Cougars football loses close game to Shawnee

Mike Reisman ('13), Eastside Staff

After losing a tough game at home against Pennsauken, the Cherry Hill East football team looked to bounce back just five days later against an equally tough opponent in the Shawnee Renegades.  East hosted the Thursday afternoon showdown in a game that would ultimately decide the runner-up in the West Jersey Football League’s National Division.  Both teams came in with just one loss and each team’s loss came at the hands of Pennsauken in very competitive games.  Though the teams were equal on paper and nearly equal on the playing field, Shawnee was able to come out victorious, winning by the narrow margin of 20-16.

The Cougars came into the game ready to play, wasting no time taking the lead with a 33 yard touchdown pass from Quarterback Jesse Gold (’12) to Taj Frazier (’12), giving East the lead just less than two minutes into the game.  The extra point would be no good, making the Cougar lead 6-0.

East did a fine job protecting their lead by not allowing the Renegades to score in the first quarter.  They added to their lead in the second quarter, as Kicker Mike Suli (’12) redeemed his missed extra point with a 30 yard field goal, making the score 9-0 in favor of Cherry Hill East.  However, just six minutes later, Shawnee would cut the Cougar lead with a two yard touchdown run, which, coupled with the extra point, would give the Cougars just a two point lead, 9-7, when the first half ended.

The Cougars would come out of the break well, stopping the Renegades on their first drive of the third quarter.  However, Shawnee would take the lead on their next drive with a one yard touchdown run.  They would miss the two point conversion though, giving the Renegades a small 13-9 lead.

Neither team would score again until late in the fourth quarter, though the score would be big as Frazier made a leaping catch for 14 of his 69 yards on the day and his second touchdown.  Suli’s extra point would give East a three point lead with just 2:50 to play in the game.

Unfortunately for the Cougars though, the Renegades would drive the ball 65 yards in just under two and a half minutes, scoring a touchdown and an extra point, to make the score 20-16.

While the Cougars were down, they certainly were not out, driving all the way down to the Shawnee five yard line with 16 seconds left.  However, they would be unable to punch the ball in to the endzone, ending the game with a disappointing score of Shawnee 20, Cherry Hill East 16.

The Cougars, now 3-2, will look to get back to their winning ways on Friday night at 7:00 as they travel to Williamstown High School to take on the undefeated Braves.