On Friday Night, September 9th as Harriton High School Honored our Military. A battle took place on their field against Pottstown. For the first time in two years Pottstown came out victorious with a 20 -14 win over the Rams!
The first quarter had slow drives down the field for both teams with no results. Both defenses had bend but don’t break mentalities holding off each others offenses ending in a scoreless first quarter. Early in the second quarter like an Army General The Trojans Senior Quarterback #4 Rasheed Bostic, who usually plays Defensive Back and has stepped up for his team to fill the need of playing Quarterback, lead his team downfield to throw a 12 yard touchdown pass to #44 Nazhier Booker, the Trojans get their first score of the night. And the Pottstown sideline lights up like fireworks with excitement with the realization that for the first time in a long time they might actually be able to win this battle.
On the Rams first drive of the second quarter the front lines start to fail. With the Pottstown defense ferociously attacking, the line could not hold, and left #10 Senior Quarterback Logan Rotheberg running for his life and fumbling the ball twice. Having to punt on 4th and 49, ending farther back then they started, the Rams retreat to the sidelines.
With two mins left in the first quarter the Rams takes the field with the front lines holding up giving Quarterback Logan Rotheberg time to link up on several plays with #3 Junior Jay Cahow the Rams made their way down field, and the battle to get to the Red Zone was bloodied and tough but Rotheberg is finally able to link up with #9 Junior Jibriil Rumph for a 6 yard pass for a touch down and the Rams first of the night. The game is tied up as the half ends.
As the third quarter begins the Rams come out unable to capitalize on the momentum they gained at the half quickly going three and out and having to punt. Pottstown’s first drive ends with a pick 6 by Ram’s Outside Linebacker Sophomore #18 Colin Sullivan who makes a great break on the ball and is able to return it back 59 yards for what will be the Rams last touch down of the night. Again on the next offensive drive Trojans conducting themselves composed and with their line acting as a shield wall for their running backs march down field into Rams territory but at the 45 yard line have another interception by Rams #3 Jay Cahow. The Rams take over at the 9 yard line. After a breakdown of plays and a low snap Rotheberg is sacked and the Rams punt. Pottstown takes over in Rams territory at the 37 yard line, these young men battle as if the last two possessions have not happened, and they begin to march like an invading army to finish out the third quarter.
The forth quarter starts 14-7 with Harriton in the lead, and it is time for Pottstown to answer the call to service. With less then a minute into the 4th quarter #44 Nazhier Booker runs the ball in for a 5 yard touchdown tying the game 14-14. Harriton goes three and out on their next offensive possession. Pottstown takes the filed with four minutes and 20 second left in the game playing like soldiers who know it is do or die, march on and with a 32 yard run #10 running back Joe Mundo who storms into the end zone allowing the Trojans to take the lead! Pottstown misses the extra point because of false start penalty which lead to Harriton blocking the extra point. As the forth quarter is coming to a close a battle weary Pottstown defense takes the field, while a bruised and blooded Harriton offense tries fearlessly to recapture their home. With an electrified crowd Harriton’s student sections called the Herd was packed and showed up to in full force tonight, to rally their teams battle cry. Starting way backing in Trojan territory the Rams make a march for the end zone, picking up first downs as they go with running back #25 Sophomore Mason Demarco skillfully pick up yards helping the Rams make a last stand. With a minute and twenty seconds left on the clock the Rams Quarterback Logan Rotherberg looks downfield to fire his cannon of a arm to streaking wideout # 3 Jay Cahow for a 30 yard catch but like stepping on a landmine Cahow encounters Corner #3 Dimark Lyons who rips the ball out free and saves the game for Trojans as the ball rolls into the back on the end zone and gets call for a touchback. As the Trojans sidelines light up with excitment the offense take the field on last time and as the seconds roll down the cry of victory is heard throughout the Trojan team. A cry two years in the making.
I got to speak to an emotional Coach Hughes and his elated coaching staff after the game. This being Coach Hughes first year as Head Coach of the Trojans but not the first time being a part of their coaching staff at Pottstown. He was the Defensive Coordinator for a few years, but left and is now returning to help rebuild a team who in his words ” needs to learn to feel what it is like to win again”. Coach Hughes says one of the biggest challenges he is facing with rebuilding this team is try to change these players minds and identities. He believes these boys are winners and he knows that his coaching staff can help show these boys their true selves.
A soldiers creed: I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself. I am an expert and I am a professional. I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy, the enemies. The players on both sides of the field tonight embodied what it meant to be soldiers. For both teams there is still a war ahead with it still being early in the season, so though some battles might be won and lost, the war wages on.