December 16, 2014 |
The continued growth of the no-huddle, spread offense could trigger another uptick in the passing game in South Jersey football next season. It looks like 2015 could be the Year of the Quarterback. Eight of the 12 most prolific area passers in 2014 are scheduled to return next season, and all eight of them are likely to operate in the no-huddle, spread offense. Among those will be Palmyra junior Max Smyth, who led South Jersey with 32 touchdown passes this past season and was second in yardage with 2,272 on 130 completions in 237 attempts.
December 15, 2014 |
There were no roaring crowds when the weight room opened at 6 a.m. on those cold winter mornings. There were no Friday night lights, no marching band, and no cheerleaders during film study on a typical day during a typical week of the football season. Mark Walker would pull into the parking lot at Haddonfield High School in the middle of January, long before the sun rose above the tall trees along Kings Highway. Walker would stay after practice at the end of October, watching one more display of an opponent's no-huddle spread offense.
December 9, 2014 |
There is something that is reassuring about having a veteran unit, and Haddonfield's football team has 16 of the 22 starting positions manned by seniors. Haddonfield's 27-0 win over West Deptford in Sunday's South Jersey Group 2 final at Rowan gave the appearance of a rout, but the Bulldogs were on their heels early in the game. The fact that the veterans didn't panic led to another season-ending celebration for the Bulldogs. West Deptford was going through Haddonfield's defense like no other team this season, other than West Deptford itself.
December 9, 2014 |
It was the near-perfect ending to the perfect season. With an airtight defense and a dominating ground game, Haddonfield rolled to 27-0 victory over archrival West Deptford in the South Jersey Group 2 championship game Sunday at Rowan University. "We left no doubt," said Haddonfield senior tight end/defensive end Ty Klaus, who made big plays on both sides of the football. Haddonfield stamped an exclamation point on the first 12-0 season in program history with a dazzling display on a bright, brisk afternoon at Richard Wackar Stadium.
December 8, 2014 |
Dick Eastwick remembers his twin brother helping him with the plays. Bob Eastwick remembers his twin brother helping him in other ways. "It would be hot at practice, say in September," Bob Eastwick recalled. "They didn't let you drink water back then. You would be feeling sorry for yourself and I'd see my brother looking at me like, 'What the hell is the matter with you?' " Bob Eastwick would tough it out, thanks to his brother, Dick, thanks to legendary Haddonfield coach Russ Spicer and his assistants, and thanks to the sense of responsibility and camaraderie that swirled around that special football team.
December 7, 2014 |
Sometime on Sunday afternoon, if things go right, Mike Alberto might let his emotions get the best of him. The Haddonfield senior has spent the football season on the tightrope - walking the thin line between playing the game with fire and keeping his cool. "I'm the quarterback. I know I have to stay poised," Alberto said on the brink of his last game for the Bulldogs. Alberto has led Haddonfield to an 11-0 record and a spot in the South Jersey Group 2 title game against archrival West Deptford at noon Sunday at Rowan University.
December 6, 2014 |
Paulsboro threw 53 passes last Friday night. "We used to throw 50 to 60 passes all year," Paulsboro coach Glenn Howard said. "Now, we throw that many in one game. It's crazy. " The Red Raiders' remarkable reliance on the passing game in a 36-33 overtime victory over rival West Deptford on a cold, damp night did more than underscore their complete commitment to the no-huddle, spread offense. It also served as a showcase for junior quarterback Carlton Aiken. "He's the real thing," West Deptford coach Clyde Folsom said.
December 5, 2014 |
Luke Cornelius says his older brothers used to knock him around a little bit. "I guess that's what brothers do," Cornelius said. Ben and Josh Cornelius also set a standard for their kid brother and inspired him to make a name for himself with the West Deptford football team. "I wanted to do better than them," Cornelius said. The third of three brothers who have been mainstays for highly successful West Deptford teams in recent seasons, Luke Cornelius has made an impact as a senior on offense, defense, and special teams.
November 30, 2014 |
All game, Paulsboro threw the football. De'Shaun Burgess had other ideas in overtime. "I even got into a little argument with Coach [Glenn] Howard," Burgess said. "I wanted to run the football. " Burgess carried the ball three straight times for 25 yards in overtime, scoring a 3-yard touchdown to lift Paulsboro to a 36-33 victory over West Deptford in a wild game between annual Thanksgiving-week rivals. "The whole game, we had been passing," Burgess said. "In overtime, I said, 'Let's run the ball.' " The dramatic victory on a frigid Friday night in front of a large crowd at West Deptford improved Paulsboro to 9-2 and sent the Red Raiders into the South Jersey Group 1 title game with a big boost of confidence and momentum.
November 23, 2014 |
Frank DeLano said he gives the same preseason speech as every other coach. "Every coach stands up there and says, 'This is our year,' " DeLano said. DeLano made that mission statement to his Haddonfield football team this past summer. His senior quarterback went back a little further than that. "I remember talking about this in the backyard when we were six years old," Mike Alberto said after helping Haddonfield to a 38-7 victory at Buena in the semifinals of the South Jersey Group 2 tournament on a frigid Friday night.