WEST DEPTFORD TOWNSHIP - Gerald Towns is a name South Jersey football fans should remember.

Gerald Towns is also a name the Barnegat High School football team would love to forget.

Towns ran for 203 yards and four touchdowns as second-seeded West Deptford beat third-seeded Barnegat 49-10 in a South Jersey Group II semifinal Friday.

Latest Video

The Eagles, No. 10 in The Press Elite 11, will face top-seeded Haddonfield at Rowan University on Dec. 3 in the sectional final.

"He's a good football player," Barnegat coach Rob Davis said. "They just keep turning out good football players year in and year out here."

It is the second straight season that West Deptford has ended Barnegat's run through the playoffs. West Deptford beat the Bengals 56-7 last season.

Towns is listed at 6-foot-2, 245 pounds and is only a sophomore.

"He's a big kid," Barnegat's Dave Smithman said. "He's fast, and he's big and his line opens up some nice holes."

Towns showed that he's more than just a power back in the second quarter.

Barnegat's Pat Moran cut the West Deptford lead to 21-3 with a 40-yard field goal with five minutes and 40 seconds left in the half.

But Towns took a handoff on West Deptford's next play, bounced off-tackle to the right and outran everyone for an 80-yard touchdown.

Barnegat (6-4) went three-and-out on its next possession.

West Deptford (9-1) pulled off a rare feat and scored rushing touchdowns on back-to-back offensive plays as Phil Fisher took a handoff and scored from 39 yards out.

The Eagles led 35-3 at halftime.

Towns showed his power late in the third quarter.

On third-and-25, Towns took a handoff and broke three tackles before stiff-arming another Barnegat defender for a 37-yard touchdown and a 49-3 lead.

Barnegat was never able to figure out West Deptford's version of the Wing-T offense.

"Their offense is the most confusing thing I have ever seen," Smithman said. "It's hard to learn that offense in three days.

"They have a lot of good players but they just don't make mistakes. A lot of teams make little mistakes and they let you take advantage. West Deptford just doesn't leave any holes open like that."

Towns' fourth touchdown put the game on a running clock.

Late in the third quarter, Smithman broke a tackle and scored the first touchdown West Deptford's defense has allowed since Oct. 7.

"They're a better football program right now and that's not something to be embarrassed about," Davis said. "We're going to get there someday."

Barnegat's varsity program started in 2006.

"I wish we played a different team in the semifinal," Davis said jokingly. "We've played in the South Jersey semifinal two years in a row but we played this team. We're going to get there someday. We're right there. We're one game away."

The Bengals' season isn't over. They will host Pinelands Regional at 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving day. With a win, Barnegat clinches the Shore Conference B South Division title for the first time in school history.

Contact John O'Kane:



Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.