Schenley (8-1) avenged the Brashear (7-3) team that put a 30-point victory against them back on Sept.18. With the 14-2 victory over the Bulls Nov. 6, they now advance to the City League finals to face Oliver (8-1) Nov. 13.
In the wake of such a successful year for the Spartans, they had to face some adversity to get there.
|DEFENSIVE STANDOUT— Shane Phillips of Oliver grabs Perry quarterback Greg McGhee before he can release a pass as the Bears defeated the Commodores 10-6 to earn a spot in the title game this Friday.
“Over the span of four years, with the announcing of the closing of the school, these kids have had to endure so much,” said Schenley’s head coach Jason Bell. “There have been so many negatives that our kids have had to face. This has forced them to come together and that is exactly what they’ve done. Our kids are a group. They mesh really well and really care about on another.”
Four-year starter, Jerome Mathews, drew first blood in the second quarter on a 19-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. He also made a key play in the end zone on defense to force a turnover on downs for the Bulls deep in Schenley territory.
“He’s matured so much,” said Bell. “He is a very intelligent football player; his IQ for the sport is absolutely amazing.”
|SENIOR LEADER—Jerome Mathews of Schenley goes into the end zone for six points against Brashear. Mathews also intercepted a pass in the game.
Since a week one 7-0 loss to Perry, Brashear has scored at least one touchdown in each of its following games until this one. Senior quarterback Henri Chatman completed five of 16 passes for 119 yards and two interceptions in a game in which the Bulls had a few clear opportunities to score.
“We missed several opportunities to get in a good position to win this one,” said Brashear’s head coach Rick Murphy. “However, they capitalized on our mistakes and they were able to pull off the win.”
One of those missed opportunities for the Bulls was a 38-yard field goal attempt by Cody Magliocca. Also, Schenley’s Shawn Davis picked off a Chatman pass at the Schenley six-yard line and pretty much put things away for the Spartans.
“It’s been a battle all year,” said Bell. “As I mentioned earlier in the season, I thought that the League was wide open. There have been close matchups all year, which says all lot about all of our athletes here in the City.”
In joining the Spartans in “the promised land,” the Bears ousted their North Side rival Perry (7-3), 10-6, to proceed to their first title game since winning it all in the 2006-07 season.
A late turnover committed by Perry’s junior quarterback Greg McGhee solidified the win for Oliver as defensive back Shakil Brown came up with an interception with two minutes left in the game. However, McGhee cut the lead to its final score with 4:33 remaining in the game. He rushed for 75 total yards in the losing effort.
Oliver’s quarterback, Dante Jeter, passed for 109 yards; in which three of those passes went to running back Martise Smith for 105 yards. The Oliver touchdown came on a fourth and 8 on the Perry 17. Jeter found Smith on a slant route that Smith took across the middle and into the end zone. Jeter ran in the two-point conversion to make the game 10-0, just before the game was called for 35 minutes due to a lightning flash.
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(D.W. Howze can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)