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High School Football:
Eagles' Walls Leads Ground Attack Past Woodbury

Saturday, September 14, 2002

By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer

After a host of Friday night games took center stage to kick off the 2002 high school football season, it was the West Deptford Eagles traveling to Woodbury's turn to be in the spotlight for the second day of football. West Deptford tested the Thundering Herd's defense early with their ground attack with success throughout the game. Junior fullback Tom Walls used his entire 225 lb frame to pound out 153 yards on the ground and scored three rushing touchdowns. The Eagles established a lead they never relinquished and posted a 30-13 win over Woodbury in a Colonial Conference game.

With all of the changes being made this year realigning the conferences, the Colonial Conference rivalries will remain the same. Woodbury, West Deptford and the rest of the Colonial Conference will continue to compete against one another, with the one change of Gateway and Haddon Township switching division. Gateway has moved into the Patriot division and Haddon Township jumped to the Liberty division.

The Eagles wasted little time establishing their running game with starting senior quarterback Kyle Mancuso picking up a solid 7-yards on the first play of the game. Two plays later, Walls' first carry of the game picked up 30 yards moving West Deptford to the 16-yard line of Woodbury. Walls finished the 6 plays, 67 yard drive with a 2 yard run to give West Deptford an early 7-0 lead.

Woodbury did not let that touchdown bother them as they moved the ball well into Eagles territory. Senior quarterback Melvin Rivera ran the option with success. Starting from their own 22-yard line, Woodbury held the ball for over 5 ½ minutes setting up a first and goal from the 5-yard line. But on Rivera's second and goal quarterback keeper, his fumble was recovered by senior defensive end Justin O'Neill at the 7-yard line halting Woodbury's chance to tie this game. West Deptford would return the favor by fumbling on their third play giving the Thundering Herd another scoring chance deep in Eagles territory. Woodbury would not be able to take advantage of the situation as they turned the ball over on downs.

West Deptford jumped out to a 15-0 lead when Mancuso found tight end Justin O'Neill wide open in the endzone for a 4 yard touchdown reception. Anthony Scirrotto ran in the two-point conversion. On their next series, Woodbury struck quickly with a 2 play, 75 yard drive highlighted by Carlton Clark's 60 yard touchdown run to move the Herd closer, 15-6. Woodbury added their second touchdown of the game on their first series of the second half to pull the Herd within two points. Tackle Desmond Simmons' key block sprung halfback Marvin McKinnie for the 3-yard touchdown run.

That's all the scoring the Eagles defensive would allow for the rest of their interdivision game. Walls would add touchdown runs of 35 and 6 yard to complete the scoring. The ground attack was too much as Walls' imitation of "Mike Alstott" bullied his way through the Woodbury defense to help seal the victory for West Deptford.

Photos by Mark Fletcher

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