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High School Football:
Deptford Shuts Out Gloucester In Group 2 Final

Saturday, December 5, 1998

By Gary Steiner
SJSports Staff Writer

The Deptford Spartans (8-3) visited the Gloucester City Lions (11-0) in the Group 2 championship game. The Lions were heavily favored, and were looking to complete an undefeated season. But the Spartans had already taken care of Moorestown and Haddon Heights (the third and second seeds) to reach this game, and were ready to play the first seeded Lions. The Deptford defense shut down the Lions' high powered offense, cruising to the title with an impressive 21-0 victory.


Neither team was able to score in the first half. The closest either team came to scoring was early in the 2nd quarter, when Gloucester had a 4th and 7 at the Deptford 11-yard line, but the defense held, not allowing quarterback Harry Thomas to complete a pass to the end zone.

Deptford finally scored on their opening drive of the second half. Quarterback Larry Hardy broke free on an option keeper and ran 46 yards for the touchdown. After an offside penalty on the point after attempt, Matt Baney kicked it through to put the Spartans up 7-0 with 8:23 left in the 3rd quarter. The Spartans scored again in the 3rd when the Lions attempted a reverse, but the exchange was fumbled and recovered by Deptford on the 50-yard line. Four plays later, Jason Sumiel ran 31 yards for the second Deptford touchdown. Baney's second PAT made it 14-0 with 3:20 left in the 3rd quarter.

Gloucester had a scoring opportunity late in the 3rd quarter when Jason McDonnell stripped the ball from Deptford's Justin Love, giving them a 1st and 10 at the Deptford 23-yard line. A pass to Brian McIntyre set up a 1st and goal at the 5, but the defense held, helped by an offside penalty from the Lions. Deptford then proceeded to march down the field, and finally scored on a 20-yard run by Derek Powell. Baney's third PAT of the game put the Spartans up 21-0 with 4:12 left in the game. Gloucester's final drive of the game was stopped at the Deptford 35-yard line when Marques Cosby intercepted a pass. They then ran the ball as they had all day, till the clock ran out to end the game and the Lions' hopes for an undefeated season.

Photos by Art Redd

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