Pleasantville vs Cedar Creek

Pleasantville’s Ernest Howard #2 runs a touchdown against Cedar Creek’s Tyler Hendrickson #56 during the first half of high school football game at Plesaantville High School Friday Oct 4, 2019. Edward Lea Staff Photographer / Press of Atlantic City

Pleasantville High School football player Ernest Howard will wear a different jersey number for the rest of the Greyhounds' season.

The senior running back/linebacker is switching from No. 2 to No. 10 in honor of a 10-year-old boy who was shot during Pleasantville's home playoff game against Camden on Friday night.

Micah, an Atlantic City resident whose last name has not been released at the request of the family, is in critical condition at Cooper University Hospital in Camden under care of doctors from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

"I will be wearing number 10 for the remainder of the season in honor of Micah (Dew), who is only 10 years old," Howard wrote on Twitter Sunday. "(He is) fighting for his life (because of) the tragic event on Friday night. #DoitforDew #ForMicah #Theville ... Keep fighting Micah!!!"

Dew is the child's nickname.

Micah was one of three people wounded after gunfire erupted in the bleachers during the third quarter of the Greyhounds' Central Jersey Group II semifinal against Camden. Six shots were fired from the Pleasantville side of the stands.

Six men, most of whom were from Atlantic City, were arrested in what law enforcement officials called a targeted attack. Alvin Wyatt, of Atlantic City, the alleged gunman, was apprehended near the stadium and faces various charges, including three counts of attempted murder.

Ibn Abdullah, of Atlantic City, who was one of the three victims, also was arrested. He was in critical condition after undergoing surgery at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, City Campus, in Atlantic City.

Four others were arrested after fleeing in a car to Atlantic City.

"Put simply, this was not a Pleasantville problem that happened in Pleasantville," police Chief Sean Riggin said during a news conference at the school. "This was a problem that came to us, and while we’ll handle it and we're well-prepared to resolve the issue and to deal with the ramifications of it, this isn't something that started here, but it is something that we're going to finish."

Camden led Pleasantville 6-0 with 4 minutes, 59 seconds left in the third quarter. The game will be completed Wednesday at a neutral site, with the winner advancing to meet Cedar Creek in the sectional championship game this weekend.

The Wednesday game will be closed to the public, but some high school football coaches have suggested allowing their players to attend as a sign of solidarity.

"Don't know if the NJSIAA (New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association) would allow this, but would love to have the SJ teams that are out of the playoffs attend the game in their jerseys to stand in solidarity with the players and against violence," Buena Regional coach Jonathan Caputo wrote on Twitter on Sunday. "HS (high school) football is what's good with the world. Must protect that."

West Jersey Football League President Derryk Sellers, the athletic director at Lindenwold High School, suggested all WJFL teams be permitted to attend.

"As president of the WJFL, I support bringing all the teams to the game to support all that is good in HS football," he wrote on Twitter on Sunday. "Let's not let ridiculousness rule over all that is good with football."

Contact: 609-272-7201

Twitter @PressACWeinberg

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