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EHT rushes for 231 yards, 3 TDs in win over Atlantic City

EHT rushes for 231 yards, 3 TDs in win over Atlantic City

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ATLANTIC CITY — Coach Kevin Stetser of the Egg Harbor Township High School football team wasn’t sure if the Eagles needed or deserved a win Friday night.

The answer was probably a little of both.

Egg Harbor Township showed resiliency and a dominant running game and beat Atlantic City 26-12. EHT (1-1) opened the season with a loss at Mainland Regional last Saturday.

“We’re tired of getting pushed around,” EHT senior defensive back Malachi Rollins said.

EHT is seeking its first winning season since 2010. The Eagles believed they had turned a corner heading into this season.

But questions were raised after the season-opening loss.

“We know what we put out last week is not who we are,” Stetser said. “But (this is) a good group of kids. It was a different conversation (from past years) even after last week’s game. We felt last week the kids didn’t play as good as they should have because I don’t know if they knew they were good enough.”

The Eagles were plenty good Friday.

EHT never trailed and rushed for 231 yards. Avery McKim rushed 18 times for 126 yards. Chris Decker carried 17 times for 69 yards. Most of McKim and Decker’s yards came on runs between the tackles.

“This is a major win,” McKim said. “We worked hard in practice after the loss to Mainland. We came in, and we held our heads high and said ‘let’s turn it around.’ We’re a better team than a couple of years past, and we showed it tonight.”

EHT’s ability to run the football kept Atlantic City’s offense off the field. The Vikings (1-1) opened with a 40-0 win over Oakcrest last Friday.

But against EHT, Atlantic City never got its passing game in a rhythm, although wide receiver Jahmeer Cartagena caught 11 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown.

The Eagles never trailed against Atlantic City. Rollins gave EHT the lead when he intercepted a pass off a deflection and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown with 8 minutes, 56 seconds left in the second quarter.

“It was unexpected,” Rollins said. “It just happened. I saw the ball, tipped it with my hand, caught it and took off.”

What did he see after he intercepted the pass?

“Green,” he said.

From that point on each time Atlantic City scored to cut into EHT’s lead, the Eagles responded with a touchdown of their own.

Egg Harbor’s best drive of the game came in the third quarter with a 12-6 lead. Atlantic City had the momentum after scoring a touchdown after receiving the second-half kickoff. But EHT drove 78 yards in 16 plays for a score. The drive, which lasted 8:51, ended with a McKim 9-yard touchdown run with 1:22 left in the third quarter to put the Eagles up 19-6.

Egg Harbor clinched the victory with another long drive. This one started at the Atlantic City 49 with 8:52 left in the game. It ended 12 plays later at the Atlantic City 3-yard line when the Eagles lined up in victory formation as the final seconds ticked off the clock.

“We knew if we controlled the ball with our running game,” McKim said, “it would set us up smoothly for a win. It’s an amazing feeling.”

Egg Harbor Township 0 12 7 7 — 26

Atlantic City 0 0 6 6 — 12

SECOND QUARTER

EHT – Rollins 34 int return (pass failed)

EHT – Decker 6 run (pass failed)

THIRD QUARTER

AC – Frederick 1 pass from Strecker (pass failed)

EHT – McKim 9 run (Marten kick)

FOURTH QUARTER

AC – Cartagena 9 pass from Strecker (pass failed)

EHT – Rando 1 run (Marten kick)

RECORDS – EHT 1-1; Atlantic City 1-1

Contact: 609-272-7209

MMcGarry@pressofac.com

Twitter @ACPressMcGarry

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