Township falls 35-28 to Kingsway in double overtime


Al Amrhein, NJ Advance Media

Quamir Land celebrating after his touchdown catch, his first of the season.

Thomas Tait '22, Editor-in-Chief

The Washington Township varsity football team lost 35-28 to Kingsway in double overtime this past Friday, bringing their record on the season to 1-1.

The Minutemen made the 30-minute drive to Woolwich Township with aspirations of continuing their impressive start to the season. In some ways, this goal was accomplished, despite the loss.

The game started off slow, with Kingsway missing a field goal and both sides playing strong defense. Outside of a 73-yard touchdown pass from Kingsway QB Ben Maiers to WR Steve Maiers, both defenses held strong, leading to a 7-0 conclusion to the 1st half.

Once the second half kicked off, the entire game changed.

Township opened with an almost seven-minute long drive that concluded with a 32-yard passing touchdown from Senior QB Liam Friel to Junior RB Jo’Nathan Silver. The following Kingsway drive ended the 3rd quarter, but they were stopped on a 4th and 8, giving Township the ball once again. It only took three plays for Township to go 64 yards; a big Silver run and a great throw from Friel to Junior WR/DB Quamir Land for 24 yards gave the Minutemen a 14-7 lead.

Following the 14-point run from Washington Township, the defense forced a quick Kingsway three-and-out, just for the Minutemen offense to give the ball right back on a fumble. Kingsway continued the momentum shift with a 36-yard touchdown from Maiers to WR Trevor Shorter. A blocked extra-point attempt kept Township on top 14-13.

Following a big punt return by Kingsway, setting them up on the Township 14, a 10-yard throw from Maiers to Sly Van Morter (and a complete two-point attempt) gave the Dragons a 21-14 lead with 4:45 left in the game.

Township’s first attempt to tie the game was ended abruptly by an interception, with hope only being recovered by a Minutemen fumble recovery. Junior Nah’mere Graves ran it in nine yards to tie up the game at 21.

The second half concluded after both teams chewed clock for the last two minutes. And the game headed to overtime.

Overtime rules dictate that both teams get a chance to score, with their drive starting from the opposing 25-yard line. After each team gets their opportunity, the team with the most points wins. If the game is still tied, another period is played.

The first overtime period saw both teams take full advantage of their chances, with both Township (25-yard run by Jo’Nathan Silver) and Kingsway (5-yard run by Darrell Brown Jr.) scoring touchdowns and making the extra-point.

Kingsway got the ball first for the second overtime period and scored off a 2-yard run from DJ DiPietro. On the ensuing Township possession, the offense couldn’t get anything going, and their drive ended with a strip-sack on 4th down. Kingsway won 35-28.

Despite the loss, Township didn’t look bad. The offenses’ ineffectiveness throughout the first half was covered for by a strong defensive performance, shutting down the Dragon offense throughout most of the half (outside of the long touchdown). And once the offense did get going, they limited serious mistakes and were able to both run and pass effectively; even more effectively than they did in last week’s win against Shawnee.

Friday’s game saw another big performance from RB Jo’Nathan Silver, going for another 2 TDs, bringing his total to four on the season. Quamir Land and Nah’mere Graves both added another touchdown each. Jaden Allen put in an impact performance on defense, wreaking havoc throughout the game. Liam Friel improved from last week’s performance, still turning the ball over too much, but looking sharper in the redzone and making better decisions with his throws.

Even though the game ended in a heartbreaking loss, Township still seems to be continuing their upward trajectory of development this season. They look to rebound next week against Winslow on Saturday, October 24th at 7:00 p.m.