Miles Smith (#6) grinds out yards against Pemberton. Photo by Amanda Ruch Photography.
By Rich Fisher
Sep. 23: There is one rule of football that no one can argue with.
Teams cannot mount a comeback if they cannot score.
Pemberton learned that today when Steinert threw a 6-0 shutout against the visiting Hornets in a West Jersey Football League Patriot Division game. The Spartans used a second-quarter touchdown pass from Colin Smith to Miles Smith (no relation) for all the points necessary for their third straight win.
It was a marked difference from last year, when Pemberton rallied from deficits of 21-6 and 24-14 to take a 28-24 victory that put a huge crimp in Steinert’s playoff chances.
Things were a little different this time around, as Steinert’s defense held the Hornets to 156 yards of total offense in posting their second shutout in three games. After allowing 32 points in an opening-night loss at Middle Township, the Spartans have allowed just seven points in their winning streak.
Steinert (3-1) needed a big effort on D today is it gained just 151 yards of total offense, five less than Pemberton. The high-flying running back duo of Jordan Morrison and Xavier Thompson was held to 78 rushing yards.
But Steinert got all it needed with 3:49 left in the first half, when Colin found Brandon for a 39-yard TD pass, which was set up by Morrison’s 12-yard run.
Pemberton tried putting together a drive after that before the Spartans held and then ran out the clock. The second half would be goose eggs all around.
Coach Dan “The Florist” Caruso cited Miles Smith – who also had a big interception – Gehrig Rios, Jake Swindasz, Xavier Roman, Brendan James, Angelo Falvo and Nick Pasqua as all having big games for Bill James’ defensive unit.
“The defense as a whole played lights out football and really picked up the offense and special teams,” Caruso said. “It was great team defense and great preparation by coach James.”
The win puts the Spartans at 2-0 and in first place in the Patriot Division, with Allentown in second at 1-0. After a bye this week, Steinert returns to action at Princeton on Oct. 6.
Nicole “Kase” Caruso contributed to this story.