Cohen leads East football to best season in over a decade


Lucas Tang

Cohen rushes the ball vs West Windsor-Plainsboro earlier this season.

This past fall season, the Cougars brought home their first conference title in 32 years. Starting quarterback Ben Cohen (‘24), first team conference winner in a limited season, helped lead the team to victory. Cohen had a tremendous impact on the Cougar’s season, making his mark as East’s best quarterback in a very long time.

Cohen started playing football at a young age with friends and small leagues but didn’t get into it until freshman year. He started his high school career playing running back, however, quickly transitioned to quarterback sophomore year and has been ever since. When it comes to the qualities of an excellent quarterback, Cohen exceeds the average. He is one of a kind with his footwork, arm strength, mobility, accuracy, anticipation, and decision-making.  Last season Cohen made history by passing for more than 1,000 yards which hasn’t been done in over ten years and also won first team all-conference at quarterback. Before this season, he was ranked as a top 15 passer in South Jersey in a Courier Post article. 

Cohen, being a three-sport athlete, puts the work in, in, and out of football season. He dedicates his time to training during the off season and learning more about the position on top of wrestling and playing baseball. 

“I go to the field a lot with teammates and players from other teams to get extra work in, even to practice the little things like footwork and the basics of quarterbacking,” Cohen said. 

 As the Cougar community knows, this year’s football season looked very different than the past few years. With the addition of an entirely new coaching staff, this year was a fresh beginning. 

Cohen said, “winning three games last year was tough on the team, but this season a handful of people stepped up including the seniors”. 

Cohen anticipated nothing but the best junior season, which started pretty strong but had some major challenges along the way. He came into preseason ready to win as well as many of his teammates. The entire team wanted to change the program as a whole to create a respectable and winning team.

“We had tough losses against Palmyra, Moorestown, West, and Steinert which everyone thinks we could have done more to perform better in those games,” Cohen stated. 

Cohen, unfortunately, attained a concussion in the game against Palmyra which kept him from half of that game and his next game against Princeton. A few games later, he fractured a bone in his wrist, keeping him out the rest of the season. However, Cohen still helped his team to six wins which hasn’t been done in several years. Cohen also had multiple games where he threw for more than three touchdowns this season. In his limited season due to injuries, he passed for over 1300 total yards and put up over 20 touchdowns, leaving off on a strong foot. Cohen was South Jerseys player of the week for the Courier Post after a win against West Windsor-Plainsboro and has been in a selection process for player of the week on multiple different news and media pages. Along with that, he was top 50 in the state for passers in most weeks of the season last year and this year. 

Right when Cohen’s junior season got cut short, he was counting the seconds until his senior season. 

“For senior year, I have goals of passing for 1500 yards, 15 touchdowns, while rushing for around 700 yards and 10 touchdowns,” said Cohen. 

As Cohen’s last ever football season at East is right around the corner, he is going to take on an important leadership position and serve as a role model for the entire program. 

Cohen said, “ I want to go undefeated next year which me and my team believe is achievable”. 

Cohen has great success coming his way as he plans to play football in college but is unsure at the moment which schools. Although he intends to play quarterback during his senior season, Cohen says he will play whatever position the college requests of him. Cohen is a phenomenal player on the field who made history at East and helped lead his team to the conference title, but this is only the beginning of a fantastic journey.