|High School Football:
Irish Defense Preserves Playoff Win
Saturday, November 10, 2001
By Vincent Lewis
SJSports Staff Writer
In a playoff game, it's up to the coaches to motivate their players in anticipation of advancing to the next level. Being in the playoffs usually brings out the best in the players to compete at their highest level. In this game, the highly favored Camden Catholic team went up against a Red Bank Catholic team emotionally determined to win the State Parochial Group 3 quarterfinal game. Their quest would fall short as the Irish defense held their opponent in check for the 28-14 home win.
Right at the start of this game, the Caseys entered the field with exuberance getting each player psyched for this battle on the football field. On the other side to the field, Camden Catholic strolled onto the field showing the confidence that they wouldn't disappoint the home capacity crowd. This game started quickly for the Irish offense, but it turned into a very close battle down the stretch.
Camden Catholic early on had their way as they were putting points on the scoreboard at will. On their first series, the Irish just marched down the field and scored the game's first touchdown on Nick Cangelosi's quarterback keeper from one yard out. The Fighting Irish defense held Red Bank Catholic off the scoreboard for the entire first half. Camden Catholic scored two more time as they entered the locker room at the half by the score of 21-0.
The Caseys from Red Bank Catholic must have received a pep talk from their coach as the momentum switched to the visiting team. Quarterback Tyler Schmicz began moving the Casey offense into scoring position early in the third quarter. Running back Jairus Kendle capped off their first scoring drive of the game with a 2-yard run with 7:38 remaining on the third quarter clock. The scoring continued for Red Bank as Schmicz tossed a 37-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Waters and the Caseys made it a close game only trailing by 7 points.
As the fourth quarter approached, neither team was able to put points on the board even though the Caseys were successful in moving the ball. Though out this game, the Irish defense kept coming up big with key defensive plays. Red Bank began finding success in moving the ball down the field late in the final quarter. It seemed as if a complete turnaround from a 21-0 deficit was inevitable. The Irish defense decided Red Bank's fate when Joe Kedra returned an interception for a touchdown and finally put this game in the win column.
Photos by Art Redd