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High School Football:
Massacre at West Point Keeps Governor's Cup in New Jersey

Saturday, July 8, 2000

By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer

The third annual Governor's Bowl Football Classic between the graduating all-stars from New Jersey and New York was held on a perfect Saturday afternoon. This year's meeting was on the historic campus of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. Some of the on campus cadets witnessed the New Jersey all-stars keeping the Governor's Bowl Cup in the Garden State with a 48 -7 trashing of the all-stars from New York.

This event, which was held at Rutgers University Stadium in New Brunswick, New Jersey for the first two years, had a new home this year. The response to this event was very successful with both sides of the stadium filled with fans rooting for their favorite player. Lou Vircillo, president of the Governor's Bowl, has established an well-organized event that allows the seniors to join together with other athletics from their state in a classic football game.

The South Jersey area was represented with seniors on their way to college with high hopes of developing their skills. Area students such as Issac Irby (Holy Cross, West Virginia University), Rashod Baker (Woodrow Wilson, Tennessee State), Adam Taliaferro (Eastern, Penn State), Troy Bennett (Paulsboro, Temple University), Joe Weiss (Mainland, Princeton University) and Jason Robinson (Kingsway, Penn State) were in attendance. The coaching staff from the South Jersey area consisted of Head Coach Vince McAneney (Pennsauken), defensive coordinator Larry Ginsburg (Eastern), assistant coaches Bobby Weiss (Atlantic City) and Ernie Oldenburgh (Eastern).

Besides Lou Vircillo, there were many key players that made this event possible. Tom Reilly, Charlie Pierello and Tom Maderia were a part of the executive committee for the New Jersey team that allowed the players to be prepared for this prestigious event. One can not forget the governor himself, Governor George Pataki, would be honored for being a part of classic event.

As for the game itself, New Jersey received the opening kickoff that started the third annual Governor's Bowl with success. Starting quarterback, Matt Lovecchio, engineered a 9-play 76-yard scoring drive to get the game's first points on the scoreboard. During that drive, a key 4th and 6 pass to Grant Adams gave New Jersey a first and goal from the 3 yard line. The drive was capped off with Lovecchio sweeping right to allude tackles and score the game's first touchdown when he crossed the corner of the endzone. New Jersey jumped out to a 6-0 lead with 10:44 remaining in the first quarter.

New York didn't let the success of their opponent stop them from moving the football into New Jersey territory. With a 2nd and 6 from the thirty-eight yard line, runningback Trevor Dimmie picked up the first down but was striped of the football. Adam Taliaferro stopped the drive when he recovered the football at their own 26-yard line. But on the very next play, New York's Nashaun Carter picked off a pass for a 37-yard touchdown. After the extra point was successful, New York jumped ahead 7-6 with 6:50 remaining in the quarter.

With only days to prepare their teams for this game, the coaches for New Jersey was able establish a running game behind Malcolm Postell. On their next possession, New Jersey engineered an 11-play, 59-yard drive that chewed up 5:47 off the game clock. Postell accounted for thirty-nine of those yards on seven carries. Chris Wispelwey had been the next quarterback to step in for the signal calling and move the ball down field. Postell scored on a 6-yard run to jump ahead of their opponents. The two-point conversion failed, but New Jersey had regained the lead.

Again, New York started their next drive that moved them into the second quarter and a 1st and 10 from the New Jersey nineteen-yard line. New York's quarterback Cedric Stevens force a pass into the endzone that was intercepted by Taliaferro to again stop New York's scoring chances. On their next possession and now quarterbacked by Chris Dapolito, tightend Jared Mazzetta was used efficiently during the drive. Dapolito connected with him on an 8-yard pass between two defenders. With the two-point conversion pass completed to Kyle Budinscak and New Jersey held a 20-7 lead.

The second half of this game was all in favorite of the Garden State team. With defensive end William Smith for New York sacking quarterback Lovecchio at their own 2-yard line, Tyrell Dortch got the New Jersey fans out of their seats with an electrifying run. A quick burst up the middle and then a move to the outside, Dortch got free down the right sideline for a 98-yard touchdown run. Chris Smolyn's extra point was good and New Jersey jumped out to a 27-7 lead that they would never relinquish.

Postell finally got his touchdown on a 2-yard run with 3:09 remaining in the third quarter. The three play scoring drive started when Dom Santoli recovered a fumble at the New York 36-yard line. Justin Hinds and Adam Taliaferro would score two more defensive touchdowns. Hinds recovered a fumble and ran in for a 16-yard touchdown. Taliaferro's ended the day's scoring with a 40-yard interception that reached pay dirt.

With his extraordinary defensive play, Taliaferro won the defensive MVP of the game. Dortch won the offensive MVP with that impressive 98-yard touchdown run. These two players capped the day off with these awards, while Coach Vince McAneney walked away with the Governor's Bowl trophy. Congratulations to all the seniors for a job well done.

Photos by Boog Williams

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