High School Football:
Saturday, September 19, 1998
By Gary Steiner
Two expectant teams took the field at Overbrook today, with the temperature hot under a bright blue sky. Both Rancocas Valley and Overbrook were picked by various local sports prognosticators to contend for the Olympic Conference Patriot Division title. The game was especially significant for Overbrook's head coach, Harvey Miller, as well as their Senior running back, Nana Gillett-Spio. This was the first game for Coach Miller, who made his return from having to take a leave of absence last year after suffering a heart attack. Gillett-Spio, transferred from Edgewood High School, remembered the last time he played on this field was on Thanksgiving, when his team was being blown out by Overbrook 34-0.
Overbrook received the opening kickoff, but the Red Devil's defense held and the Rams were forced to punt. Rancocas Valley's quarterback Dan McArthur then moved the ball with passes to Mike Cutshaw and Bruce McClure. McArthur then tossed a fade to Baylen Botts in the corner of the end zone at 4:41 in the 1st quarter. The extra point was wide left leaving the score at 6-0.
On the Rams next possession, running back Matt Miller broke through for a long run down to the Red Devil's 7-yard line. Then quarterback Byron Brown optioned the ball to Nana Gillett-Spio, who scored his first touchdown in a Rams uniform with 1:45 left in the 1st quarter to make it 7-6.
The Red Devils ran the next kickoff down to the Overbrook 40, where running back Dan Henriquez caught the ball on a pass to the 7 yard line. The Rams defense took the challenge and held the Red Devils on a 4th and 3. Overbrook's Matt Miller then caught a long pass down to the Rancocas Valley 9 yard line, where Gillett-Spio then ran it in for his second touchdown. Jamison Young's point after was good, making the score 14-6 with 5:45 left in the half.
Rancocas Valley's Dan McArthur then continued to air it out, first with a 20-yard pass to Bruce McClure, then with a 34-yard touchdown pass again to McClure. The two-point conversion attempt failed, with the 14-12 at the half.
In the second half, Overbrook's defense shut things down. Jamison Young started off with an interception to give the Rams the ball at their own 47-yard line. Nana Gillett-Spio then broke through the Red Devil's defense for a 53-yard touchdown run. The point after attempt was partially blocked, with the score 20-12 at 10:16 in the 3rd quarter.
Things then settled down as each team exchanged punts. Then, taking a punt on the Rancocas Valley 30-yard line, Overbrook's Byron Brown ran it back all the way for a touchdown. When Rancocas Valley received an offside penalty on the point after attempt, Overbrook decided to go for two and succeeded on a pitch to Gillett-Spio, making it 28-12 with 2:00 left in the third. Gillett-Spio then came out of the game after experiencing some leg cramps, so Coach Miller elected to sit his star running back down rather than risk further injury.
In the 4th Quarter, the only score came at 10:00 when Overbrook recovered a Rancocas Valley fumble on the Red Devil's own 24. After driving down to the 1-yard line, quarterback Byron Brown ran it in for the touchdown. The extra point made the final score Overbrook 35, Rancocas Valley 12.
Photos by Art Redd
©1998 South Jersey Sports Online