|High School Football:
Cherokee Crushes Cherry Hill West Under the Lights
Friday, September 15, 2000
By Greg Alvord
SJSports Staff Writer
Here in Evesham, a bit of history unfolded on Friday night. A momentous occasion as big as man's so-called landing on the moon, the discovery of America, or the invention of the remote control. The Cherokee Chiefs football team took the field against Cherry Hill West in the ever night time football game at the famous Cherokee Bowl. The gathering of Chief alumni were not disappointed as Cherokee put on a display of football that was reminiscent to the style of play of their powerhouse clubs of the early eighties. The Chiefs beat Cherry Hill West by a 61-7 score.
A magical feeling drifted throughout the stadium on this historic night as former Cherokee gridiron greats mingled in the stands in a reunion-like atmosphere. Don Stecher, Cherokee's principal and long time Chief backer said, "This is a great night for Chief football" as pride echoed throughout his words. Long time Chief coaches John Scott and Gene Shulman (members of the coaching staff since the inception of Cherokee football) had trouble fighting off their emotions in describing the event. "We've been part of this program since the beginning and this night ranks right up there with the championships." The coaches could not have picked better wording as they had their team prepared and primed in championship form.
The night began with the defense setting the tone. The Chiefs forced a fumble (one of their many turnovers) by the ferocious play of the hell-bent, gang-tackling, swarming defense. The Cherokee offense took the ball on the Cherry Hill thirty-five and put together a drive that made all former Chief lineman proud. Mixing up off-tackle powers with mid-line traps, the Chiefs marched to the West one-yard line where junior runningback Sean Mayers punched past the goal line for the first of his five touchdowns.
After another tenacious defensive stop, the Chief "O" took over from mid-field. Mayers once again provided the scoring as he powered off tackle and glided 50-yards in Walter Payton-like form for the score. As was the case all night, the big boys up front provided holes bigger than former linemen's bellies. William Frystak, Matt Bell, Michael Mazzetti, Mike Sands, Brian Sweeney and Chris Enslick controlled the line in dominating fashion. After a muff punt by West, the Chief "O" went right back to work as Mayers punched in from the two to make the score 20-0.
It would be the flying Chief "D" that would provide another turnover as Larve Robinson picked off a pass. Once again Mayers scamper into the endzone on a dazzling 39-yard run. A grand canyon-like hole was made by Bell, Frystak and Easlick on the play. Another interception, this time by glue-fingered Blake Letchford, gave the Chiefs the ball on the West 40-yard line. The Chiefs powered their way to the twenty where fullback Matt Mangold took care of business. Running through a hole opened by the picture perfect trap blocking of Mazzetti, Bell and Sands, Mangold did his best Mike Alstott impersonation as he rumbled in for the score.
On their next possession, ball-hawking Jon Denker pounced on a fumble to give the Chiefs the ball. Mangold bulled his way into the endzone for the score. An interception by Pete LoPresti gave the Chiefs the ball and Mayers provided the scoring. The half ended in a dominating 47-0 Chief advantage. The second half saw a well deserved playing time given to the Chief underclassmen. The historic night ended in grand fashion as Cherokee went 1-0 with their fine performance.