|High School Football:
Coach Sellers Quiets Critics With Convincing Win
Saturday, September 28, 2000
By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer
Edgewood took a giant step forward in proving they were not just your ordinary undefeated team. With anger in their eyes, the Eagles were ready to take on a team that skeptics said they had to beat and again prove themselves. Camden Catholic went on the road to Winslow Township sporting their 5-1 record against the 6-0 Eagles. "Finally, maybe people will give us the respect we deserve", mentioned Coach Derryk Sellers. Edgewood were well prepared to pass that test of could they compete against a good team during their "soft" schedule. Coach Sellers' Eagles dominated the Irish and hammered them 43-14 with a defense that was on a serious mission.
All year long, teams were given a schedule to follow in their quest of capturing that conference or division title. The Irish began their season with a loss to Shawnee, but had won five straight games since then. Coach Dennis Scuderi got his Fighting back on the winning track and headed straight for the playoffs. Edgewood, on the other hand, were playing their best football in the school's history. Never making it to the playoffs, ever, Coach Sellers' Eagles were undefeated. But it seemed to be some questions about that 6-0 record. "We're looking for some respect. We feel like Rodney Dangerfield out here", Sellers mentioned. The test most had placed on his team was that if they could beat an established and well coach team like Camden Catholic, maybe people would stop saying that they were not as good as their record.
When the whistle for the opening kickoff was sounded, it was time for this long awaited test to begin. The Eagle's defense shut down the Camden Catholic the whole first quarter, giving their starting quarterback, Nick Rosetti an opportunity of scoring on their first possession of the game. The tempo of this game was set by Coach Sellers when Edgewood was faced with a 4th and 3 with 8:48 remaining in the quarter. Rosetti had his own number called on a quarterback keeper and picked up the first down. Three plays later, fullback Brandon Osborne scored on a 9-yard run to jump ahead 6-0. The extra point attempt went wide right.
The running duet of Brandon Osborne and Dennis Davis powered their way through the Irish defense to score again on their next possession. The two accounted for the 9 play, 56-yard scoring drive that ended with a one yard run by Davis which brought the score to 12-0 with just under two minutes remaining in the first quarter. The defense would keep Camden Catholic from establishing any momentum. They were unable to gain any scoring chances during their first 5 possession in the first half. Meanwhile, the Eagles scored on four of their five chances they had. Osborne scored his second touchdown of the half when he crossed the goal line standing up from one yard out.
"All we wanted to do was to prove ourselves against (Camden) Catholic today", said Rosetti. "Our offensive line played a good game and I guess we showed them that we're for real". Rosetti's 44-yard touchdown pass to Andre DeRambus across the middle started to make everyone believe in this team. Edgewood would score 24 unanswered points up until Camden Catholic scored with 1:01 remaining in the half. Mark Caputi started up the middle on a run play, stopped and spun outside and into the endzone for the 9-yard score. Their two point conversion failed and the Eagles carried a 24-6 halftime lead into the locker room.
During this game, the speed of the Edgewood Eagles was evident. The defense was able to get penetration into the backfield of Camden Catholic and forced Nick Cangelosi to either force an early pass attempt or just throw the ball away. But it wasn't just the defense with the speed. Once the offensive line opened holes for the Osborne and Davis show to perform their major feature, the Irish secondary was left with trying to stop this duet. Edgewood would receive the second half kickoff and waste little time putting more points on the scoreboard. Osborne capped off a 3 play, 71 yard scoring drive with a 59-yard touchdown which he out ran the secondary for the touchdown.
Coach Sellers began to taste the victory early in the third quarter. Being up by 24 points, the defense kept up the pressure to make sure there weren't going to be any dramatic comebacks. The Eagle could finally relax a bit early as 13 more points were put on the scoreboard. Edgewood would enjoy the big lead they built up and finally win that big game. Having a seven game winning streak is not easy in any division. It was now up to Sellers to finish things off by traveling to Bishop Eustace and try to complete their first undefeated season in the school's history.
Photos by Art Redd