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High School Football:
Camden Catholic Struggles But Shuts Out Cinnaminson

Friday, September 27, 2002

By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer

This was a very close battle despite what the scoreboard showed at the end of this game. Both teams had trouble sustaining a scoring drive initially as the defense took center stage in an Olympic Conference Patriot Division game between the Irish from Camden Catholic hosting the Pirates from Cinnaminson. Key mistakes from both teams halted any momentum the offense generated. Nick Cangelosi would have a good day moving the ball in the air and on the ground as he led Camden Catholic to a 23-0 win over the Pirates.

Even the good teams can find ways to win a game when they are not executing well offensively on the football field. In those situations, the coach staff has to rely on their defense to keep them in the game just long enough for the offense to get some kind of points on the scoreboard. But as mentioned before, good teams always find ways.

Both teams struggled on offense in the first quarter. The Pirates were forced to punt on their first 3 possessions, as they could not pick up a first down. Camden Catholic also had problems executing which the Cinnaminson defense applied pressure on Nick Cangelosi. You could see the frustration on the starting quarterback’s face as the Irish offense had trouble getting in synch. Head coach Dennis Scuderi would rely on his defense until the offense could put some points on the scoreboard.

The first quarter would end, but not the scoring drive as the Irish finally put together with their fourth play of the series. On a 2nd and 10 from their own 28-yard line, Cangelosi found a wide-open Rich Racobaldo down the right side line and crossed the goal line. Racobaldo’s extra point put Camden Catholic up 7-0. Racobaldo was not done as he rounded off the scoring in the half with a 25-yard field goal about two minutes later and the Irish took a 10-0 lead into the locker room.

Taking matters into his own hands, a determined Cangelosi called his own number on two crucial third and short downs that he converted on their first series of the second half. The Irish would get into field goal range but the attempt went wide right. Cangelosi made no mistake the next time the Irish received the ball. His 5-yard quarterback keeper capped a 7-play 65-yard touchdown drive that ended the third quarter.

On this night, the Irish defense gave starting quarterback Dave Mebs no time to find an open receiver and not much room for the Pirates to run the ball. Mike Colucci, Pat Clements and the rest of the Irish defense would come up with some key plays through out the game keeping Cinnaminson scoreless. Those plays set up the final drive of this game when Bob O’Brien was at the receiving end of an 11-yard touchdown pass with 5:43 remaining in the game.

Photos by Mark Fletcher

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