West Deptford, ranked No. 9 in the Daily News South Jersey Top 10, beat Haddonfield, 31-28, on a 26-yard field goal by senior Ben Cornelius with 0.5 seconds left in a wild affair last night. The Eagles (3-0) went an unthinkable 68 yards in 50 seconds to set Cornelius up for the game-winner. The drive was all the more improbable, considering that the Eagles employ the Wing-T offense and that on this drive, quarterback Jake Hannan completed three passes for 65 yards.
"They scored 28 unanswered points - well, wait, we actually answered, didn't we?" said Hannan, who threw for 115 yards and kept his jersey surprisingly white for the game. "Everybody was full, total effort. We just made the right plays.
"I think [Haddonfield] did creep up on the line. That definitely set up the first completion. They knew we were going to run-stops, and they bit on the run."
Down 28-0, with 6:53 left in the third quarter, Haddonfield (2-1) mounted an improbable rally on the arm and legs of quarterback Kevin Davis. Davis did a little bit of everything as he went 15-for-25 for 218 yards and four touchdowns, along with five rushes for 42 yards. Haddonfield tied the game on fourth-and-goal from the 8-yard line on a completion to Nick Rodriguez.
"In the end, we ran out of time," Haddonfield coach Fran Delano said. "We were ready for this game. We just shot ourselves in the foot and hurt ourselves in the first half."
"We played a perfect first half," said Folsom, whose team was led by senior Vaughn Scott's four touchdown runs and 147 yards on 16 carries.
The funny thing about perfection is that it doesn't last, and as much as Haddonfield hurt itself in the first half, West Deptford did just as much self-inflicted damage in the second half, including a key roughing-the-passer call on Haddonfield's final drive.
That said, this game came down to the Eagles' ability to move the ball through the air, and on first-and-15 from its 23, Hannan hit Tom Jakubowski up the right sideline for a 31-yard completion. Hannan followed with a strike two plays later down the middle to Jason Fox for 20 yards. After a 1-yard run, Hannan found Rob Fearon on a sprint-out that Fearon advanced to the 9.
From there, Cornelius was ready for his chance to win the game.
"I knew, with their passing game, there was a chance it was going to come down to me," Cornelius said. "It was a little sloppy out there, but everything was perfect on the field goal, and it's a great win for us."
"We remember how they beat us, 17-15, in the [Group 2] final last year," Hannan said. "Maybe we got a little bit of revenge, but, more importantly, we got our biggest win of the regular season."
If not the biggest win, then certainly the most memorable one. *
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