High School Football:
Saturday, November 7, 1998
By Gary Steiner
The Overbrook Rams kept their record undefeated by stunning the Eastern Vikings, when quarterback Byron Brown threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Darnell Scott with 21 seconds left in the game. Then Brown ran the ball in for the two point conversion to allow the Rams to come from behind to defeat the Vikings 22-21.
The Rams were hurt last week with the loss of Matt Miller and Nana Gillett-Spio, both going down to knee injuries in their big win at Pennsauken. But the offense and defense both rose to the challenge to defeat a very strong Eastern team in a game that had important playoff implications.
The Rams scored first with a quick drive after recovering an Eastern fumble on their own 16-yard line. A 33-yard pass to Jon Scialabba gave the Rams a 1st and 10 at their own 37. On the next play, Jamison Young took a hand-off and burst through the defenders for a 63-yard touchdown run. The point after attempt was no good, leaving the score 6-0 with 4:50 left in the 1st quarter.
The Vikings scored next, their drive also starting with a fumble which was picked up by Bill Mongan at the Eastern 36-yard line. This eight play drive, highlighted by a 25-yard pass caught by Adam Taliaferro, ended when Taliaferro took an option pitch and ran in 4-yards for the touchdown. Jason Kaye's kick made the score 7-6 with 10:42 left in the 2nd quarter.
On the next possession, Overbrook drove down to the Eastern 14-yard line, where they attempted a field goal on a 4th and 9, but the kick was short. Eastern then went three and out, punting into the wind to give the Rams a 1st and 10 at the Eastern 47. A 33-yard pass to Darnell Scott was followed three plays later by a 2-yard touchdown run by Young. The two point conversion was made by a pass to Scott, giving the Rams a 14-7 lead with 3:29 left in the 1st half.
Neither team would score in the 3rd quarter. The Vikings next scoring drive began when Clint Hicks intercepted a pass at the Overbrook 36-yard line. Five plays later Taliaferro caught a 23-yard touchdown pass with 10:31 left in the 4th quarter. Kaye's kick tied the score at 14-14.
The Vikings stopped Overbrook's next drive by blocking a punt which was recovered by Mike Monokian at the Rams' 22-yard line. Five plays later, Taliaferro scored his third touchdown of the game with a 1-yard run. Kaye's third PAT was good as well, giving Eastern a 21-14 lead with 5:26 left in the game.
Eastern's Taliaferro intercepted a pass with 4:16 left in the game which seemed to end the Rams' hopes, but the defense held on a 4th and 1 to get the ball back with 2:16 left. This set up the Rams' final drive, which almost died on a 4th and 9, when Byron Brown threw a 42-yard pass to Harlow Council at the Eastern 31. Finally Brown connected with Scott for the touchdown, which set up the winning 2 point conversion. The Vikings returned the kickoff to the Overbrook 48 with 0:14 left, but an incomplete pass followed by a pass slapped down by the Rams' Charles Bupp ended the game.
Photos by Art Redd
©1998 South Jersey Sports Online