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High School Football:
Pennsauken Clinches Playoff Berth with Win

Saturday, November 4, 2006

By Jerome Michaels
SJSports Special Correspondent

Pennsauken has had its share of good and bad times during this season that begun with high hopes and a chance at a group title. Six games into their season, the Indians found themselves in a football game that they had to win in order to qualify for the playoffs. The Chiefs from Cherokee had only one loss on the season and they were on their way to another win leading at the break by a touchdown. A second half comeback lead by led by Wendell Johnson's two rushing touchdowns gave Pennsauken a lead late in the game. The Chiefs had the ball late in the game with a chance to tie it but an interception by the defense would be able to preserve the win. The Indians' 22-14 win over Cherokee has secured them a position in the upcoming South Jersey Group IV playoffs.

During the beginning of the season, the Indians were considered as the team to beat ranked as the number one team in our area. Pennsauken had begun their season winning their first three games of the season defeating Willingboro, Rancocas Valley and Lenape. Then a loss to a tough Cherry Hill East squad started a losing streak they didn’t want to go on. The Indians mounted a total of three straight losses that left them scrambling to make the playoffs. Their narrow victory over Eastern set up an important game against the Chiefs who were looking to pick up their seventh win of the season.

The Chiefs got on the scoreboard during the second quarter when quarterback Demetrius Richardson completed a 12-yard touchdown pass to Lynell Payne. Cherokee’s lead would disappear during the third quarter when Pennsauken took advantage of a turnover deep into Chiefs territory. A quarterback keeper by Keith Jones from the one yard line gave Pennsauken an 8-7 lead after Johnson’s two point run was successful. The Chiefs would respond after Steve Long’s 50-yard reception set up Andrew Hill’s one yard touchdown run giving Cherokee a 14-8 lead. Still in the third quarter, Pennsauken marched down the field on their next possession and finished off their scoring drive when Johnson’s broke through the defense scoring from 35-yards out. Jones’ two point run gave Pennsauken back the lead. Johnson would put this game away during the fourth quarter when he scored from 20 yards out breaking through tackles.

Photos by Hugh Tsung

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