HADDONFIELD – When asked his opinion of Anthony Seas, Paul VI High School football coach John Doherty shook his head and smiled.
“I love to watch him run,” Doherty said. “He reminds me of (former Bishop Eustace standout and 2007 graduate) Mike DiMaggio in that he has great vision, he’s always moving forward, always has his feet going and usually always gets positive yards.”
Doherty would certainly welcome the opportunity to have the junior running back on his team. Instead, Seas came up with a handful of tough plays and proved to be a major thorn in Doherty’s side as Kingsway upset the No. 11 Eagles 19-14 in a West Jersey Football League interdivision matchup Friday night.
“The kid is for real,” Kingsway coach Tony Barchuk said. “He keeps surprising me. The more I see him play … He runs low to the ground. He’s a ball of dynamite, a burning engine. He wants to do well and he wants to score.”
In the Courier-Post/S.J. Gridiron Gang Game of the Week, Seas scored all three touchdowns for the Dragons (4-3). He would cut the deficit to 7-6 with a 3-yard run with 6:32 left in the second quarter, while an 80-yard return of a botched field-goal attempt with 24 seconds left gave the visitors a 13-7 halftime lead.
Seas then scored what proved to be the game-winning touchdown on a highlight-reel run with just under five minutes to play in the game. He bulled his way through the line and raced 57 yards to paydirt.
“The biggest play was the missed field goal,” he said. “I had two guys in front of me. I got a great block and just went down the sideline.
“We knew not to put our heads down. We had to go hard. We knew they would make some big plays and just couldn’t let it get us down. We just had to keep playing football, and that’s what we did.”
Seas finished with 123 yards on 19 carries as Kingsway won its third straight.
Paul VI (5-2) cut its deficit on Matt Vitale’ 1-yard keeper with 2:12 remaining. But after getting the ball back with 1:08 to play, the Eagles could not complete a game-winning drive.
“We practiced hard all week,” said Kingsway senior defensive lineman Wale Mustafa, who blocked a punt and recorded a fourth-quarter sack among a number of strong plays. “We made some adjustments and took away their short passes in the second half. Forced into long passes, we got a rush on them. And we pretty much eliminated their run game.
“This means everything. The win is big for us and credit goes to everyone. It was a solid effort and we never flinched.”
For Paul VI, Vitale completed 21-of-35 passes for 234 yards. Lonnie Moore had seven catches for 123 yards, including a 17-yard TD in the opening quarter, while Stefone Moore-Green had 10 catches for 79 yards.
Chris Randle had 65 of the Eagles’ 9-0 rushing yards.
“We expected a tough, tight game,” Doherty said. “They kept us out of the red zone and we didn’t finish. We definitely made some mental mistakes.”
The schedule maker was certainly not kind to Kingsway, which played its fifth game against a ranked or previously ranked team. The Dragons’ three losses came at the hands of No. 2 Hammonton, No. 6 Williamstown and No. 7 Timber Creek, but it hasn’t deterred them in their quest to earn a South Jersey Group 5 playoff berth.
Friday’s victory could be enough to get in, with No. 4 Delsea next on their list of major opponents.
“Our schedule is ridiculous,” Barchuk said with a smile. “Every game is stressful, but it makes the kids work harder and the coaches work harder.
“To win a game like tonight – against a team of athletes – it’s a big deal for our kids. We knew we had to win at least one of our remaining two games (before the playoff cutoff) to get in. Tonight was a great accomplishment.”
Kevin Minnick; (856) 486-2424; email@example.com
KINGSWAY 19, PAUL VI 14
Player of the game: Junior running back Anthony Seas scored all three Kingsway touchdowns and rushed for 123 yards on 19 carries.
Play of the game: Seas returned a botched field-goal attempt 80 yards for a touchdown to help give Kingsway a 13-7 halftime lead.
Well said: “We usually start out a little slow. But our motto this year is to finish strong. That’s what we did.” – Anthony Seas
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