Marc Narducci: Pennsville uses ground game to beat Salem Read more: Watch sports videos you won't find anywhere else

10. září 2012 v 5:17
At least for openers, Pennsville's football team took a much different route to the end zone, but the Eagles didn't forget how to land there.
This was a team that went 10-2 last season and advanced to the South Jersey Group 1 final before falling to Glassboro.
With junior Dylan Cummings returning at quarterback after throwing 35 touchdown passes last season, Eagles followers had many pass-happy thoughts.
This might be a new-look Pennsville team, but one that certainly is capable of getting the job done, as evidenced by Saturday's 34-28 win over host Salem in the opening game for both West Jersey Football League Classic Division teams.
Pennsville scored four of its five touchdowns on the ground.
He rushed for 169 yards and two touchdowns on - get this - 35 carries. The mad bomber from last year attempted only 18 passes, completing 8 for 166 yards and a touchdown.
So is Air Pennsville a thing of the past?
Not really.
The Eagles can still chuck it in their no-huddle offense. It's just that even though they returned seven starters on offense, they lost some key receivers.
"We are still trying to figure out who we are," Pennsville coach Ryan Wood said.
It must be nice to be able to do the figuring while scoring one touchdown after another.
Wood has adapted to his personnel. He has great depth on the offensive line, using six players in the five spots, which came in handy on a muggy day.
Those linemen were juniors Steve Collins (6-foot-1, 225 pounds), Kyle Colletti (5-9, 220), Tim Esham (6-3, 215), Cody Dooley (6-1, 300), and Kane Hiles (6-0, 265), and senior Thomas Friant (6-1, 190).
Cummings actually bulked up for the season. The program lists him at 6-0 and 170 pounds, but he confessed to being 5-10 and 156 - still more than 20 pounds heavier than last year.
"He worked like a beast in the weight room," said 5-7, 145-pound receiver Drew Burdsall, another undersize player capable of doing plenty of damage.
Burdsall caught five passes for 140 yards and a 73-yard touchdown, scored on a 7-yard run, and hit four conversion kicks. He also was a force in the secondary, and after the game didn't appear to be gasping for breath.
"We worked hard in the offseason for days like this," he said.
Pennsville had to be on its game to beat a talented Salem team that was 5-5 and lost to eventual South Jersey Group 1 champion Glassboro, 28-24, in the playoffs.
The Rams have speed to burn, and sophomore Dione "Fats" Alston showed it by scoring on a 99-yard run and then increasing the Rams' lead to 12-0 with an 84-yard interception return.
By the way, Alston is 5-8 and 160 pounds and earned the moniker because he was a chubby baby, although he long ago burned off that baby fat.
While Pennsville's strength is in its junior class, Salem has sophomores such as Alston and quarterback Levi Shockley to build around.
"We didn't let the cat out of the bag this summer, but we are talented," Salem coach Randy Johnson said.
The cat is now out.
Both teams wore down in the second half, and that's when Pennsville unleashed junior running back Eric "Bullet" Bundy, one of three players who had to sit out the first half for what Wood said was a violation of team rules.


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