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LeQuint Allen propels Thunderbolts to third S.J. title in program's history
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LeQuint Allen propels Thunderbolts to third S.J. title in program's history


MILLVILLE – LeQuint Allen ran for two touchdowns Friday night.

The running back/defensive back forced a fumble on defense.

Just for fun, he also played some quarterback.

The senior’s superb all-around effort propelled the Millville High School football team to a 40-3 win over Ocean City in the South Jersey Group IV title game.

“This means a lot,” Allen said. “We worked all summer. I told (his teammates) if we just have fun out there nobody can play with us. That’s what we did out here tonight.”

Allen carried 27 times for 136 yards. He played quarterback for one series in the fourth quarter and threw a 46-yard completion to freshman wide receiver Lotzeir Brooks. His most eye-opening play came in the third quarter. He brushed aside an Ocean City blocker to tackle the Red Raiders quarterback and strip the ball loose.

In addition to his forced fumble, Allen, a Syracuse University recruit, made two tackles for losses.

“I’m going to do whatever I have to do to make the team win,” Allen said.

Millville complemented Allen with multiple impressive performances. Senior quarterback Nate Robbins threw for 189 yards and three TDs. Brooks caught four passes for 128 yards and two TDs. On defense, Ti-yon Cephas recovered a fumble, Solomon Kent had two tackles for losses and Jaydan Wright and Keyan German had one each.

“I knew these guys were special,” Millville coach Dennis Thomas said of the Thunderbolts. “These guys did a phenomenal job of coming together and developing as a team. They accomplished something huge tonight.”

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Fans filled the home and visiting bleachers at Wheaton Field on a chilly night to watch what was one of this weekend’s most-anticipated sectional finals. Second-seeded Ocean City (11-1) is ranked No. 2 in The Press Elite 11. Top-seeded Millville (10-1) is ranked No. 5.

The Thunderbolts were known all season for making big plays. They did that Friday, and they controlled the trenches on both offense and defense. Millville often employed a full-house backfield with fullback Bricere Hunter carrying 10 times for 41 yards. Meanwhile, Ocean City finished with just 48 rushing yards.

“That’s the beauty of this team,” Thomas said. “We’re so physical. We get away from that with the flash and the screens and the pretty balls down field, but we switched it up went full-house backfield, and said ‘You know what, we’re going to get a little physical and see where it lands us.’ ”

The Thunderbolts led 13-3 at halftime and wore the Red Raiders down in the second half, scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter. Ocean City entered the game allowing an average of 4.7 points per game.

“They were the best defense in the state,” Thomas said of the Red Raiders. “I saw what they were doing defensively in the first half and they nullified us a bit. But we made some adjustments in the second half, and we were able to score some points.”

Millville celebrated by dumping a bucket of ice water on Thomas and posing for pictures with the championship trophy.

Before the game, Indianapolis Colts running back and Salem High School graduate Jonathan Taylor spoke to the Thunderbolts via video. Thomas and Taylor have a connection. Thomas also starred at running back at Salem and coached his alma mater before becoming the Millville head coach in 2015.

Friday’s win gave the Thunderbolts the third sectional title in the program’s history and its second under Thomas. Millville will play rival Vineland on Thanksgiving and then meet the winner of Saturday’s Central Jersey Group IV title game between Shawnee and Winslow Township for the Regional Championship the first weekend in December at Rutgers University.

Even though there are more games to be played, Thomas said even before Friday’s game kicked off he had accomplished his season goal.

“I wanted to have a championship game in Millville,” he said. “That was done. I love the city, and they deserved this.”

Thomas, however, quickly added that Millville players have more work to do. Allen agreed with his coach.

“We still got one more championship to go,” Allen said.

Contact: 609-272-7185
Twitter @ACPressMcGarry

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