Two big plays and solid defense carry Ewing to a win
PEMBERTON TWP. » For those who like defensive battles, it just doesn’t get much better than Saturday’s Ewing at Pemberton football game.
On a day in which its offense did virtually nothing other than one play, Ewing still managed to defeat Pemberton, 14-8, to improve to 2-0 and hand the Hornets their first loss.
The play was an 89-yard touchdown run by quarterback Tyrique Alston, who made the correct read on a option play and outraced the Pemberton secondary to open the scoring at the end of the first half.
Ewing’s second touchdown came on an electrifying 80-yard kickoff return by Jahad Evans, who cut through a host of would-be tacklers to put Ewing ahead, 14-0, at the start of the second half.
Those were the entire offensive highlights for Ewing, which didn’t block anyone all day and was held to an anemic 37 passing yards. Ewing did manage to rush for 94 yards, but 89 of them came on Alston’s run.
This means Ewing gained just five rushing yards against the swarming Pemberton defense on the other 24 running plays if you include the numerous sacks.
“We were terrible,” said Ewing coach Drew Besler, whose team had just three first downs in the entire game and none in the second half. “We knew what they were going to do, but we just didn’t execute.
“We have a veteran offensive line with three of our captains, but there were too many missed assignments. We have a lot of work to do.”
Making Ewing’s win a bit even more improbable was the fact it appeared to have let the game slip away in the second half.
To set the stage, Pemberton moved the ball for one of the few times all day and scored its touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter when sophomore quarterback Octaveous Sharkey hooked up with Isaiah Studivent on a crossing pattern for a 20yard touchdown. Studivent then ran in the two-point conversion to cut the Ewing lead to 14-8.
Ewing’s next offensive possession was a disaster as a running play lost two yards and Alston was sacked twice. Even worse, Ewing then dropped a punt snap, which allowed Pemberton to take over on the Blue Devil 3 yard line.
In a game in which it received no help from its offense, it was here where Ewing’s defense stood tallest of all as it backed up Pemberton to a fourthdown play at the 9 yard line.
Pemberton (2-1) then nearly took the lead on a pass by Sharkey, but the ball was dropped in the end zone and Pemberton’s best chance to tie or take the lead was gone.
“We were forrunate to get out of here with a win,” said Besler.
The Ewing defense was terrific, holding Pemberton to 47 rushing yards and less than 100 through the air. Anthony Winn Jr. had two interceptions for Ewing in the first half, while linebacker Noah Castor and end Kahlil Smith were all over the place and made one tackle after another.
The last play of the game exemplified Castor’s effort as her first hit Sharkey. After Sharkey managed to lateral the ball to a back ball before going down, Castor then tackled him as well.
“Our defense did what it had to do when the game was on the line,” said Besler. “We’re a lot better team than we showed today.”
You can blame much of Ewing’s offensive woes on a Pemberton defense that deserved a lot better than to walk off the field with a loss.
Ewing (2-0) Pemberton (2-1) 0 0 7 0 7 0
Alston 89 run (Hunkele kick)
0 — 8 —
Evans 80 kickoff return (Hunkele kick)
Stuivent 20 pass from Sharkey (Studivent run)