The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The battle for the boot: Cherry Hill East vs. Cherry Hill West showdown

Photo by Jordan Keats (’26)
Running back Denzel Lee (’25) running down the field in attempt for a touchdown

On Thursday, October 26th, Cherry Hill High School East’s varsity football team suffered a disappointing loss by a single point in double overtime with a final score of 29-28 to crosstown rival, Cherry Hill High School West.

Starting strong, East wide receiver Isaiah Donaldson (‘25) scored a touchdown in the first play of the first quarter, giving East the upper hand early on. “We wanted the boot to be ours, we wanted their winning streak to be over, and we were hungry since the off-season,” said Donaldson.

By halftime, West was winning 14-7, but East was not ready to give up just yet. With an energetic crowd of supportive students and parents energizing the team, the players were motivated to keep going. East running back Denzel Lee (‘25), with the top rushing and receiving yards for the team, scored a touchdown in the third quarter to tie the game.

Going into the fourth quarter, fans were on edge. After last year’s loss of 54-13 to West, many East fans were eager to watch a closely matched game. Toward the end of the quarter, West wide receiver Jordan Berrios (‘25) scored a touchdown, putting West in the lead. With less than a minute left in the quarter, East tight end Jaxon Bowman (‘25) scored a touchdown to tie the score, bringing them to overtime.

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As overtime began, the East players seemed to be getting tired. Donaldson admitted on behalf of the team, “I feel like the last drive was when we all got gassed and were tired, but I feel we all should have just like persevered and pushed through that time.”

Despite their effort, neither team scored in the first overtime. However, in the second overtime, Lee scored his second touchdown of the game for East, putting them in the lead. Unfortunately for East, with little time left, West responded with another touchdown. Instead of going for the extra point to tie the game, West gambled and decided to try a two point conversion, ultimately securing the lead and their win.

Cherry Hill East team huddling up during the game (Photo by Jordan Keats (’26))

Many East players expressed their appreciation for all the students who showed up to the game, “We all tell each other, at the end of the day it’s football. We all play the sport to love the sport. No matter what the outcome is, no matter what happened, we all enjoyed playing the game. We all did our jobs and did what we were supposed to do, it’s just sometimes it doesn’t come out the way you want it to come out and that’s what happened,” said Lee.

East head coach Tyler Drob spoke on behalf of the team as for their hopes for next year. “We just need to continue to take the next step. The comparison from this past season, obviously we lost by a lot last year, we kind of closed that,” said Coach Drob. “For next season, we expect to take the next step. Our goal is to win every game. Just [go] game by game. So we’re looking forward to it.”

Prior to the game, there were complications. The original date for the game was October 13 but had to be postponed due to conflicts in school regarding current global affairs. As released on the district website, “We acknowledge that this change may come as a disappointment to many, but please understand that this decision has been reached after thorough deliberation, with the utmost concern for the present circumstances and the well-being of the entire Cherry Hill community. Your understanding and support are greatly appreciated as we navigate these challenging times.”

Due to the change, East altered the date of the fall pep rally to coincide with game day. Coach Drob and players felt that this got more students to come out to support the team and add to the players’ energy.

The hard work that the East football team put in during the offseason was evident in the level of play they brought to the game by keeping the score close throughout. Despite the loss, the team knew they worked hard and improved over last year’s performance, and will continue training with the aim of bringing the boot back to the East side.

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    DenzelNov 14, 2023 at 10:09 pm