“The PA: War Eagle Weekly” #4: Shell Shock

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“The PA: War Eagle Weekly” #4: Shell Shock

Danny DeCrescenzo, Sports Editor

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The Eagles’ 26-14 Week 4 loss to the Long Branch Green Wave was one that no one saw coming. The Green Wave defense, through the 4 games before playing South, let up a whopping 103 points, which was by far the worst in the American Division (the Eagles let up only 65 in three games). Long Branch was also coming off three straight losses, their most recent defeat being against Red Bank Catholic, the same team that the Eagles crushed in Week 2. The Green Wave’s season was spiraling out of control, and they somehow managed to beat a South team who (if you have been reading my recent articles) was certainly on the rise; what cost the Eagles the game?

Two words: eight turnovers.

Simply put, no team can have four interceptions (including a pick-six) and fumble the ball four times and expect to win…yet, despite all that, the Eagles were only down six points for much of the fourth quarter. If you took away the turnovers, the Eagles really were the better team that night. Offensively, wideout Luke Albrecht enjoyed a nice return with a receiving touchdown, and Vinny Condito continued his impressive play at fullback, keeping the offense moving consistently. On defense, the Eagles didn’t back down from a challenge, doing their best to make life hard for NJ’s state rushing champ Jermaine Corbett. Long Branch just got so many prime opportunities to rev their offense into high gear, and that led them to victory.

Coming off such a loss, the Eagles need to learn from their mistakes and move on, as their games from this point forward will decide whether they’ll even appear in the postseason. Before playing Long Branch, the Eagles sat comfortably as the #3 seed in South Group 4; after Long Branch, the Eagles tumbled down to #12 and are skating on thin ice in a playoff bracket of 16 teams. Of course, the season is far from over and a lot can change, but the Eagles are now facing an uphill battle going into the home stretch. However, playing Toms River North at The Swamp on Homecoming Friday is a fantastic opportunity for South to get things back on track. TRN is coming off their first loss to (guess who?) RBC, and because the Mariners still sit at 4-1 the Power Points the Eagles would get by beating them would immediately put South right back to the top of the South Group 4 playoffs. For that reason, the Homecoming Game is a game the Eagles must win; if the Eagles can tap back into the dominance they showed against RBC, they could very well win big against their divisional rival.

 

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