High School Football:
Saturday, October 30, 1999
By Art Redd
The meeting between the Pennsauken Indians visiting the Overbrook Rams was a very important game with the playoffs coming up soon. This game got little attention, but was a big game for both of these teams. Each team had something to gain in this Olympic Conference matchup. The Rams needed this game to stay alive for the playoffs. After an extremely close and defensive first half, one big play proved to be the key to Pennsauken defeating the Rams 14-6 to capture the Patriot Division championship.
The special teams not giving either offense good field position highlighted most of the first quarter. Starting from deep in their own territory, the defenses kept the offenses in check. The Indians did show a sign of the offense beginning to find a way to move the ball late in the initial quarter. Starting from their own 11-yard line, Pennsauken was faced with a second and six from their own 15-yard line when the first quarter ended. In the beginning of the second quarter, a crucial pass interference call gave the Indians a first down to keep the drive alive. The passing game of Justin Long began to pick up, and the offense moved the ball into Rams' territory. With 4:30 remaining in the half, Pennsauken was faced with a forth and inches, which was converted by Long to give the Indians a first and goal. The Rams' defense held their opponent on the first 3 plays and force Pennsauken's coach Tom Coen to call a time out. On the very next play, Long, from the shotgun formation, took the snap and ran in for the touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
Overbrook's head coach Harvey Miller managed the final two minutes and eighteen seconds to the half successfully. Starting from their own 26-yard line, the Rams' offense got themselves to the Pennsauken 20-yard line with twenty-eight seconds remaining. After a pass interference call put the ball at the 10-yard line with eighteen seconds remaining, Pennsauken's Pat Berry recorded a sack to force the Rams to call a timeout with twelve seconds left. Quarterback Charles Bupp, after the time out, threw a pass in the hands of Robert Ludwick, but was hit hard which deflected the ball in the air. Waiting in the endzone was Jamal Lingham for the touchdown with no time remaining. The two-point conversion failed and the halftime score ended with Overbrook behind 7-6.
After the Rams punted the ball away on their first possession of the final quarter, Pennsauken started their drive from their own 23-yard line. Calvin Bell's first down run to the 38-yard line set up the next play. With the protection of Pennsauken's offensive line, quarterback Justin Long had time to find Jere Neal down the right sideline for the reception. Neal was able to receive a ball that the defender's outstretched reach wasn't long enough to knock the ball down. The result of the play was a 62-yard touchdown and a 14-6 lead with 8:04 remaining in the game.
Overbrook did manage to set up a scoring attempt on their last play of the game, but it was unsuccessful. The win pushed Pennsauken's record to 7-1 and gave them the Olympic Conference Patriot Division Championship title. With the loss, Overbrook's chances of making the playoffs were over, ending their chances to repeat as Group IV champs.
Photos by Art Redd
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