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High School Football:
Overbrook Finishes Perfect Season With Group 4 Title

Sunday, December 6, 1998

By Gary Steiner
SJSports Staff Writer

The Group 4 final was held at Rutgers Stadium in New Brunswick, which just added to the "big game" feel of this contest. The Shawnee Renegades had upset Eastern and Cherokee to get to this game, and were looking for a third upset. The Overbrook Rams had their own goal of a 12-0 perfect season. It took an improvised play with 0:27 left on the clock, as Rams' quarterback Byron Brown threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Jon Scialabba which broke a 14-14 tie to win the game.


Neither team was able to score in the first quarter. Overbrook had a 1st and goal at the Shawnee 7-yard line, but a key tackle by Mike Curcio and an offside penalty from the Rams kept them out of the end zone. At the end of the 1st quarter, a Ram punt down to the Shawnee 7, where the defense held them to a three and out helped by an offside penalty, set up a 20-yard punt return by Maurice Keezee to the Shawnee 31-yard line. Eight plays later, Joe Wilson punched it in from the 1 for the touchdown. Jamison Young added the point after to make it 7-0 with 7:54 left in the half.

Shawnee went three and out on their next possession, helped by a sack from Jamison Young. The following punt set up a 51-yard drive capped by a 5-yard run from Byron Brown for the score. Young added the PAT to put the Rams up 14-0 with 3:31 left in the half. The Renegades got on the scoreboard with just 0:41 left in the half, when Joe Phillips ran back a 78-yard punt return for the touchdown. Chad Williams' kick was good, making it 14-7 and giving Shawnee a lift to take with them into halftime.


The Renegades had an opportunity in the 3rd quarter, but with a 3rd and 7 at the Overbrook 11-yard line, a delay of game penalty followed by a Charles Bupp sack for a 22-yard loss cost them the ball. In the 4th quarter on their next possession, the Renegades began an 80-yard drive highlighted by a fake punt in which Ryan Lamb threw a 23-yard pass to Sean McDowel. Seven plays later, quarterback Mike Connelly ran one in from the 15-yard line for the score. Williams' tied it at 14-14 with the PAT at the 4:12 mark.

Overbrook got the ball on their own 28-yard line to start their final drive. It looked like this game could go into overtime, but the Rams had other ideas. On a 2nd and 2 at the Shawnee 28-yard line, a scrambling Byron Brown threw the winning touch down pass to Scialabba. The Renegades got the ball back at their own 28-yard line with 0:21 left on the clock, but the Overbrook defense did not allow them a first down as time ran out.

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Photos by Art Redd

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