GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP - It can be hard to remember that Absegami's Rashad Kinlaw can run when he is throwing the ball.
Unfortunately for the Egg Harbor Township High School football team, it was even harder to remember that Kinlaw is a quarterback when he's running the ball.
Kinlaw's feet and arm and a stingy Absegami defense led the Braves to a 20-6 win against Egg Harbor Township on Friday.
"I can throw, but if it's not there, I can take it and run so it's a double-threat for me," Kinlaw said.
Both schools made the playoffs last year.
The win was especially big for Absegami, who takes a bit of momentum into next week's showdown with Holy Spirit.
"This was a real good win for us to start the season," Kinlaw said. "It was important to us since power points mean a lot to us. Now we just take it week by week and try to get wins."
On third down and a long yard to go, Kinlaw went under center at Egg Harbor Township's 24-yard line.
Kinlaw did better than a long yard.
The junior went through the center of the Eagles' line and beat two defensive backs to the end zone to give the Braves a 20-0 lead heading into halftime.
Kinlaw finished with just four completions for 38 yards, but ran for 130 yards on 20 carries and seemed to come up with big plays when they mattered most.
"He is the heart and soul of what we do on offense," Absegami coach Dennis Scuderi Jr. said. "He's a special player. In my opinion, he's one of the best in the state. He is as good as they come."
Absegami opened the scoring late in the first.
Kinlaw faked a handoff to Tyler Bing and gave the ball to David Hood. Hood broke through the line and scored on a 73-yard touchdown run.
Bing made it a 13-0 game with a 4-yard score with three minutes left in the second quarter.
The third quarter was ugly on both sides of the field.
Neither team picked up a single first down.
Egg Harbor broke the shutout on a 73-yard run by Curtis Fitzpatrick with less than four minutes left in the game.
The problem for the Eagles was that Fitzpatrick's run was more offense than the entire team had through more than three and a half quarters.
"We made too many mental and physical mistakes," Egg Harbor Township coach Tony DeRosa said. "Absegami is a great team. Kinlaw did a great job and I'll take the blame for this one, but we will get better.
"We're going to watch the film and break it down with a fine-toothed comb and we are going to get better."
The Eagles host Bridgeton next Friday at 7 p.m.
The Braves will play at Holy Spirit, the No. 1 team in The Press Elite 11, on Friday at 7 p.m.
Kinlaw knows the Spartans are one of the best in the state, but says this Absegami team has talent too.
"Our offense to me is kind of unstoppable," Kinlaw said. "We have so much speed around the ball. When we're all healthy and working together as one team it's hard to stop us."
Contact John O'Kane:
Egg Harbor Township 0 0 0 6 – 6
Absegami 7 13 0 0 – 20
A-Hood 73 run (Della Vecchia kick)
A-Bing 4 run (kick failed)
A-Kinlaw 24 run (Della Vecchia kick)
EHT-Fitzpatrick 73 run (kick failed)
TEAM STATS EHT A
Rushing 131 231
Passing 11 38
First downs 4 9
Turnovers 1 1
Penalties 7-34 7-50
Rushing: EHT-Fitzpatrick 4-79, Garris 13-44, Smith 1-5, King 1-3, Clayton 1-1, Doughty 4-(-1). A-Kinlaw 20-130, Hood 7-81, Bing 7-14, Cotton 3-1, Jenkins 1-0, Dolan 1-(-5).
Passing: A-Kinlaw 4-8-38-0. EHT-Doughty 2-16-11-0.
Receiving: A-Bing 2-23, Hood 1-9, Cotton 1-6. EHT-Vance 1-8, Smith 1-3.
Records-EHT 0-1; Absegami 1-0.