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High School Football:
Delsea's Back to the Finals with Win Over Moorestown

Friday, November 22, 2002

By Jerome Michaels
SJSports Special Correspondent

It has been a year of redemption for the Crusaders football team from Delsea High School. No team likes to be eliminated from the playoffs in the first round after establishing a winning record throughout the regular season. Delsea were well on their way of erasing last year's memory of losing to Willingboro to open their playoff run. This year, the 10-0 Crusaders pushed their way past the dangerous Quakers from Moorestown 21-14 and look to capture the South Jersey Group 3 title against Mainland.

It's been two years since the last time Delsea has made it to the group finals. During that 2000 season, they played a tough Ocean City squad and managed to outscore them 35-22 to claim the title. Last year, the high-flying Chimeras from Willingboro knocked them out in the first round winning by 10 points to end their season. So when the Crusaders approached this year's post season, they have been impressive averaging just over 28 points per game during their ten game winning streak. The defense has been holding their opponents to nine points per game.

Albert Young was the Crusaders' main focus on defense as the senior runningback was key to Moorestown's opening round victory over Deptford. In that game, Young rushed for three second half touchdowns putting the game out of reach. Delsea did their job maintaining Young to only one rushing touchdown late in the final quarter. Josh Reimel and Darnell Elie were the ones seen running through the Quakers defense with success. Reimel opened the scoring for Delsea in the first quarter with his 2-yard run. Quarterback Dave Lamach's keeper converted the 2-point attempt and the Crusaders got things rolling on the game's opening drive. Elie looked as if he would score on a burst up the middle right before the half, but he as stopped at the 1-yard line. Lamach lunged across the goal line giving Delsea a 15-0 advantage going into the locker room.

The second half momentum seemed to have switched in favor of Moorestown. With 4:53 remaining in the third quarter, Dereck Faulkner snatched a fourth down pass from quarterback Matt Hegarty to record a 17-yard touchdown. Finally getting points on the scoreboard, Moorestown's play began to pick up. The Quakers' offense began to move the ball with success, but the Delsea defense came up with a key interception. Elie capitalized on the turnover with a 77-yard touchdown run putting the Crusaders up 21-7. A fourth quarter touchdown run by Young finalized the scoring in this semi-finals game.

Photos by Mark Fletcher

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