Mainland Football Practice

Mainland Regional senior Brayden Pohlman participates in practice in August. He tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee Sept. 27, and returned last Friday in a 21-6 win over Ocean City. Mainland Brayden Pohlman /DE in a practice drill. Aug. 12, 2019 (Craig Matthews / Staff Photographer)

Brayden Pohlman provided a physical and emotional lift for the Mainland Regional High School football team Friday.

The senior defensive end played against Ocean City with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. The undefeated Mustangs beat Ocean City 21-6.

“It meant the world to me,” Pohlman said after the game.

His teammates appreciated Pohlman’s effort.

“That’s like other worldly,” Mainland senior linebacker Sean Bradley said. “I’ve never seen that from anyone. If anyone was going (to do it), it would be that man right there.”

The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Pohlman tore his ACL on Sept. 27 in a 29-8 win over Bridgeton. He delayed surgery and instead worked on strengthening his knee in hopes of returning to the field this season.

“The day after he blew his knee out, he told me he was going to be back for Ocean City,” Mainland coach Chuck Smith said. “There he was (Friday) all taped up and bandaged up.”

Pohlman played about half of the defensive snaps Friday.

“I wasn’t 100%,” he said. “I didn’t get the pass rush I wanted. But I did what I could.”

Pohlman says he plans to have surgery when the season is over, but before that he plans to play Friday when Ocean City (6-2) and Mainland (8-0) meet again this time in a South Jersey Group IV first-round matchup. Kickoff is 6 p.m. at Mainland in Linwood.

“I love these guys,” Pohlman said. “I want to do something special with them and make a playoff push.”

GALLERY from Ocean City at Mainland football game

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