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High School Football:
Gloucester Hangs on for Victory

Monday, October 14, 2002

By Graig White
SJSports Staff Writer

On a day when most students were home on Columbus Day doing whatever it is they do, the football athletes from Gloucester and Salem geared up for what would to be a very entertaining game. It was a clear but somewhat windy day but with the way both teams can run the ball you would not have thought it would be a factor, and for the most part it wasn't. Both punters struggled and some of the passes would make duck hunters lining up their targets.

The first half was a battle as to which team would be able to impose their will. The team that blinked first would be in trouble and today that would be Salem. William Barnes' fumble was recovered by Gloucester's Jason King that turned out to lead into the only points of the first half. The Lions marched 36 yards capped by a 3-yard run by Matt Garcia giving the Lion's a 6-0 lead.

The third quarter was a thing of beauty if you are a football fan. Against the wind, Gloucester took possession of the ball on their own 6-yard line. Fifteen plays later, Matt Garcia scores from the one giving him his second of the day. The big play of the drive was a 54-yard completion from Keith O'Donnell to Ian James. The Salem defense had O'Donnell dead to rights but just couldn't bring him down. Not to be out done, the Ram defense stiffened on 3 dives by the Lions. On a fourth down play, the Lion's decided to try a different approach and were rewarded with the TD. Gloucester ran an incredible 35 plays to Salem's four plays in the quarter that gives you an idea as to what the difference between time of possession was.

The Ram's squad played well as they forced a couple of turnovers but just couldn't put anything meaningful together on offense. Plays that went for positive yards were called back due to penalties. That withstanding, both teams came out prepared and on this day, a day when the margin of error was razor thin. Gloucester played the game they had to play in order to win.

Photos by Art Redd

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