EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP - With his team trailing 10-6 and 30 seconds remaining before halftime, Egg Harbor Township High School junior Curtis Fitzpatrick looked downfield and his eyes lit up.
"I saw daylight," Fitzpatrick said after the game.
Fitzpatrick took the handoff from junior quarterback Ken Doughty and followed blockers to the left sideline. He cut back inside, then sprinted 80 yards downfield for what proved to be the game-winning score in the Eagles' 13-10 win over Bridgeton on Friday night in a Cape-Atlantic League interdivision game.
"I saw the linebackers shift," Fitzpatrick said, "I got good blocks from Hajilik Smith and Matt Clayton, then I knew I had some room down the sideline."
The Eagles' running game centered around Fitzpatrick and Clayton, who took the majority of the handoffs from Doughty. Fitzpatrick finished with 108 yards rushing and a 13-yard reception, and Clayton rushed for another 67.
"Everything starts with those two backs," Egg Harbor Township coach Tony DeRosa said. "They worked hard this week and really responded after a tough loss (last week)."
The Eagles (1-1) opened the scoring in the first quarter on their first possession. On fourth down with one yard to go near midfield, Doughty kept the ball and pushed forward off the snap trying to move the chains. Somehow, he found a hole in Bridgeton's line, then beat two defensive backs in a race to the endzone with 9:51 remaining.
"I don't know how he did that," DeRosa said. "Kenny said they didn't cover the B-gap. He took a step, saw it, then went through. He's a smart, tough player."
The kick failed but the Eagles took a 6-0 lead.
Doughty rushed for 67 yards and completed three passes for another 32.
After a three-and-out by the the Bulldogs (1-1), Egg Harbor Township was able to drive the ball down to inside Bridgeton's six on their next possession. After a 5-yard penalty and a tackle for a loss that pushed them to the 18, junior kicker Tim Mason came in to attempt a field goal.
Bridgeton freshman Steve Henigin penetrated the Eagles' line and blocked the kick, allowing Bulldogs senior Jerome Scurry to recover the loose ball and run it back for an 82-yard score.
Senior quarterback and kicker Tamar Jackson hit a 20-yard field goal to put Bridgeton up 10-7 with 40 seconds left in the first half, but Fitzpatrick's 80-yard run gave the Eagles the lead on the first play after the ensuing kickoff.
Bridgeton had plenty of chances to score in the second half, but failed to convert on three trips to the red zone.
The Bulldogs fumbled twice inside the 15, and a field-goal attempt failed because of a bad snap.
"Those are mistakes we have to overcome to be a really good team," Bridgeton coach Dave Ellen said. "We've just got to execute. That's the name of the game."
Bridgeton had one more chance with just more than a minute left in the game with the ball on the 21-yard line. Jackson, who had completed 5-of-9 passes in the game for 82 yards, threw a pass down the left sideline. Eagles senior AJ Vance intercepted the ball in the end zone and the Eagles were able to run the clock out.
"It's always nice to get the first win over the season," DeRosa said. "We're still making some mental and physical mistakes, but we challenged these boys this week and they responded. We're real proud of them."
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