Two big plays and solid de­fense carry Ewing to a win

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - SPORTS - By Rick Forten­baugh rforten­baugh@tren­to­nian.com @Rick­Fort7 on Twit­ter

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)

14 8

Stu­iv­ent 20 pass from Sharkey (Stu­di­vent run)

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