Borenstein recaps East’s 2021 Football Season


Courtesy of Lucas Tang

East football playing the big East-West game this year.

Going into the season, this was going to be a pivotal year for the Cherry Hill East Football team. With the team regressing in wins over the past two seasons and starting a sophomore quarterback with no varsity experience, the Cougars had to turn things back in the right direction to set the tone for the program for years to come. And they did so…to an extent.
The Cougars finished the season with a 3-7 record. The season was highlighted by a 14-0 shutout win over Hightstown who finished 7-4. Not only did the Cougars beat a quality opponent, but they also got revenge after losing 35-0 last year at Hightstown. The team also picked up wins over Princeton and Perth Amboy. However, the Cougars finished 0-4 on the road and have not won a road game since October of 2019.
The Cougars were led on offense by quarterback Ben Cohen (‘24). Cohen finished the season with six passing touchdowns and three rushing touchdowns, was the first quarterback to throw for over 1000 years in 10 years at East. He was a threat through the air and on the ground and will be exciting to watch for the next two years.
Defensively, the Cougars were led by linebacker Damian Frasier (‘22). Frasier was all over the field as he finished the season with 89 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, and a sack. Additionally, he forced two fumbles and also had an interception. Finding a replacement for Frasier next year will be tough, but other players on the team have shown they are willing to step up throughout the season.
Next season, the Cougars will have to improve in sacks and fumble recoveries. East finished with only three sacks which is far down from nine sacks in their abbreviated six-game season last year. They also only recovered one fumble this season compared to five last season. Also, the defense gave up an average of 26 points a game this season compared to 21 points a game last season. Improving these categories will be crucial to having success next season.
The Cougars had 13 players selected to the WJFL All-Division Team. Guard Kelvin Parris (‘22), defensive tackle Andrew Watson (‘23), kicker Aryan Pradhan (‘22), punter Ethan Haddock (‘23), and Cohen were all selected to the first team. Wide receiver Mark Hendri (‘22), running back Mo Sample (‘23), tackle Andrew Naylor (‘22), center Richie Walker (‘22), safety Justin Herskowitz (‘23), tight end Trevor Morrow (‘22), and Frasier were all selected to the second team. Linebacker Gabe Cohen (‘22) was an honorable mention. This is a great accomplishment for the program and the Cougars are gaining the recognition that they deserve.
Looking to next season, the Cougars are expected to return more than half of their starters on offense and on defense. The team is hopeful they can continue the momentum built from this season and finally get into the playoffs.