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High School Football:
A Game Of Emotional Ups And Downs

Saturday, October 10, 1998

By Boog Williams
SJSports Staff Writer

The gloomy weather at Edgewood on Saturday looked like it would make for a gloomy game for the Eagles' young football team. On Highland's first two offensive possessions of the game, the Tartans marched down the field and scored two touchdowns. With both PAT's made by kicker Sean Pollard, the score in the first quarter was Highland 14 - Edgewood 0.

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The Eagles then turned the game around and scored the next 24 points. Edgewood's #24 Dennis Davis (Sophomore) broke the 14-14 tie with a 35 yard TD run with 4:07 left in the first half. The play for Davis was a run to the right, it looked like he was going to be stopped by 2 Highland defensive players, but he broke loose and scored the go ahead touchdown to give the Eagles a 21-14 lead. The half ended with that score.

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In the third quarter, Edgewood Kicker #1 Abner Tsadick kicked a 30-yard field goal, along with his earlier 3 PAT's, to give Edgewood a 24 to 14 lead. After the kick, Edgewood was hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct for kicking a Highland player. This moved the ball back on the kick off. Edgewood then kicked the ball out of bounds, which moved them back farther. On the second attempt, Tsadick got off a great kick, but being back so far and some poor tackling by the Eagles gave Highland great field position. Highland took the ball down and scored to make it Edgewood 24 - Highland 21. On the touchdown run, Highland's #45 Ayo Saba, all 239 pounds, as John Madden would say, pancaked an Edgewood defender so the back could score.

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In the 4th quarter, Edgewood had a 3rd and inches on their own 35. They ran a play to the right and lost yardage. Some people on the sidelines were asking why they didn't run a dive play. The punt team came out and Highland blocked the punt, giving them great field position again. Edgewood's defenses made 3 big stops and made the Tartans go for it on 4th down with less then 5 minutes in the game. Highland's QB Keith Bates threw a pass to the end zone. The Edgewood defender was a quarter step late and Highland was up 27 to 24. The point after was a critical point; Highland got called for movement, and if they missed Edgewood would only need a field goal to tie. The ball was moved back, which made it a field goal distance instead of a PAT. The teams lined up and Edgewood was called for lining up in the neutral zone. The ball was moved back to the original PAT spot. The kick was made by #86 Sean Pollard and Highland went up by 4 with about 4 minutes left in the game.

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On the kick off, Pollard kicked a line drive that hit Edgewood's #17 Jason Sapp (Junior) and was picked up by #24 Davis for Edgewood. Davis ran down the right side and only had the kicker left to beat for the go ahead TD, but Pollard made a game saving tackle. Edgewood drove down to the 20-yard line of Highland. The Eagles then had a movement penalty and that set them back. Highland's defense came up big. On a 4th and 4, Edgewood tried a misdirection play, QB #16 Chris Catania (Junior), rolled out to his left but was stopped short of the first down marker. You would think the game was over but it was not. After the play Highland was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, which moved the ball back to their own 15-yard line. Edgewood's defense came up big, stopping Highland, making them punt, but used up all their time-outs. The pressure was on the snapper and punter for Highland. The center made an excellent snap and the punter got the kick away. Edgewood started to drive down the field with a quick slant from Catania to #3 Kevin Stroud (Senior). With time running out, Edgewood tried to throw a pass to the end zone. It was intercepted by Highland's #80 Louis Abruzzese at his own 3 yard line. Highland could now celebrate, with Edgewood having no time outs, they were able to run out the clock. The final score was Edgewood 24 - Highland 28.

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It was an emotional game for both teams, and also for the fans, a very exciting game.

BOOG's 3 stars for Edgewood were:

  1. #24 Dennis Davis
  2. #1 Abner Tsadick
  3. #79 Adonis Boomer

BOOG's 3 stars for Highland were:

  1. #86 Sean Pollard
  2. #3 Keith Bates
  3. #45 Ayo Saba

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Photos by Boog Williams

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