Wildcats Edge Blue Devils in Last Meeting as Conference Rivals
Even with a state championship game looming next week, the St. Joseph Wildcats knew the importance of what could be the final contest against their cross-town rivals.
Rocco Ordille's 4th quarter touchdown run proved to be the difference, and the Wildcats held off the feisty Blue Devils 28-21 on Saturday afternoon. The matchup was the final one between the programs as Cape-Atlantic League foes, with Hammonton joining the West Jersey Football League next season. The future of the long-time rivalry remains up in the air, at least for now.
The Blue Devils struck first with a little trickery. Alex Padovani set up to punt on 4th down, but instead kept the ball and streaked 54-yards for a touchdown. The lead was short-lived, as A'Laam Horne took the ensuing kickoff 98-yards for the Wildcats' equalizer.
The second quarter saw both teams trading scores again, with Tyler Armor giving the Blue Devils another lead on a 3-yard touchdown run. The Wildcats battled back to tie it with less than a minute to go in the half on Salaam Horne's 3-yard touchdown run.
Hammonton controlled the clock in the second half with their rushing attack, and went ahead on Justin Fucetola's 2-yard touchdown run at the end of the 3rd quarter. However, the quick strikes continued for St. Joseph as C.J. LaFragola's evened the score with a 2-yard touchdown run.
The momentum shifted mid-way through the 4th quarter, and St. Joseph went ahead for good on Ordille's 14-yard scamper. The Blue Devils got the ball twice needing a touchdown under five minutes, but failed to pick up a 1st down and St. Joseph eventually ran out the clock.
Here are some of the best calls from Saturday's game, as heard live on 97.3 ESPN-FM:
Alex Padovani's 54-yard fake punt touchdown run
A'Laam Horne's 98-yard kickoff return touchdown
Justin Fucetola's 2-yard touchdown run
C.J. LaFragola's 2-yard touchdown run
Rocco Ordille's 14-yard touchdown run
Hammonton finishes its season with a 6-4 record. St. Joseph will face St. Mary's of Rutherford for the Non-Public Group I State Championship on Saturday, December 7th at 1:00 p.m.
Here are some of the other interviews from this week's edition of the South Jersey Sports Report:
David Dudley, Pleasantville Greyhounds head football coach
Kevin Minnick, Courier-Post sports reporter
Antoine White, Millville Thunderbolts linebacker and incoming freshman at Penn State University
Mike McGarry, Press of Atlantic City sports reporter
We’d also like to congratulate the South Jersey Athlete of the Week:
The senior quarterback continues to make his mark in New Jersey’s record books. Flacco is now third all-time in career passing yards (7,313) in the state after throwing for 300 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-18 South Jersey semifinal win over Millville.
It’s all right here, on The South Jersey Sports Report. Listen every Saturday, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on 97.3 ESPN-FM or 973espn.com, and catch the expanded edition every Thursday night from 6-7 p.m.
Follow Tyler Donohue on Twitter @TDsTake