Saturday, November 10, 2012

Allentown routs Hightstown in playoff prelude


ROBBINSVILLE – Gaining all the momentum it will need heading into the Central Jersey playoffs next week, once-beaten Allentown scored touchdowns on its first five possessions on Saturday night.
Jay Graber’s Redbirds certainly looked like a team with a solid chance to win a sectional title when it routed Hightstown, 42-7, last night in a game played at the neutral Robbinsville High stadium because Allentown’s field was covered by snow and the game had to be postponed Friday.
With the win, 8-1 Allentown completed its best regular season ever. It will debut in the playoffs next Saturday night, hosting an opponent to be announced by the NJSIAA on Sunday.
It’s the second year in a row Allentown will host a first-round game. Last season, when it made the playoffs for the first time in school history, it played Neptune in the first round and lost in overtime. Neptune went on to win the C.J. III crown by beating Steinert.
Bouncing back from their only loss of the season – two weeks earlier at Notre Dame  the Redbirds could do whatever they wanted. They dominated on both sides of the ball to hand Pete Brescia’s Rams their worst drubbing of the season.
Allentown certainly didn’t look like a team coming off a 15-day layoff as it held Hightstown to minus 12 yards rushing in the first half and just 6 passing.
On offense, the Redbirds were spreading the ball all over. Four different players found the end zone. Tyler Morales got there on an 11-yard pass from Nick Palladino, Mark Duffy on a 9-yard pass from Palladino, while Frank Juba scored on a 1-yard run and Norman Williams on a 5-yard run.
Williams was 11 for 71 rushing in the first half and Palladino 10 for 17 passing for 113 yards.
When Davone Thomas intercepted a Rams pass two plays into the second half, it took the Redbirds just three plays to score and put the mercy rule in effect with a 35-0 lead 2:02 into the second half.
Thomas became the fifth different player to reach the end zone when he scored on a 4-yard run three plays after his interception. Later in the third period, junior Ed Rittenhouse scored on a 24 yard run as Graber emptied his bench.
Kevin Lenart saved Hightstown from being shut out when he caught a 5-yard pass from Dustin Kollman during a stretch when the Rams’ sophomore QB hit on four straight passes for 66 yards.
Hightstown (2-7)   0  0  7  0 -- 7Allentown (8-1)  7  21  14  -- 42   
A – Morales 11 from Palladino (Coln kick)A -  Duffy 9 pass fom Palladino (Coln kick)A – Juba 1 run (Coln kick)A – Williams 5 run (Coln kick)A – Thomas 29 run (Coln kick)H – Lenart 6 pass fom Kollman (Boccanneuga kick)A – Rittenhouse 24 run (Coln kick)


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