Monday, September 21, 2009

Delsea's ground attack leads win over Kingsway

September 19, 2009

Gannett New Jersey

Chris Jackson is comfortable with his role in the Delsea football team's offense.

The Crusaders have never been a passing team. It's simply not what head coach Sal Marchese preaches or expects from his version of the Single-Wing attack. When necessary, Delsea can put the ball in the air but on a good night, when there is a slight chill in the air and this collection of high school talent is hitting on all cylinders, rarely is there a need to go up top.

"We didn't punt tonight," Marchese said. "That shows you we're doing well, and for us, that means running it."

"That's fine with me," Jackson said. "I know what my role is. I know what I'm expected to do."

Still, it was a 63-yard completion for a touchdown on Delsea's second possession that took the wind out of a charged up Kingsway team on Friday night and Delsea never looked back.

The No. 1 team in the Courier-Post rankings, Delsea (2-0 division, 2-0 overall) rolled up 460 yards of offense, 397 on the ground, in a 34-7 win at Kingsway (1-1, 1-1). Sean McPherson carried the ball 19 times for 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns and Austin Medley rang up 105 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown.

It was clear the Dragons were hungry for an upset and that added energy was evident on the opening kickoff as Rasheed Williams maneuvered through the Delsea special teams 64 yards to the Delsea 25-yard line. Four plays later, 6-foot-1, 256-pound fullback Enoch Clark pounded his way in to the end zone for the first and only score of the night for Kingsway.

"It's definitely harder when you have a short field and someone like that coming at you," Delsea linebacker Mike Straubmuller said. "Sometimes you just need a kick in the butt and that represented just that too us. It woke us up and definitely after that, we shut them down and that's a very good offense."

"We're too experienced to allow something like that to get us down," Marchese said. "I wasn't worried about how we would react. We made a mistake on special teams and we gave up some points but I wasn't concerned."

Marchese's point is well taken and the Crusaders marched right down the field on Kingsway with their first possession before a fumble by Jackson. The brief glitch proved just that as the defense held Kingsway and on the second play of the second quarter, Jackson hit Darius Convery down the middle of the field for a touchdown. For statisticians everywhere the touchdown made for very simple calculations since it was the only pass of the night for Jackson and Delsea trailed 7-6.

"It was there and we took it," Marchese said.

With Kingsway now on its heels, Delsea unleashed its ground game and scored on four of its next five possessions with the lone hold coming at the end of the first half. McPherson put an exclamation point on the evening when he went 47 yards for a touchdown with 3:54 left in the third quarter. His run was the only play of the drive and gave Delsea an insurmountable 28-7 lead.

"(The opening kickoff) was a big wakeup call," McPherson said. "You can't start off the game that flat. You have to start better with special teams but I think when we picked up the pace, I think they got a little fatigued."

Additional Facts
Play of the Game: A 63-yard touchdown pass from Chris Jackson to Darius Convery on Delsea's first possession took the wind out of Kingsway.

Player of the Game: Delsea's Sean McPherson carried the ball 19 times for 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns and Austin Medley rang up 105 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown.

Stat of the Game: The Crusaders rolled up 460 yards of offense, 397 on the ground.

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