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High School Football:
Pennsauken Pushes Aside Atlantic City

Saturday, November 12, 2005

By Jason Brown
SJSports Special Correspondent

It has been two years since the last time Pennsauken qualified for the playoffs and during that last appearance, they were the lower seed and loss in the first round. This year under different circumstances, the Indians were hosting the Vikings from Atlantic City in a South Jersey Group IV game as the second seed. Pennsauken were known for their running game behind Robert Darby, but it would be the defense that highlighted this game. For three quarters, the Indians kept Atlantic City off the scoreboard while the rushing attack began to find those wholes to run through. By the time the game ended, Pennsauken had gained over two hundred yards on the ground and advance to the next round with their 25-7 victory. Next up for Pennsauken is another home game against Absegami.

The focus by the Vikings defense would be to contain and even stop Darby. On their first possession of the game, Pennsauken was able to move the ball deep into Atlantic City’s territory. The Vikings would stop Darby from picking up a first down forcing Pennsauken to go for it on a deceive fourth down play. Quarterback Justin Oliver connected with Arnold Valentine for a 20 yard touchdown reception. As time was winding down still in the first quarter, Darby would score from 8 yards out and Pennsauken would lead 12-0. Wendell Johnson and Darby were successful running the ball behind the offensive line. But an injury to Darby would keep him from the game during the second half. Johnson would fill in nicely scoring a 14-yard touchdown run with 8:51 remaining in the half giving Pennsauken a 19-0 lead. Darby would gain 121 yards on 17 carries.

When ever you lose one of your key players during the game, you can’t help but to wonder if the team will continue to have the same success. When the second half begin, the question of whether Johnson could continue his success finding the lanes to run through was answered. With 5:42 remaining in the third quarter, Johnson pushed his way across the goal line and Pennsauken held a 25-0 lead into the fourth quarter. Atlantic City would put together a nice drive that ended with Marshall Jones scoring from 6 yards out, but the Indians wouldn’t allow Atlantic City to put any more points on the scoreboard. Wendell Johnson would finish the game with 80 yards on 24 carries for Pennsauken.

Photos by Mark Fletcher

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