|High School Football:
Rams Ride Herd Over Eagles
Saturday, November 3, 2001
By Gregory "Graig" White
SJSports Staff Writer
"A class program would have taken a knee," was the response of a Pennsville coach after the final gun of a game that saw Salem clinch a playoff spot. This response was brought on after Salem's final touchdown, a four yard run by freshman Lamont Robinson who on his way to the endzone saw fit to run through and over two Pennsville defenders.
Now don't get me wrong, I believe in the concept of fair play and good sportsmanship. But isn't it the job of the defense to keep Salem from scoring, not the Salem coaching staff? If you coach long enough, we are all going to be on both sides of this situation and it can get embarrassing. I didn't get the impression that the score was being run up. Lamont was given the opportunity to run the ball and one thing I will say, he ran that play with authority and deserved to score.
With that said, the two teams played a game that was entertaining and closer than the score. Salem hit some really big plays that made the difference. There was a 39 yard pass play from Roy Johnson to Clarence Jackson and an 18 yard scoring play again from Johnson to Walter Carter. The Salem ground attack was as efficient as ever accounting for 186 yards of the Salem offense. Anthony Spence, along with Lamont Robinson carrying the ball across the goal line. The workhorse of the day was Corey Smith, who if he can stay healthy will probably remembered as one of the great ones in a long line of Salem Running backs.
Pennsville, who did not play bad at all, did something truly respectable in which football team and coaches knew what they do well and just did it. The running game showed great flashes and imagination. Ralph Fisher and Isaiah Peacock ran with determination and grit. Pennsville reeled of a coaches dream of a drive, 18 plays and 72 yards that ended with Peacock scoring from 8 yards out. In all, Pennsville held on to the ball for 10 minutes! At any level, to hold on to the ball for that length of time says a lot about the quality of people you have on the offensive side of the ball.
The final score of 33-14 was a small indicator of the direction of the two programs. One program is set up to win in the present while the other program has a future that is bright and will be in the hunt for playoff positions real soon.
Photos by Nancy Pope