East Football Loses 39-7 in Opening Game vs Moorestown


Courtesy of Richie Walker ('22)

The East Cougars Football Team is ready for an unforgettable season.

The Cherry Hill East Cougars faced off against the Moorestown Quakers on Sunday in the opening game of the season. Both teams were coming in with a record of 1-5 from last season, but were looking to start off strong. The Cougars have not won an opening game since the 2015-2016 season and they didn’t want to extend the drought to 6 years.

This game was initially set to take place at Ocean City High School as part of the inaugural Battle at the Beach event. With 12 games scheduled over 3 days, this was a marquee event that featured some of the top teams in the state. Due to the weather and field conditions, the game was unfortunately moved to Cherry Hill East later in the day.

“Today was one of the most unique circumstances I’ve been a part of as a coach or a player”, Coach Daley said after the game. “Obviously all that travel and waiting isn’t ideal, but both teams had to deal with those scenarios so that’s no excuse.”

Daley also went out of his way to thank the athletic director Mr.Beirao, the East staff members, and the parents for being able to transition seamlessly between the venues so quickly.

After a more than three hour delay, the game was finally set to begin. East elected to receive after winning the coin toss so the offense got to see the field first. On the first drive of the game, Mo Sample (‘24) had a 28 yard run to set the Cougars up at the Moorestown 31-yard line. A couple plays later, quarterback Ben Cohen (‘24) completed a 15-yard pass to receiver Mark Hendri (‘22) to put East in the red zone. On the next play, Cohen handed the ball back off to Sample for a 16-yard touchdown rush. The extra point was good which put the Cougars up 7-0 after the first possession.

The rest of the 1st quarter was also great. The defense was able to force a quick 3 and out on their first possession of the field. After the offense had to punt, the defense stepped up again to force a turnover on downs. The score would remain 7-0 at the end of the quarter.

However, that was the peak at which the Cougars would play. The Quakers offense was able to move the ball efficiently on the Cougars defense. On their 3rd drive of the game, quarterback John Zohlman connected with receiver Zion Williams for a 33-yard touchdown pass. On their next possession Zohlamn handed the ball off to running back Moe Airall for a 6-yard touchdown run. The Quakers were not done yet as Williams got the ball on a jet sweep and was able to take it 18 yards into the endzone. Moorestown scored 20 unanswered points to take a 20-7 lead at halftime.

The Cougars were able to come out strong to start off the 2nd half. The Quakers were driving down the field but not until Hendri was able to get an interception to put a little momentum back in the Cougars favor. The offense was able to move the ball with the help of 2 first down runs by Sample and a 15-yard penalty on Moorestown. However they turned the ball over on downs around the Moorestown 20-yard line. The rest of the 3rd quarter would see no points and the score remained 20-7.

The 4th quarter was completely dominated by the Quakers. On their 2nd possession of the quarter, Airall was able to score another touchdown on a 45-yard pass by Zohlman. On their next drive, Rece Englehart was able to run it for a 10-yard touchdown. When the Cougars got the ball back on offense, Cohen threw a pick-6 to Josh Byrd on the 1st play of the drive. The final score would be 39-7.

Despite the loss, Daley felt that he was still able to take some positives out of the game.

“Ben Cohen showed that he is tough as nails, Mo Sample ran the ball well, and Freshman RB Isaiah Donaldson is going to be fun to watch for 4 years.”
The Cougars are back in action on Friday at Nottingham. Daley feels that despite the tough loss, he feels confident in his group to be able to bounce back and win their 1st game of the season.