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High School Football:
Panthers Top Lions in Matinee

Friday, September 26, 2003

By Gregory "Graig" White
SJSports Staff Writer

Football is a game of inches; in this case 72 inches, or 2 yards, that was the distance Nathaniel Brown had to travel to go for the winning touchdown. Camden and Cherry Hill West met in an afternoon game that showed how far the teams had come. Camden rolled up 410 yards in total offense and at times looked really good doing it. Cherry Hill West, whose offense was not nearly as cohesive, found a way to claw, scratch and find itself in the game well into the fourth quarter.

The teams played to a scoreless tie in the first half. The Panther runningbacks had success moving the ball. Both Shomari Moore and John Rowe finished with 110 and 106 yards respectively, but had trouble getting the ball into the end zone.

With their first possession of the second half Camden High went to the no huddle and pretty much put West on their heels. It seemed once this happened, the Panthers were a step quicker. Dwayne Ford scored the first touchdown of the game with an 11-yard sprint to the end zone for a 6- 0 lead. Two possessions later it’s Camden striking again. This time John Rowe takes it in from 32 yards out extending the lead to 12-0.

Then it happens! West quarterback Eddie Hernandez, who had a tough time completing passes, finally connected with Drew Gardner for a touchdown that covered 54 yards. With the extra point, the Lions were still in the game 12-7. Two possessions later lightening strikes again, Hernandez to Gardner this time for 28 yards. The two-point conversion was a stopper and Cherry Hill West now led 13-12.

The next time Camden had the ball, they are threatening from the West nine-yard line and it’s fourth down. The West defense stiffens and turns the threat away. West had the ball deep in their own end of the field. All that had to happen was for West to move the ball a little and they could possibly run the clock out. Then the unthinkable happens! A fumble recovered at the Cherry Hill West nine-yard line was recovered by Camden. Two plays later, Brown got the ball into the end zone and with a successful 2 point conversion, Camden went up 20-13 and goes home with a hard earned victory.

Photos by Art Redd

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