a third quarter touchdown, holding a fourth quarter drive on a fourth down stop and then adding a buffer score on an interception return by Michael Dunlap in the fourth quarter, per reporting by Lehigh Valley Live.
In addition to a winning record and some of the nation’s most sought-after bragging rights, Easton maintained its relative dominance over its New Jersey rival since the arrival of head football coach Steve Shiffert, who is an impressive 17-6-1 in the Thanksgiving Day faceoff. This one will feel particularly pleasant with a big helping of turkey for the Shiffert family.