Marc Narducci: Williamstown overwhelms Washington Twp., 26-0, for West Jersey Football League American Division crown

Williamstown center Mike Martucci (left) and running back John Chamberlin, who had 19 carries for 87 yards and four touchdowns, hold the trophy given annually to the winner of the Williamstown-Washington Township game.
Williamstown center Mike Martucci (left) and running back John Chamberlin, who had 19 carries for 87 yards and four touchdowns, hold the trophy given annually to the winner of the Williamstown-Washington Township game. (MARC NARDUCCI / Staff)
Posted: November 25, 2011

The speeches.

That is what had these tough Williamstown football players giving in to their emotions.

Thanksgiving is an emotional time as it is for high school football players, especially for seniors when it's their final game.

Williamstown's team had so much invested in one game.

There was revenge, sending the seniors out on the right note, and the chance to end matters as champions. Throw in two cousins playing their final game together, and there was more than enough on Williamstown's emotional meter.

The scenario was simple. The winner of the Williamstown-Washington Township Thanksgiving game would capture the West Jersey Football League American Division.

Williamstown earned the crown with Thursday's convincing 26-0 victory over the visiting Minutemen.

"We had the division on the line, and we wanted to win it for the seniors," said Williamstown sophomore Marquis Little, who rushed for 146 yards on 18 carries.

Wednesday, the Braves truly let out their emotions. Coach Frank Fucetola had the seniors get up in front of the team, one by one, and talk about what the experience of playing high school football at Williamstown meant.

"It got very emotional," said Williamstown quarterback Dan Collins, who completed 4 of 9 passes for 99 yards, and as usual was a strong field general.

How emotional?

"I broke down in tears when the seniors gave their speeches," said senior center Mike Martucci, who was part of a dominating effort by the offensive line. "We knew after that we had to leave everything on the field."

Including some tears at the end.

Martucci was running the gamut of emotions. Not only was it his final game, but it also was the last one that he played with his cousin, sophomore running back John Chamberlin.

Both will have plenty to discuss at future family reunions, especially after Chamberlin rushed for 87 yards on 19 carries and scored all four touchdowns.

"It was awesome to play with my cousin," Chamberlin said. "I never got to play with him throughout my career, and this was really the first time, and I will miss him a lot."

If that wasn't enough, Williamstown (8-2 overall, 4-0 division) was seeking redemption after suffering a 42-23, opening-round South Jersey Group 4 playoff loss to Township on Nov. 11. In that game, the Braves jumped out to a 17-0 lead before the Minutemen stormed back.

"We had so much to play for, winning the best division in South Jersey and of course getting them back after losing to them in the playoffs," Little said.

So with so many emotions swirling, what was most impressive was how Williamstown played within itself on the field. Nobody tried too hard, but everybody seemed to work in tandem.

Linebackers Marcus Riley and Buddy Brown led a strong defensive effort against a 7-4 Township team that had scored 114 points in its previous three games.

"It was probably our best effort of the year," Fucetola said.

And it came at the most opportune time.

"We'll remember this forever," Collins said.

The memories will include so many things - the dominance, the championship, the ability to exact revenge, and most of all, the speeches.

A day after the seniors told their teammates how much it meant to be part of this program, they backed up those words in emphatic fashion.

Washington Township 0 0 0 0 – 0

Williamstown 6 6 7 7 – 26

W: John Chamberlin 3 run (kick failed)

W: Chamberlin 6 run (pass failed)

W: Chamberlin 9 run (Mike Burke kick)

W: Chamberlin 4 run (Burke kick)


Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, mnarducci@phillynews.com,

or @sjnard on Twitter.

Find his Rally columns

at www.philly.com/narducci

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