"This is a state semi-final, meaning if we were to win tonight, we would be in the sectional final," said Union High School Assistant Line Coach Justin Bogan.
Instead, the field sat empty - and with disappointment after the big Union High School game against a significant rival - Paterson Eastside was canceled.
"We are hurt - the news absolutely destroyed us," said Davidson Igbinosen.
It all started after four players tested positive for COVID on Wednesday night. School officials required the rest of the team to be tested.
"Literally 24 hours ago, our kids took rapid tests and tested negative for COVID-19," said Bogan.
Those players even attended indoor classes all day on Friday. However, Superintendent Scott Taylor says as he consulted further with the county health department, he decided to cancel the game.
"I'm confident I made the right decision," said Scott, "This case, thanks to the Health Department, I am making the best decision to their physical interests."
As Scott takes full responsibility for that decision, on Friday, the community was outraged.
"They've worked really hard, and we want them to have a chance to play in the field," said head football coach Lou Grasso.
School officials say according to guidelines by the New Jersey State Athletic Association, the game cannot be rescheduled - that is an even bigger blow to the players.
ALSO READ | New Jersey football team under investigation after alleged hazing incident
* Get Eyewitness News Delivered
* More New Jersey news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Submit a News Tip