The West Lions take back the “Boot” for the fifth straight season in the annual homecoming game

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In the 49th annual East v. West Rivalry game, the Cherry Hill West Lions defeated the Cherry Hill East Cougars in a one-sided competition 48-12 as the Lions take back the “Boot” for a fifth straight season. The Cougars end their season 0-10 as the Lions earn their lone victory going 1-9. Although a dominating win by the Lions, in the early minutes of the game East lost one of their best players as all-conference Dante Gazzola (‘19) suffered a Torn ACL.

The Lions offense was led by QB Monte Williams (‘19). Williams went 10-of-12 with 180 yards and four touchdowns in the air. He also had 16 carries on the ground for 114 yards and two touchdowns.  For the Cougars, running back Nick Gazzola (‘19) had nine carries for 130 yards and two touchdowns.

The Cougars came out of the gate with a highly efficient offensive attack, driving down the field leading to a long touchdown run for Nick Gazzola. Throughout the first drive, East used a hard-nosed rushing attack to put the first points on the board. After the first drive by the Cougars, Dante Gazzola got hurt.

 

Throughout the rest of the first half, the Lions scored four touchdowns giving themselves a 27-6 lead. During a West drive (although he would return the following possession), QB Williams had an injury scare as he wobbled to the sidelines while medical staff treated him. West backup QB Nick Arcaroli (‘21), in his first appearance in the rivalry, threw a touchdown pass to WR Naiem Simmons (‘19).

 

In the second half, the offensive onslaught continued for the Lions. The continuous three and outs by East led to fatigue amongst the Cougars defense allowing the subpar West offense to score possession after possession.

Around the third quarter there was a noticeable fatigue in the East defense. Due to this,
Williams and the Lions consistently drove his offense up and down the field for touchdown after touchdown on the brutally tired and injury-filled Cougars.

During the course of the season, the Cougars already small roster became smaller as they suffered injuries all around their team. East was missing key players such as starting linebacker Sean Coen (‘20), running back Mike Wheeler (‘20), and kicker/punter Ben Greenberg (‘19) as well as others and Dante Gazzola once he got injured.
Throughout the rest of the second half, Williams scored multiple touchdowns in the air and on the ground bringing the score up to 41-6. In the fourth quarter, Nick Gazzola ran for one more long touchdown bringing the score to 41-12. The Lions would score one more touchdown before running out the clock.

The Lions brought the “Boot” trophy back to the West side for the fifth straight year, making it their longest winning streak in the rivalries 49 year history.

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