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High School Football:
McDonnell Key In Comeback Win By Gloucester

Saturday, October 17, 1998

By Gary Steiner
SJSports Staff Writer

You can always count on a exciting game when the Gloucester High Lions play the Gloucester Catholic Rams. Even though the Rams were 1-3 and the Lions were 4-0, somehow you knew the Rams would play them tough. With the help of wide receiver Jason McDonnell and the big play, the Lions were able to survive a tough one, 13-9.


Gloucester Catholic controlled the ball in the first half, scoring on their first possession with a 62-yard drive which culminated in a 3-yard touchdown run by Sam Budesa. The point after kick was blocked by the Lions' Mark Welsh, leaving the score 6-0.

On their second possession, the Lions drove down to the Rams' 31-yard line, but the defense held on a 4th and 3. The Rams then drove down the field, helped by a 19-yard pass to Dan Burkhardt down to the 21, then two good runs by Omar Lamar to take them down to the 8. But a holding penalty pushed them back, and the Lions defense forced them into a 4th and 17. So Coach Iacovone elected to go for the field goal, and Frank Lauria's kick made the score 9-0 with 8:59 left in the half.


Both teams then exchanged punts. The Lions managed to move the ball down to the Ram's 13-yard line, but a key sack by Bill Boyer, followed by an interception in the end zone by Rob Murtha ended that drive. Gloucester Catholic ran out the clock to end the half.

In the second half, it seemed if neither offense would be able to get anything going. On their second possession of the half, the Rams drove down to the Gloucester 32-yard line, but a sack by Rich Weygand caused a fumble that was recovered by the Lions' Nick Schultz. The Lions' Coach Harris then used a trick play to spark his offense. On their first play of the drive, quarterback Harry Thomas handed the ball off to Brian McIntyre, who then tossed a 39-yard pass to Jason McDonnell at the Rams' 24-yard line. Three plays later, Thomas threw a 16-yard pass to McDonnell for a touchdown. McDonnell then kicked the extra point to make it 9-7 with 0:21 left in the 3rd quarter.

Again both offenses settled down, as both teams twice exchanged kicks. Then after a Rams' punt was downed at the Gloucester 25-yard line, with their first play Thomas threw a 75-yard bomb to McDonnell for a touchdown. A 2 point conversion attempt failed, leaving the score 13-9 with 6:52 left in the game.

Gloucester Catholic was not able to put up another successful drive. After the Rams' Kyle Brophy recovered a Lions' fumble at the Rams' 44-yard line with 4:33 left, two plays later Gloucester's Jeff Johnson intercepted a pass, which gave the ball back to the Lions and allowed them to run out the clock to end the game.

Photos by Art Redd

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