Conwell-Egan Falls to Holy Spirit at Ocean City’s Battle at the Beach

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Phil Myers | August 28, 2023


Playing the third game on the third day of Ocean City’s Battle at the Beach Classic, Conwell-Egan fell to Holy Spirit from Absecon, NJ 24-7.  “We couldn’t get anything going and had our backs against the wall by falling behind.  That’s not good,” said Jack Techtmann Conwell-Egan’s head coach.  The Spartan defense was very Spartan-like in limiting Egan’s offense to one big play, getting a safety, and forcing a pair of turnovers that the offense converted into scores.  Holy Spirit’s offense did what it had to do as it scored on the opening drive of the game and the two opportunities when the Eagles turned the ball over.

Holy Spirit came out in a power I and drove 65 yards in 14 plays to score the game’s first points when quarterback Ty Costabile found a wide-open Matt Abbott for a 10-yard touchdown.  It was the only pass thrown of those 14 plays.  The drive took almost 9 minutes off the clock.  Holy Spirit’s game MVP, junior Jahcere Ward, ran 8 times for 48 yards on that drive.  Jahcere is 5’9″ and weighs 225 pounds.  Built like a human bowling ball, Jahcere rushed for 108 yards on 28 carries for the game, scoring once for the navy blue and gold clad Spartans.

QB Stephen Tryon is dropped for a safety by two Holy Spirit tacklers. Isaiah Johnson is #61 for the Eagles.

Seconds after Holy Spirit scored, Spartan Nolan Bradley tackled CEC’s quarterback, Stephen Tryon, in the end zone for a safety to give Holy Spirit a 9-0 advantage.  After that first drive, the Eagle defense played superb football, allowing Holy Spirit barely over 110 yards the rest of the game.  “Yes, the defense played tough,” stated Techtmann.  CEC stopped Spirit’s next possession and took over on their five after a nice punt by the Spartans.  Sam Cooper gave Conwell-Egan a spark on offense on the first play.  He proceeded to rip off a beautiful 95-yard touchdown run that put his team back into the game.  Down 9-7 with only 21 tics gone in the second quarter it seemed like the momentum had switched.

Cooper is off to the races on his 95-yard touchdown run.

However, Holy Spirit was not deterred and marched from their 38 to the Eagle one-yard line eating up over 8 minutes of time.  Twice in the red zone the Eagles of Egan were called for penalties that kept Spirit’s drive alive.  Once after an interception.  More on that later.  In the end Conwell-Egan stopped the Spartans at the one.  Then facing a third down at the one, the Eagles tried a hook and ladder pass.  It would have worked too and might have gone for a 99-yard touchdown except for one thing.  The pass appeared to be dropped.  The referees, though, ruled it a complete pass and a fumble that Holy Spirit recovered at the 8.  Ward scored on a third down 9-yard run with only 15 seconds remaining to give the Spartans a 16-7 lead at intermission.

Not much happened in the second half until late in the game when Conwell-Egan fumbled a punt that led to the last score of the game by Holy Spirit when Costabile found Ty Mercado open for a one-yard score to cap their second 8-yard drive.  The Spartans held Conwell-Egan to 120 yards of offense and 95 of that came on one play.  In fact, the Eagles only ran 9 total plays in the first half.  Sam Cooper was the game MVP for Conwell-Egan based on his 95-yard run and a pass interception that he almost turned into a 103-yard pick six.  He was tripped up by the last man near midfield.  The play was negated by a penalty anyway, so it wouldn’t have counted.  That was during the drive Conwell-Egan held Holy Spirit on the one near the end of the first half.  Techtmann’s final comment was, “We have things to work on.”  Conwell-Egan (0-1) plays Kensington (0-1) this Friday at home.

Sam Cooper on the left and Jahcere Ward on the right were the respective MVPs of their teams.


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