Speights Adds Spark For Cougars

Posted: November 13, 1995

BRYN ATHYN — As if emotions weren't running high enough as George School prepared for its season-ending game with traditional rival Academy of the New Church, the Cougars got a big boost Wednesday when they learned wide receiver Antoine Speights would be in the lineup after missing the team's first seven games with a shoulder injury.

With the speedy senior back on the field, the Cougars' offense was elevated to a new level. The efficient passing game, led by quarterback Chuck Draper, helped spread the defense, thus opening the middle for running backs Rashawn Woodley (16 carries, 69 yards, 1 TD) and Robert Earl (15 carries, 64 yards, 1 TD).

After losing 19 of the previous 20 games in the rivalry, the Cougars (3-4-1) crushed their hosts, 26-0. ANC (3-6) leads the series, 44-24-3.

"Mr. Speights was back today, and it made a difference," George School coach John Gleeson said. "He got the (medical) OK on Wednesday, and you couldn't tell this was a team that lost four games in a row (in October). It was fun again."

Speights had four catches for 59 yards, 15 of which came on a leaping touchdown in the fourth quarter that built the lead to 19-0 and essentially sealed the win. He also had an interception that led to a Rashon Thorne score that had put the Cougars ahead, 13-0.

"To come back and win after not playing for two months is the greatest feeling in the world," Speights said. "It's the greatest feeling of my life, and I don't think I'll ever match it.

"I knew four weeks ago that I would play. I've been playing this (George- ANC) game since I was in seventh grade, and there's no way you could keep me off the field."

The last time the teams had met on the Lions' field, Speights was carried off on a stretcher after losing feeling in his legs. On Saturday, he was leveled several times on crossing routes by ANC's Cooper Collin, but he bounced back up each time, usually with the ball in his hands.

"We hadn't been able to hit that slant over the middle all year," Gleeson said to emphasize the importance of Speights' return.

"If we had him all year, we'd be 8-0," Draper said.

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