EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP - One week after a demoralizing defeat, the Absegami High School football team played its most complete game of the season Friday night.
Tyler Bing ran for 174 yards and three touchdowns as the Braves beat Egg Harbor Township 28-7 in a Cape-Atlantic League American Conference game. Absegami lost a highly anticipated game to Holy Spirit 18-0 on Oct. 5. The Braves used that defeat as motivation.
"We could have folded after last week," Bing said. "We came out and practiced hard all week. We knew we had to get this one."
Absegami (4-2) never trailed and held EHT to 43 rushing yards. The victory improved Absegami's chances of qualifying for the playoffs.
"We realized (after the Spirit loss) we needed to step it up," Braves linebacker Tiger Kirvay said. "Offensively and defensively we were both on the same page (Friday). Lately, it's been either an offensive game or a defensive game."
Both Absegami and EHT (2-3) entered Friday’s game as contenders for the South Jersey Group V playoffs.
“In this conference, you have to win your Group V games if you want to make the playoffs,” Braves coach Dennis Scuderi Jr. said. “We’ve really been stressing that. We didn’t play the way we wanted to play (against Spirit). Our kids said, ‘Hey, we have to put that in the past. We need to win this one. It’s a huge Group V game.’ ”
The contest turned in Absegami’s favor for good with one play.
EHT had just grabbed the momentum when Matt Clayton scored on a 1-yard run with 21.3 seconds left in the third quarter to cut Absegami’s lead to 14-7.
But on the first play after the kickoff, the Braves handed the ball to Bing, who sprinted to the outside. EHT briefly stopped him at the line of scrimmage but then Bing broke free, picked up a block from wide receiver Billy Gilbert and sprinted down the sideline 80 yards for a touchdown.
“That changed the game,” Bing said. “It got momentum back in our favor and we just kept rolling from there.”
The score gave Absegami a 21-7 lead with 7.3 seconds remaining in the third.
“It was a counter play,” EHT coach Tony DeRosa said. “We knew it was coming. The bottom line is the kid is a great running back.”
The Braves controlled most of the game behind the running of Bing and David Hood (19 carries for 142 yards).
Meanwhile, EHT struggled to move the ball against the Braves defense.
Absegami held the Eagles to negative-8 rushing yards in the first half. Kirvay made two tackles for losses, while Absegami defensive end Christian Henchy tackled EHT ball carriers three times behind the line of the scrimmage.
DeRosa bemoaned the Eagles lack of discipline. He said EHT had seven illegal procedure penalties.
“We were fundamentally unsound,” DeRosa said. “It has to stop, and I think our guys realize that. It starts with me. I have to make them more disciplined. I’ll take the blame for this.”
Absegami is off next week. The Braves then play Hammonton (3-2) on Oct. 26 and Atlantic City (4-1) on Nov. 2.
The Braves should get a boost after their open week from the return of senior quarterback and defensive back Rashad Kinlaw. He was on the sidelines in uniform but did not play Friday. Kinlaw, who has verbally committed to Notre Dame, has been out with a broken leg that occurred in June while playing for USA Football.
“He was healthy, and we could have played him,” Scuderi said. “But we were able to get out of here with a win without him, and that was good for us.”
Contact Michael McGarry:
Absegami 0 14 7 7 — 28
Egg Harbor Township 0 0 7 0 — 7
AB — Hood 13 run (Della Vecchia kick)
AB — Bing 13 run (Della Vecchia kick)
EHT — Clayton 1 run (Mason kick)
AB — Bing 80 run (Della Vecchia kick)
AB — Bing 14 run (Della Vecchia kick)
Rushing—Doughty 11-13 EHT. Bing 18-174, Hood 19-142 AB.
Passing—Doughty 7-23-1-120 EHT. Dolan 2-3-0-10 AB.
Receiving—Smith 6-62 EHT. Bing 1-10 AB.
Records—Absegami 4-2; EHT 2-3.