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High School Football:
Shawnee Stuns Willingboro in Renegade Opener

Friday, September 20, 2002

By Gary Steiner
SJSports Staff Writer

The Willingboro Chimeras, riding high after a 35-8 drubbing of Triton, came in to Medford to play Shawnee, a team they hadn't seen since 1997. The merger of the Burlington County and Olympic Conferences had set up this meeting, and due to scheduling this would be Shawnee's first game of the season. But today the Chimeras would experience the Dan McDonald show, as the WR-DB would hurt them on both sides of the ball on the way to a 42-14 Renegade win.

Shawnee wasted no time getting their offense in gear. On their first posession they drove down the field 59 yards with a balanced attack of runs and passes, culminating in a 12 yard touchdown pass from QB Bill Kurtz to Dan McDonald in the corner of the end zone. After forcing Willingboro to go three and out, the Renegades again drove down the field, this time for 66 yards ending in a 10 yard pass to Bill Gartlan in the end zone. Gartlan also kicked both PATs to make it 14-0 after 1 quarter. "We scripted out our first 15 plays," said Shawnee coach Tim Gushue. "As I get older, I'm trying to make more decisions during the week to manage the pace of the game and have something ready for each situation."

The Chimeras finally got a rhythm going on their next possession with a 67 yard drive, using the running game to chew up a good 9 minutes on the clock. The drive ended with a 1 yard touchdown run by Danny Bihlear, and Carl Spellman ran in the conversion to make it 14-8.

The key series of plays for the game came off the next possession. Kurtz threw a pass to McDonald who then ran the 50 yards for the touchdown, but the play was called back on a penalty when McDonald stepped out of bounds on his route down the sideline before catching the pass. The penalty set up a 3rd and 21 which led to the Renegades punting on 4th down. This gave the Chimeras a 1st and 10 at their own 32. McDonald then redeemed his previous mistake by intercepting a pass on Willingboro's first play giving the Renegades a 1st and 10 at the Willingboro 11 yard line. Three plays later McDonald caught a 4 yard pass for the touchdown, followed by a pass to Gartlan for the conversion putting the Renegades ahead 22-8. "That play really hurt us," said Willingboro coach Nelson Hayspell. "Scoring there would have given us a little momentum."

The score seemed to stun the Chimeras, and they quickly went three and out on their next possession. The Renegades then took 5 plays to go 53 yards to score again. This time they were helped by Chis Foran with a 15 yard run followed by a 22 yard reception, whic led to a 39 yard touchdown reception by McDonald. The PAT was wide left, putting the score at 28-8 for halftime.

The pause between halves gave Willingboro a chance to collect their thoughts, as they came out and drove their first possession of the second half 71 yards for the touchdown (a 1 yard run by Bihlear). The conversion failed, but the Chimeras saw some light with the score now 28-14. The Willingboro defense took heart and seemed to be on its way to a three and out for Shawnee, but a key pass interference call on 3rd and 10 gave Shawnee a 1st down at the Willingboro 12 yard line. Two plays later Foran ran the ball in from the 11 for the touchdown. The PAT by Chris Cattanea put the Renegades up 35-14.

But that wasn't the end of it. The final nail came on the following kickoff. The kick was short, and boggled by the Willingboro receiver. The ball rolled over 10 yards and was recovered by Shawnee's David Kellum on the Willingboro 9 yard line. On the next play, Foran ran it in for another Renegade touchdown. A final PAT by Cattanea made it 42-14 with 4:04 left in the 3rd quarter.

The closest WIllingboro was avble to get in the 4th quarter was the Shawnee 32 yard line before the Renegade defense stopped them on a 4th and 5. Shawnee then put together a 63 yard drive that did not score, but did manage to chew up most of the time left in the game.

1 2 3 4 T
Willingboro 0 8 6 0 14
Shawnee 14 14 14 0 42

Photos by Mark Fletcher

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