|High School Football:
Here Come The Men In Black
Saturday, November 17, 2001
By Gregory "Graig" White
SJSports Staff Writer
What a great day for football. The weather was excellent and so were the teams getting ready to contend for a spot in the South Jersey Group 3 Finals. The action started right from the opening kick-off literally. Willingboro's Anthony Harris gathered the kick at the 13 yard line, 87-yards later and with the P.A.T. the "Boro" was up 7-0. Needless to say, Wilson was a shocked, but the team didn't seem to panic. They took the next kick-off and marched down the field seemingly at will but had to settle for a field goal attempt that was missed. You could almost see that Wilson realized that they could move the ball and would be okay as long as they took care of business.
The Wilson defense proved they came to play. They held the Willingboro ground attack to just 83 yards on the ground and only 8 first downs. The Tigers patrolled the field relentlessly and their efforts were truly rewarded. Wilson's defensive coordinator must have gotten one of the game balls and if he didn't there should be an immediate investigation. The Tiger defenders swarmed anybody from Willingboro that had his number called. Wilson tied the game late in the first quarter, senior Jerald Hornsby scored from 6 yards out. From there the two teams traded punches going toe to toe and neither giving an inch. The game remained tied up to half time.
In the second half you had the sense that the way the teams were playing we could be here for awhile. Neither defense yielding anything the offense didn't earn. And for both teams the pretty much earned everything they got.
On the Tigers first possession of the second half disaster struck. Luis Cortez shanked a punt that went out of bounds on their own 24-yard line. Willingboro poised to take advantage of this opportunity. On the first play, they hand the ball to Cornell Brockington who in turn fumbles and Wilson gets the ball right back. That was just one of the three "Boro" turnovers on the day. Once again both defenses stiffen, and it happens. Willingboro went into punt formation. The punt was caught by Maurice Taylor, and from where I was standing I instantly thought this guy has a chance to take it to the house. Sure enough 72-yards a touchdown for Taylor with 3 minutes and 13 seconds left. The mood on the Willingboro sideline didn't change. These guy knew they were in for a fight and expected nothing less.
Little did we know that the Willingboro resolve would be tested again. Deep in Willingboro territory Maurice would strike again. Taylor took a handoff from Luis Cortez on a flanker reverse, pulled up and threw a pass that was gathered in by Jamil Tyson who actually carried a defender on his back into the endzone with him. The play covered 23 yards and put Woodrow Wilson up 21-7.
Once again Willingboro gets up of the canvass and prove there was no quit in them. The offense righted itself and went on a drive that ended with A.J. McQuillar pass to Danny Bihlear for a touchdown, the conversion failed. Woodrow Wilson 21 Willingboro 13.
The game was an example of how programs who believe in themselves can make things happen. It's a cliché that it was a shame that one of these teams had to lose, but on this day there were really not any losers.
Photos by Art Redd