Sterling blanks Haddonfield

Sterling's Devon Tucker (7) is caught by Haddonfield's Jake Walker after picking up a loose ball; Haddonfield kept possession.
Sterling's Devon Tucker (7) is caught by Haddonfield's Jake Walker after picking up a loose ball; Haddonfield kept possession. (CURT HUDSON / For The Inquirer)
Posted: October 13, 2013

Devon Tucker ran for a 61-yard touchdown on the third play from scrimmage and ended the scoring with a 64-yard TD run.

Those were the only two scores for host Sterling on Friday night, but that was all the Knights needed to knock off Haddonfield for the first time since 2005, 13-0.

"This was a huge, huge game for our program," Sterling coach Clint Wiley said. "Week in and week out, we want to beat the best. We did it against Haddon Heights, and now against Haddonfield."

It was an intense battle between undefeated Colonial Conference Liberty Division teams. Haddonfield (3-1, 0-1) was looking to beat Sterling (4-0, 2-0) for the eighth straight time, and the Knights were set on turning their program around.

Sterling has not started 4-0 since 1993.

The field conditions played a major factor. It was windy, rainy, and chilly with little room for error. Players on both teams struggled to find footing - mud splashed into the air with nearly every step made - and there were four fumbled exchanges between center and quarterback.

Neither team took very many chances down the field, as the weather called for a game of field position.

The conditions actually played favorably to Sterling, which passed the ball only two times the entire game, using a three-running-back attack headed by Tucker and followed by Zaire Gibson and Richard Carter.

The win not only tied Sterling for first place with West Deptford, but also set up a monster game against the Eagles to decide which will get sole possession of first. The matchup will be next Friday.

"I just want to thank my O-line and defense," Tucker said. "This is what we worked all summer for."

Tucker carried the ball 14 times for 180 yards, highlighted by touchdown runs of 61 and 64 yards.

Early on, Tucker burst through a hole, shaking off a couple of tacklers, all the way to the end zone to give Sterling the only points it would need.

Haddonfield had its chances, starting in Sterling territory five times in the game. But each time, the Knights held strong.

Haddonfield's best opportunity came late in the third quarter on a first-and-goal from the 10-yard line. Sterling later forced a fourth-down play from the 5, and Mike McLaughlin threw a pass that was nearly intercepted.

"This isn't just for Sterling football," Wiley said. "This is for the school, the community, and anyone associated."

Tucker summed up his feelings in three words: "It's a blessing."

Haddonfield 0 0 0 0 – 0

Sterling 7 0 0 6 – 13

S: Devon Tucker 61 run (Jurgen Bocoj kick)

S: Tucker 64 run (kick failed)

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