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Holy Spirit's Patrick Smith rushes for CAL-school record 362 yards
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Holy Spirit's Patrick Smith rushes for CAL-school record 362 yards

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EGG HARBOR CITY – The Denny’s restaurant in Galloway Township should expect to whip up some extra Grand Slam breakfasts Sunday morning.

The Holy Spirit High School offensive linemen are ready to eat after what Spartans running back Patrick Smith achieved Saturday afternoon.

Smith carried 30 times for a Cape-Atlantic League single-game record 362 yards in a 41-0 win over Cedar Creek. Smith broke the record of 342 yards set by St. Augustine running back Lamont Harris in a win over Vineland in 2014.

“That sounds amazing,” Smith said when told after the game how many yards he had gained. “We talked all week about running the ball, and we did it today.”

Smith, who has committed to attend Colorado State, ran behind the offensive line of Justin McNulty, Javian Magee, Jadyn Crewe, Tyler Peterson and Jesse Bartlett and tight end JaShon Teller.

“We have one of the best running backs in the state behind a great offensive line,” said Magee, a junior center. “The numbers showed it.”

Smith takes his linemen to eat at Denny’s after every big rushing game.

“We break his bank by blocking for him,” Magee said, “and then break his bank by going out and eating breakfast. We’re going to run up the tab on him.”

Spirit (2-0) is ranked No. 7 in The Press Elite 11. The Spartans wanted to establish the run against Cedar Creek. Spirit wasn’t happy with the way it ran the ball in its season-opening 18-6 win over St. Joseph on Oct. 2.

“We tried to simplify things for the offensive line and our backs,” coach A.J. Russo said. “Against St. Joe, those guys stuffed us upfront. We wanted to try to get some continuity back in our running game.”

Smith carried 30 times, 27 of them in the first half. He showed the power to run over defenders and the speed to run away from them, scoring touchdowns on runs of 22, 47, 48 and 6 yards. Russo called him “a difference maker.”

“The offensive line opened a lot of holes,” Smith said, “and the second level is one-on-one with the safety or the corner. That’s on me. You have to make a play.’

Smith’s backup, Devin Lee, also excelled with seven carries for 44 yards and two touchdowns.

The Spirit defense shut down Cedar Creek. Senior linebacker A’Johnnie Rembert made two tackles for losses and deflected two passes. Junior linebacker Michael Francisco made three tackles for losses.

But Smith was the story after the game. His performance will go down as one of the best performances ever by a South Jersey running back.

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Philadelphia Eagles running back Corey Clement holds the South Jersey single-game rushing record with 478 yards for Glassboro against Gloucester in 2012.

That same night, Wesley Hills of Wildwood set the Press-area record with 452 yards against Maple Shade.

Smith said that in this pandemic-shortened season he wants to make the most of every game.

“Every time I touch the ball, I want to have the mindset that I have to score or have a good play,” he said. “You never know. That next week we might not be able to have that game.”

Holy Spirit 7 21 6 7 — 41

Cedar Creek 0 0 0 0 — 0

FIRST QUARTER

HS – Smith 22 run (Feliciano kick)

SECOND QUARTER

HS – Smith 47 run (Feliciano kick)

HS – Smith 48 run (Feliciano kick)

HS – Smith 6 run (Feliciano kick)

THIRD QUARTER

HS – Lee 2 run (kick missed)

FOURTH QUARTER

HS – Lee 6 run (Feliciano kick)

Contact: 609-272-7209

MMcGarry@pressofac.com

Twitter @ACPressMcGarry

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