High School Football:
Saturday, November 21, 1998
By Art Redd
There was plenty of action going on at Haddon Heights High School where a Group 2 semifinal football game took place. The Garnets of Haddon Heights jumped out to an early lead only to see it disappear. The Deptford Spartans did not panic when they were down 14 points in the first half. They managed to stick to their controlled ball game and defeated Haddon Heights 18-14.
From the start of this game, Deptford took the opening kickoff and moved the ball well. Their ground game dominated during the initial series and marched down the field. Everything was going well until the Spartans fumbled the ball on the 29-yard line of Haddon Heights with 3:50 remaining in the first quarter. That's when the Garnets' quarterback Derek Armah moved the team down the field with mainly quick short passes and quarterback keepers. With 51 seconds remaining in the 1st quarter, Armah found Shawn Price for a 20-yard reception on a fourth and four. Now up seven points, the Garnets were not finished scoring.
When the second quarter started, the Spartans still could not get on track and punted the ball away. Ed Sims began to have some success up the middle when he ran for a 47-yard gain. On the next play, Armah found Price again on a slant and scored on a 35-yard touchdown pass. Down two touchdowns, the Deptford coaching staff did not deviate from their original game plan. They continue running the ball and finally got on the scoreboard late in the quarter when Jason Sumiel scored on a 3-yard run. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful and the Spartans were down 14-6 at the end of the half.
There must have been some serious talking going on in the Deptford locker room at the half. When the whistle sounded to indicate the beginning of the second half, the Spartans continued right where they left off with a scoring drive. Justin Love put the finishing touches on the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run to pull Deptford within two points. The 2-point conversion was unsuccessful.
In the final quarter in this game, Haddon Heights still could not get any momentum going in their favor. It was all Deptford. Quarterback Larry Hardy worked the Spartans wishbone offense extremely well. With a lot of play action and some hard nose running up the middle, Deptford went ahead on a 21-yard touchdown run by Justin Love with 6:15 remaining in the game. The Spartans would enjoy the road victory and next travel to Gloucester High School for the South Jersey Group 2 finals.
Photos by Art Redd
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