Absegami, Hammonton, Cumberland Regional grads hope to lead Delaware to NCAA football title - pressofAtlanticCity.com: High School Football

Absegami, Hammonton, Cumberland Regional grads hope to lead Delaware to NCAA football title - pressofAtlanticCity.com: High School Football

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Absegami, Hammonton, Cumberland Regional grads hope to lead Delaware to NCAA football title

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Posted: Friday, January 7, 2011 12:45 am | Updated: 2:40 pm, Mon Jan 31, 2011.

University of Delaware wide receiver Tommy Crosby doesn't want to let another shot at a national title slip away tonight.

The Hammonton High School graduate is one of three local football players leading the Blue Hens' offense into the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision championship game against Eastern Washington.

The senior knows what it's like to play for a title. The Sicklerville resident, who finished the season with 38 catches for 461 yards and two touchdowns, was a freshman on the 2007 Blue Hens team that made it to the finals but lost 49-27 to Appalachian State.

"I tell the younger guys there's only two teams left right now," Crosby said. "There are about 118 teams in Division I-AA and there's two left. I tell them, 'Don't let it slip or get by you.' In '07 we let it slip. This year I want to win a championship, and I think the younger players are on board to do the same."

Junior wide receiver Mark Schenauer (Absegami High School) and freshman running back Andrew Pierce (Cumberland Regional) are the other area players who have played key roles leading Delaware to the title game in Frisco, Texas.

Pierce, the team's leading rusher with 1,513 yards and 13 touchdowns, noticed Crosby and the other seniors' work ethic. He said that the leaders on the team have taken him under his wing this year, and it adds extra motivation.

"For those guys, not winning in 2007, it took them a long time to get back here." said Pierce, who's from Bridgeton. "I just want to do whatever it takes to send them off right and just have a great game for them. They've been through so much and worked so hard."

The holiday season gave Delaware extra time to prepare for the championship. They haven't played a game since Dec. 18 when they defeated Georgia Southern 27-10 in the national semifinals.

But rather than be worried about rust, the players say the layoff has been beneficial, allowing banged-up bodies to get rest and healthy, and exhausted minds chances to study game film and prepare.

Crosby especially took advantage of the break. He was taken off the field in a stretcher in the third quarter of the semifinal game against Georgia Southern after a blow to the head. The wide receiver spent a night in the hospital with a concussion, but has been cleared to play tonight.

Schenauer, an Absegami High School graduate from Galloway Township, finished with 34 receptions and 492 yards for three touchdowns. He said that the team took a few days off over the break, but has been practicing almost nonstop since Dec. 29, even after landing in Texas on Tuesday.

"They gave us a few days off for down time." Schenauer said. "We've been practicing and watching film ever since. But now we're getting tired of watching film, we want to get out there and play."

Each player said that family and friends have made the trip from home to watch the game, and students have shown up as well. Pierce said the atmosphere has been unbelievable since the moment he stepped off the plane. After arriving at the hotel there were fans waiting and cheering.

It would be easy to get caught up in the moment and forget that there is still a game to play, but Crosby said what sets this team apart is knowing when it's time to get serious.

"We practiced hard when we got here." Crosby said. "(We've been) preparing mentally. Making sure we're all ready. Staying focused. Having fun when it's time to have fun, but being focused when it's time to focus."

Contact Jeff Sporer:



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Cape-Atlantic League National Conference

School Conference Overall
St. Augustine Prep 7-0 8-2
Bridgeton 7-1 8-3
Cedar Creek 6-1 7-2
Buena Regional 5-3 5-5
Ocean City 3-4 4-5
Middle Township 2-5 3-6
Vineland 2-6 2-7
Pleasantville 1-6 2-7
Lower Cape May Regional 0-7 0-8

Cape-Atlantic League American Conference

School Conference Overall
Holy Spirit 7-0 10-0
St. Joseph 6-1 9-1
Millville 6-2 7-3
Hammonton 5-2 6-3
Atlantic City 3-4 4-5
Absegami 2-5 4-5
Oakcrest 1-6 2-7
Mainland Regional 1-6 3-6
Egg Harbor Township 1-6 2-7

Shore Conference A South

School Conference Overall
Jackson Memorial 6-1 7-3
Brick Township 5-2 8-3
Toms River South 5-2 7-3
Brick Memorial 4-3 6-4
Lacey Township 3-4 5-5
Southern Regional 3-4 4-5
Toms River East 1-5 3-6
Toms River North 0-6 1-8

Shore Conference B South

School Conference Overall
Barnegat 5-1 9-1
Central Regional 5-2 5-4
Monsignor Donovan 4-2 4-5
Lakewood 4-3 6-3
Jackson Liberty 3-4 4-5
Manchester Township 3-3 3-6
Pinelands Regional 1-5 1-8
Pt. Pleasant Boro 1-6 1-9

West Jersey Football League Royal Division

School Conference Overall
Camden 4-0 9-1
Delsea Regional 4-1 9-2
Woodrow Wilson 3-1 4-5
Bishop Eustace 1-4 5-4
Cumberland Regional 1-4 1-8
Deptford 1-4 1-8

West Jersey Football League Classic Division

School Conference Overall
Pennsville 5-0 8-2
Salem 4-1 5-5
Gloucester 3-2 3-6
Clayton 1-3 3-6
Pitman 1-3 2-7
Wildwood 0-5 2-5

Scoring leaders

Name School Total points
Lamont Harris St. Augustine Prep 126
Stefon Bowman Bridgeton 110
David Hood Absegami 108
Christian Tutela Lacey Township 100
Taalib Gerald Holy Spirit 96
Cappadonna Miller Bridgeton 92
Ryquell Armstead Millville 90
Rob Ennis Millville 90
Cody Sampson St. Joseph 84

Rushing touchdowns

Name School TDs
Lamont Harris St. Augustine Prep 21
Stefon Bowman Bridgeton 16
David Hood Absegami 15
Taalib Gerald Holy Spirit 14
Ryquell Armstead Millville 13

Passing touchdowns

Name School TDs
Tom Kelly Lacey Township 19
Jose Tabora St. Augustine Prep 19
Jamir Prevard Atlantic City 16
Ty Mindish Mainland Regional 13

Receiving touchdowns

Name School TDs
Christian Tutela Lacey Township 14
Austin Francisco St. Augustine Prep 12
Alex Padovani Hammonton 7
Isiah Graves Atlantic City 7
Jim Brennan Mainland Regional 7
LaDarrell Dixon Oakcrest 7

Field goal leaders

Name School Number Longest in yards
Jon Kubricki Pinelands Regional 5 36
Ryan Ulrich Barnegat 4 37
Joe Stadnicki Ocean City 4 38
Franco Rifici Holy Spirit 4 27
Alex Padovani Hammonton 3 30
Ryan Davis Cumberland Regional 3 47
Kyle Snow St. Augustine Prep 3 32
Mike McGarry
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James Clark
  • James Clark
  • Assistant Soccer Coach at St. Augustine Prep
  • James Clark has been writing about soccer for various media outlets, including The Press of Atlantic City, for 15 years. The Northfield resident coached travel teams in the South Jersey Soccer League for a decade and is currently an assistant soccer coach at St. Augustine Prep. Clark's blog will appear three times a week and daily during this summer's World Cup.