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High School Football:
Deptford's Defense Denies Indians Of Any Possible Upset

Saturday, November 22, 2003

By Jerome Michaels
SJSports Special Correspondent

During the pre-game warm-ups, you couldn’t miss seeing the Spartans joining in with the Toms River South marching band’s fight theme. Deptford was confident and they would back it up on the field during their semi-final match-up with the fourth seeded Indians. Twenty-one first half points were more than enough points to advance to the finals since 1998. Keeping their perfect 10-0 record in tact, Deptford’s defense highlighted their 35-6 victory to earn a berth in the South Jersey Group III title game against Hammonton.

The Spartans are a much-improved team from last year. They were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round as the sixth seed. The sixth seed has been getting a lot of attention this year with two of those seeds making it to the finals. Hammonton and Washington Township has positioned themselves right at the front door and knocking hard looking for a group title. Deptford will look to hold the Blue Devils in check as their defense has given up only six points over the last two games.

From their opening drive, Deptford’s running game of DaJuane Collins and Mike Green were the Indians main focus. The two would get the Spartans inside the redzone with quarterback Steve Sowders scoring on the 8-yard keeper. The always-reliable Beese connected on every extra point attempt he was giving. Green would capitalize on a first and goal inside the five giving Deptford a commanding 14-0 advantage with 8:32 remaining in the half. Sowders would score his second keeper of the first half on a 14-yard bootleg.

Collins really put this game out of reach with his dazzling running ability that left the Indians defense scrambling to catch him. Thirty-nine yards later, the Spartans held a 28-0 early in the third quarter. Toms River would get on the scoreboard in the third when they used some trickery to catch Deptford off guard. Wide receiver Antoine Kearney completed a pass to quarterback Mike Jump with 4:05 remaining in the third. But right back struck the Spartans when Sowders found Scott Duckett open for a 28-yard touchdown reception.

Photos by Art Redd

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