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High School Football:
Cherokee Steps Up In Opener Over Township

Saturday, September 19, 1998

By Gary Steiner
SJSports Staff Writer

The crowd was excited as the two teams took the field at Cherokee High School in an important Olympic American match up. The Chiefs were picked to be in the top five of most of the area football polls, but the Washington Township Minutemen weren't far behind typically ranked in the top ten.


After winning the toss and electing to receive, Cherokee proceeded to make a 77-yard drive, chewing up 8:43 off the clock. On a 4th and goal at the 7, quarterback Chris Spina tossed a fade into the corner of the end zone for Mike Scanzano. Pat Davitt's point after was good, putting the Chiefs up 7-0.

On Washington Township's first possession, the Chief's defense played tough, forcing them to go 3 and out. The punt was short, giving the Chiefs great field position on Township's 47-yard line. After a 14 yard run by Doug Easlick, Mike Scanzano caught a 33-yard touchdown pass for his second score of the day with 0:47 left in the 1st quarter. The point after was wide right, but the Chiefs had a comfortable 13-0 lead.


Township started their second drive from their own 20-yard line. Helped out by a Matt Scaravaglione 38 yard run, the Minutemen drive culminated in a 2-yard touchdown run by Matt Pirollo. Dave Crockett's point after made the score 13-7, with 10:06 left in the half. The Minutemen defense stepped things up as well, as both teams traded punts with neither offense able to score as the second quarter ran out.


Washington Township took the second half opening kickoff at their own 39, and started a drive that ended up at the Cherokee 24. But the Chief's defense was able to hold, stopping the Minutemen there on a 4th and 4. Both teams continued to trade punts for the rest of the 3rd quarter. This struggle continued through the fourth, until the Minutemen drove down to the Cherokee 8-yard line where the Chiefs defense held, taking over on downs with 4:19 left. Then, from their own 37, Mike Scanzano broke the game open by catching a 63-yard touchdown pass with 1:33 left. A pass to Doug Easlick scored the two-point conversion, putting it finally out of reach for the Minutemen, with the final score 21-7.

Photos by Art Redd

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