JUST A FEW MORE STEPS -Bob The "Flyman" Filer runs 54 yards..TD!
By Bruce Darrow
The Gloucester Lion's this season have fought through many injuries from several dislocated shoulders to broken wrist to numerous other broken bones. On the sidelines trainer Mic Mc Laughlin along with Dr Carl Vitola tend to the players as they sit in pain, only for these players to ask these men to hurry so they can return to the field.
But not included in this medical staff is a cardiologist. A heart doctor is not needed for the players who remain composed but for the parents and fans of the 21st century cardiac kids.
A team full of young men, who probably never heard of the cardiac kids, has provided much unanticipated excitement for the Gloucester faithful. Even though each game has provided a full 48 minutes of heart thumping enjoyment, a warning should be posted upon entering that if you cannot handle a wild ride then watching this year's Lion's could be hazardous to your heart. There will be a lot of twist and turns on this ride.
Pennsville entered the Lion's field with a swagger provided by NJ.com, an on line forum which gave the Lion's no hope of winning because as many of the Pennsville posters stated "The best Pennsville team in 40 years would beat a down Gloucester team".
Early on Pennsville (4-1) and the Lion's (3-2) tested each other's strengths and weaknesses. In the first quarter the Lion's missed two golden opportunities when quarterback Steve Goad tossed passes to a wide open Brain Collins who mishandled both sure touchdowns for an innocent incomplete pass.
In the second quarter, Pennsville provided the Lion's with a couple of fumbles but the Lion's were still unable to mount any drives. Despite the fumbles Pennsville put together a second quarter drive to take a 7 – 0 lead. The Lion's only second quarter threat was stopped at the Pennsville 6" line. With the stop Pennsville's touchdown would hold up through the end of the half.
After a Homecoming Halftime in which Britney Boulden was crowned Queen, the Lion's learned that running back Adam Dick would not be able to return to action. The Lion's staff turned to another game plan that would feature Kyle Stewart at running back along with Guy Aliamo and Ian Harter. And the passing threat of receiver "Flyman" Robert Filer.
After another lost Pennsville fumble the Lion's went to the "Flyman" Filer with 2:09 remaining in the 3rd quarter who took a Goad pass 54 yards into the end zone to tie the score at 7 – 7 after a Frank Heitman kick.
With 1:28 remaining in the third Jeremy Collins returned another Pennsville fumble 46 yards for a touchdown and a 14 – 7 lead. The score would hold until another Filer 26 yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter gave the Lion's 20 – 7 lead with only 2:08 remaining in the game.
Photo: Jeremy Collins celebrates after scoring a TD on a interception. Congratulating him are #Michael Becker and #32 Michael Beese
This season after all has been one of remarkable comebacks. So as your heart begins to pump harder this lead of only 13 points is nothing to worry about RIGHT? No lead is safe in Gloucester. Pennsville goes to the air and with under 2 minutes remaining in the game scores what appears to be a meaningless touchdown closing the gap at 20 – 13..
NOW start looking for the defibulator as Pennsville needed an onside kick recovery for any hope of winning. The onside kick was nearly recovered by Pennsville when Gloucester bobbled the ball before recovering at the Lion's 45 yard line.
With only 1: 26 remaining in the game a couple of running plays or kneel downs by the Lions would end all this excitement. The Lion's used a couple of running plays designed to run out the clock. Then (Remember to miracle of the Meadowlands) Lion's runner Guy Aliamo took a handoff and fumbled at mid field and Pennsville recovered and took possession with 0:40 remaining. No problem we are winning 20 – 13. RIGHT!
Call the EMT's, one Pennsville pass fell incomplete and another pass completion down to the Lion's 28 yard line. WE ARE IN GOOD SHAPE ONLY! 0:26 REMAINING. Do these Lion's players understand what is going on? No Problem! Another pass completion to the Lion's 12 yard line with 0:17 remaining. THIS IS A PROBLEM! Our boys are now 15 yards away from their coach's and 12 yards away from a lose.
Where's Dr. Vitola? Check these Lion's player for a pulse. They are not showing any nervousness. Check your heart beat as the next pass is incomplete at the 2 yard line. With 0:12 remaining from the 12 yard line a throw back across field was nearly intercepted by the Lion's Brett Darrow and resulted in an incomplete pass.0:02 remains.
This gave Pennsville one last chance. Do I see McCann's – Healy pulling into the field? Can the fans take another week of this? Why don't these players feel what we are experiencing on the side? Do these players have Ice in their veins?
Fourth and goal Pennsville with only one play left needs a pass into the end zone. As Ryan Karr breaks the huddle the Lion fan's gather near the goal line breathless. This can't be healthy!
With only 2 ticks remaining Karr drops to pass. Karr avoids a rush looked into the end zone. As players on the sidelines cheer, Karr looks and looks, 21 other players jam the end zone. The anticipation mounts as Karr floats a pass into the end zone. Gloucester defender Jeremy Collins broke towards the tight end. Behind Collins in the end zone was the receiver Karr was looking for. Can 0:02 really be taking this looong. As Karr's pass falls incomplete, the blood pressure returns to normal, the mothers pull their heads up from their hands and the players on the sidelines celebrate yet another heart pounding Lion's win.
De we dare to travel to Salem next week without a paramedic? Can our hearts handle another game like this? Can these boys be really this cool? YES, YES and YES. In the end could it be any more fun? Oh what a ride. Here we come Salem.
PHOTOS BY BRUCE DARROW (SEE PHOTO GALLERY )