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High School Football:
Shawnee's Defense Shuts Down Minutemen Chances

Friday, October 24, 2003

By Vincent Lewis
SJSports Staff Writer

It was a defensive battle that both head coaches had to be proud about their performances. Just like a chess match, the coaching staff was working hard looking for the right time to move in for the checkmate. The Minutemen from Washington Township played extremely well on defense and were looking to hand Shawnee their first loss of the season. It wasn’t easy, but the Renegades from Shawnee were the ones that took advantage of the limited chances handed to them by their defense. A second quarter touchdown and field goal was enough points for the Renegades to win their sixth straight game by a 10-0 margin.

When looking back on this Burlington/Olympic American Division football game, one player for Shawnee dominated his position on defense. Luke Bonus must have studied Township’s game tape until he memorized it in his sleep. The junior defensive back recorded three interceptions and a numerous number of tackles. His first interception during the second quarter setup the game’s first touchdown. But it was the combined defense that set the tone of this low scoring affair.

After a scoreless first quarter, it looked like the next quarter would be about the same. But with the Minutemen’s offense pinned deep in their own territory, Bonus picked off a pass setting up Shawnee’s only touchdown. With 2:34 remaining before halftime, quarterback Fred Linett found Joel Phelan open for an 11-yard touchdown reception that ignited the hometown fans. The Renegades were able to get the ball back again before the intermission clock ticked down and put 3 more points on the scoreboard on Kevin Dybalski’s 20-yard field. With the stingy defenses keeping the pressure on both quarterbacks during the second half, Township would be the team under pressure as they look to win next week to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Photos by Mark Fletcher

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