Willing­boro plows past Florence in the mud

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - SPORTS - By Rick Forten­baugh rforten­baugh@trentonian.com @Rick­fort7 on Twit­ter

WILLING­BORO >> It was largely a tale of two dif­fer­ent halves in the Willing­boro High School foot­ball team’s 22-6 South Jer­sey Group I semi­fi­nal vic­tory over Florence Fri­day night.

Play­ing in the rain, wind and mud after re­port­edly declining a Willing­boro of­fer to play on Thurs­day, Florence only trailed by two points at the half thanks to a 20-yard touch­down pass from Shane Fa­jgier to a wide open John Wool­ston with :44 re­main­ing in the sec­ond quar­ter.

De­spite a plethora of mis­takes, how­ever, it was Willing­boro (6-4) pulling away in the sec­ond half be­hind a big game from Demie Sumo, who plowed through the Flashes (6-4) for 160 yards and two touch­downs on just 10 car­ries.

With the vic­tory, Willing­boro ad­vance to a home game next Fri­day against the win­ner of Satur­day’s game be­tween Pauls­boro and As­bury Park.

After Florence got back in the game on the TD pass to counter a safety on a high punt snap and a 6-yard TD run by Nasir Mu­ray in the first quar­ter, the Chimeras came out in the sec­ond half in new uni­forms.

They also picked it up a notch in their play by forc­ing Florence to punt after three plays and scor­ing on a 26-yard run by Sumo. This play was high­light film ma­te­rial as Suno ran through three tack­les en route to the end zone after Murray had set up his team with a 35-yard punt re­turn.

Florence did make some­way head­way in the third quar­ter be­hind the strong run­ning of wrestler Jaquan Hayes, who would go onto fin­ish with 132 yards on 23 car­ries. But what Florence couldn’t over­come was turnovers, in­clud­ing a fum­ble in its own ter­ri­tory late in the third quar­ter.

It ap­peared Willing­boro was ready to ap­ply the killer blow at this point when it started the fourth quar­ter with a fourth-and-one at the Flashes’ 35 yard line.

But in a bizarre se­quence, Willing­boro turned this fourth-an­done into a fourth-and-31 by com­mit­ting four penal­ties with­out run­ning a sin­gle play.

No mat­ter, Florence’s next pos­ses­sion ended with an in­ter­cep­tion by Khaleb McCrae and when Sumo fol­lowed with an­other spec­tac­u­lar touch­down run of 29 yards, Florence’s up­set bid was fin­ished.

“I give all the credit to the “O’’ line; with­out them we wouldn’t be a good of­fense,” said Sumo. “It was a lot of fun play­ing in these con­di­tions. I have been do­ing this since I was six years old. It (play­ing in the mud) made me feel like a kid again.’’

Florence (6-4) 0 6 0 0 - 6 Willing­boro (6-4) 8 0 6 8 - 22 W-Safety (punt snap out of end zone) W-Murray 6 run (pass failed) F-Wool­ston 20 pass from Faigier (run failed) W-Sumo 26 run (run failed) W-Sumo 29 run (Everette run)

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