On a night dedicated to honor the school's senior players, cheerleaders, and band members, the Pennsville Eagles returned the favor from start to finish.
The Cougars traveled to Lou D'Angelo Stadium searching not only for their first win of the season, but their first points on the board. They'd just been beaten 57-0 by Maple Shade a week prior. Pennsville was fresh off a 36-6 loss at Overbrook, hardly their worst loss of the season thus far. Something had to give.
Senior Gavin Locke asserted himself as the best player on the field early and often. After a meager seven carries for 13 yards against Pennsgrove in the opening week, Locke took 27 and 32 carries in Pennsville's next two games after starting quarterback Kyle Taylor (SR) was injured. He racked up 394 yards and three touchdowns. Tonight was no different. Locke received the bulk of the carries again, gashing the defense with his vision and cutback ability. Pennsville even dialed up screen plays to get him some open space on late down situations. There was no answer.
The Eagles, with Taylor sidelined, have averaged over 51 carries. Gabe Watson (SR), who had over half of the team's receiving yards for the season, was targeted just one time by sophomore quarterback Randy Hall. It simply did not matter, as oftentimes the Eagle offensive line would force their way deep into the secondary within seconds. Hall needed only to manage the offense without disaster, which he did extremely well for a sophomore backup making his second varsity start. His first two career touchdown passes could've very easily been four, had he not just barely overthrown Watson on a wide open seam route. Another receiver was tackled just short of the goal line later on.
Hall completed the ones he needed to, converting a few fourth downs to Jacob Baker (SR). Hall's best throw of the night came rolling out to his right, when he hit Baker who took it the rest of the way up the sideline for a 41-yard touchdown.
On the other side of the ball, Schalick was in disarray from the opening drive. After attempting to establish the run and getting caved in, the ball-security woes continued on through the night.
Fumbles plagued the offense and killed many Cougar drives by third down. Quarterback Quinn Cardona (JR) struggled to receive some wild snaps for most of the night. Schalick had not crossed their own 40 yard line until late in the first quarter, when Cardona dropped back to throw for just the second time and delivered a perfect ball to a streaking Kenai Simmons (FR). On what looked like three receivers running the same route together, the play went for over 60 yards and a score. It was their first first-down, and final score, of the game. The junior quarterback could've had much better numbers as well; his receivers were letting some catchable balls bounce off their hands a number of times.
Jaquan Redfern (JR), despite being part of a defense that has struggled to hold opponents out of the end zone this season, was a noticeable presence for Schalick. He was about the only one who was able to line up major contact on the Pennsville running back crew, delivering some big hits at the line of scrimmage.
The final score was 33-6 Pennsville.
Schalick (0-3) v.s. Gloucester Catholic (0-4), October 18th
Lower Cape May (3-1) @ Pennsville (1-3), October 1st