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High School Football:
Camden Catholic Not Intimidated By Hardnosed Play

Saturday, October 18, 2003

By Jerome Michaels
SJSports Special Correspondent

It was a play that photographers would have dreamt about being in the right place at the right time. A clean hit that just knocked the helmet off of a player that could be heard throughout the city of Camden. That play alone signified how this game went for three quarters…fierce, hard hitting and good ol’ in your face trash talking. Oh yeah, this was a football game between the Fighting Irish from Camden Catholic traveling to the homecoming game of the Tigers from Woodrow Wilson. The Irish continued what they have been doing all season long and that was winning games. After jumping out to a three touchdown lead, Camden Catholic dashed any hopes of Wilson rallying in the second half by matching their opponent’s aggressive play. Camden Catholic’s Quran Barge scored four times highlighting their 38-7 win.

Rich Racobaldo flexed his muscle towards the sidelines after his hat flew straight up in the air after a Wilson player was returning the ball down the Tigers’ sideline. Right after the hit took place, the Wilson sideline were the ones excited by the fact Racobaldo was the one without the helmet. Calmly after the play was over and both teams claiming victory, Racobaldo indicated that they were ready for anything.

The Irish put points on the scoreboard quickly after Wilson fumbled the opening kickoff giving them excellent field position. Just like a freight train, Barge went to work carrying the ball within scoring distance. On their third play of the drive, Barge gave Camden Catholic the early lead with his 1-yard run with 10:38 showing on the clock. That touchdown seemed to be a bit of a letdown for the Tigers after came out in this game pumped up. That momentum would quickly swung to the visitor’s sideline after Wilson were force to turn the ball over on their next possession.

Marcus Wilson got the Irish’s second score when he caught a short pass reception from quarterback Sean Scanlon and recorded the 30-yard catch and run touchdown. But the highlight run of the day was during the second quarter when Barge’s ability to break off a 76-yard touchdown run which demonstrated his ability to break tackles and run away from the defense. That gave Camden Catholic a 21-0 lead and leaving the Tigers desperate to score in this game.

Woodrow Wilson were successful moving the ball on the ground at times and seemed to have the height advantage with their receivers. They finally put those tangibles to use, mostly the running game by giving Haneef Anderson a chance. He was successful getting the Tigers into scoring position, but it was Hussain Shakir who scored their first touchdown. Again, the Irish stole the show and the momentum when they put together a scoring drive right before the half. It was capped off the drive with a Barge 8-yard run with seconds remaining in the half. Barge also added and a 30-yard run in the fourth quarter and place kicker Rich Racobaldo added a 27-yard field goal to finish the scoring in the game.

Photos by Art Redd

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