East hands over the Boot

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Jordan Stein ('14)/ Eastside Photo Editor East battles West for the annual homecoming game title.

Nick Ciocco ('14)/ Eastside Sports Editor

On Thanksgiving Eve, the Cougars football team snapped its two year winning streak of the annual homecoming football game. Throughout the entire day, there were questions of whether the game would be played due to the severe rains and winds. Luckily, right before game time, the rain ceased to fall and the game was played as scheduled.

The Cougars came out very strong to open up the game. On the kickoff, the West kick returner fumbled the ball and an East player fell on top of the ball for the recovery. This created some quick momentum early for East and after getting a first down, QB Brandon Stern (’15) threw a 30 yard frozen rope pass to WR Vinny Guckin (’16). East went up 6-0 on the Lions right away.

During West’s next possession, RB Jaquan Gonzalez-Pratt (’14) was doing all the work on the ground charging the ball up the field. After running the ball about 50 yards, Gonzalez-Pratt fumbled the ball on East’s 16 yard line for the Lions second turnover of the game.

East failed to do anything on their next possession and the Lions took advantage of that. Gonzalez-Pratt ran in a lengthy 46 yard touchdown and Lions QB Joey Argentina (’15) successfully ran the ball in for two points making the score 8-6 in West’s favor.

At the end of the first quarter, the score remained West 8 – East 6.

Right off the bat in the second quarter, the Lions made it clear that they were not done scoring. Gonzalez-Pratt ran in another touchdown and made the score 14-6. East failed to do anything on their only possession of the half and West once again took advantage of that and Argentina completed a 40 yard touchdown pass to WR Dwuane Allen (’14). The two point conversion was also good and the score at the end of the first half was West 22–East 6.

The third quarter got the better of both teams. Despite a monster run from  East QB Stern and some big time catches from East WR Shane DeGuzman (’14) and West WR Jason Hicks (’14), neither team was able to put any points on the board and the score remained 22–6.

The temperature continued to get colder going into the fourth quarter, but that did not stop the Lions from coming out hot. East failed to convert on fourth down on their first possession and once again, West took advantage. QB Argentina did some more work out on the field and ran in another Lions touchdown. OL John Bendig (’14) ran in the two point conversion successfully making the score 30–6 Lions.

That was all she wrote for the annual homecoming football game between cross town rivals Cherry Hill East and Cherry Hill West. This was the first time West has scored in the annual event in two years. The game was the epitome of the Cougars season and brought their record to a disheartening 0–10.

On the brighter side, East is still leading the Thanksgiving rivalry series, 31-14. So, although West will hold the Boot trophy until next year’s game, the Lions have years of catching up to do if they want to be the football power house of this town.