|High School Football:
Moorestown Outlast Willingboro
Saturday, October 21, 2000
By Gregory "Graig" White
SJSports Staff Writer
It was a great day for football for Willingboro's homecoming. This game was well attended and mother nature provided a day that could not have been any better. And then the game started. On a day that would see performances by two teams that felt they had something to prove. Willingboro wanted to redeem themselves for the loss to Cinnaminson, while Moorestown wanted to prove they deserved to be ranked #4 in South Jersey.
One thing that stood out, Moorestown ran the ball with great efficiency. The bulk of that chore belongs to super-sophomore Albert Young. He finished with 133 yards and two touchdowns, but let me tell you he earned every inch. The Willingboro defense did everything in their power to control Young, but it was evident that stopping him would be difficult, containing him was very possible. Moorestown took their opening possession and methodically marched down the field mixing crisp running plays and pinpoint passing by Mark Thompson. The Quakers would take an early 7-0 lead. Willingboro's next possession was the complete opposite of their first. They came out with a confidence that showed they were not to be taken lightly. Ramel Shaw put the offense on his back and practically carried the Willingboro offense and quite a few Moorestown defenders as he took a pitch and 26 yards which later he landed at the Quaker 6 yard line. His reward for his effort was to take the next handoff and walked into the end zone untouched. The P.A.T. failed and the score was 7-6. Not to be out done on the next series for Moorestown, Thompson dropped back to pass and was rushed by a defense that had mayhem on their minds. Thompson showed great agility with his moves in the pocket saw Albert Young and hit him with a strike that resulted in a 30 yard touchdown. That touchdown put the Quakers up 14-6.
Depending on who you ask, I thought the turning point of the game happened in the second quarter. Willingboro is once again doing its best Cornhusker impersonation by running the ball really well, when low and behold Anthony Harris is running free in the secondary. Harris was hit with a pass by A.J. McQuillar that went for a touchdown, or so everyone thought. There was a penalty called on the play and the touchdown was nullified. The Boro had to settle for a 40 yard field by Dzigbodi Ababio and he hit it with plenty of distance.
The ensuing kickoff saw Young lose the ball in the sun, pick it up and raced the ball out to midfield. Once again Moorestown showed their efficiency by using the clock to their advantage and scoring with 25 seconds left in the half as Thompson hit Paul DiFilipo with a 3 yard scoring pass. The half ended with Moorestown up 21-9.
The third quarter started pretty much like the second quarter ended. Albert Young accounted for all but 4 yards of a 70 yard drive that ended with a 47 yard sprint to the end zone making the score 28-9. Note to coaches on the Quaker schedule, Albert Young is the real deal.
Then it happened, the defense from Willingboro decided to flex their muscle and they did just that. Jermaine Potter forced a fumbled, that was picked up by Tyrone Sharper and 22 yards later Willingboro is on the board again. Ramel Shaw bullied his way into the end zone for the 2 point conversion and that made the score 28-17. You could kind of feel the shift of momentum. Willingboro's next drive started on their on 16. A few plays later they line up in punt formation, Willingboro's coaches saw something they didn't like so they yell to Anthony Harris to punt the ball. Harris fumbled the snap and after some nifty running he ran for the first down saving the possession.
So it was a fake punt that turned into a real punt, that turned into a first down. With new life, the ball was then handed again to Shaw who promptly stuck in the house after first out running everyone for 58 yards. The P.A.T. failed. The score is now 28-23 with 6 minutes left and the Boro is feeling real good about themselves. They had the ball and are on the move again. On a second and 8 from the Moorestown 41 yard line, A.J. McQuillar drops back to pass and hit Ababio streaking across the middle for a first down at the Moorestown 20. But a flag was dropped and holding on Willingboro was called. No first down and the ball was moved back to the 47 of Willingboro. The Quaker's defense comes to life and quells the uprising with the margin of victory at 5 points. It was game that both teams obviously wanted and both teams played with heart and great desire, and for whatever it's worth, there been no losers on this day.
Photos by Art Redd