In what was easily the most entertaining, yet heartbreaking game of the year, on Friday night Allentown pulled off a miracle finish to win at Hopewell 54-48. In a game with scoring that resembled basketball, the action was similar to having the score being tied four times with four lead changes; no lead was safe.
Finally, it was Allentown’s Dan Merkel who broke the hearts of the Hopewell faithful with a game winning run as time ran out. Merkel had 290 yards of rushing by himself and scored 4 touchdowns. Parker Schloss and Aiden Benjamin scored 2 touchdowns for the Redbirds.
As lethal as Allentown was on the ground, Hopewell was nearly as lethal through the air. Sophomore Tim McKeown passed for 304 yards and four touchdowns. McKeown also rushed for two short touchdowns. Devin Higgins hauled in three touchdowns and 208 yards receiving. Dylan Eng rushed for 170 yards and a touchdown. Jake Lengle scored for the Bulldogs too.
This was the final game of the season for both teams. The Bulldogs finished 1-7 and Allentown wrapped up at 2-7.
On Sunday, the CHS Girls Varsity soccer team won NJSIAA Central West B tournament!
As a result of beating Steinert on Friday afternoon, 3-0, the girls earned the opportunity to host Somerville (12-4) for NJSIAA Central West B final game. Hopewell Valley was the top seed with a record of 12-1. They also were the superior team on Sunday afternoon winning 3-1.
Hopewell Valley scored two early goals by Emily Denero and Sarah Yancey. Somerville’s Caitlin Scott got a rebound goal to close the gap to one that remained until about the nine minutes remaining, when Lara Paolini cashed in to give Bulldogs the insurance they needed to close out the game.
In other news, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, the governing body for all high school sports in the State, released its highly anticipated guidance for winter sports on November 19.
Under these rules, all competition is deferred until 2021. Ice hockey may begin practicing on December 14, 2020, with games beginning January 4. This decision was based upon contractual obligations for ice time. All other sports may not begin practicing until 2021. Basketball, fencing, and bowling can begin practicing January 11, with competition beginning January 26. Swimming and winter track and field can begin practicing February 1, with competition beginning February 16. Gymnastics, Volleyball and Wrestling are deferred until March 1, with competition beginning March 16.
Thus, all winter sports will have roughly a six week period of competition. There will be no NJSIAA-sponsored post-season play for any winter sports, but participating leagues and conferences will have the option to host tournaments. Schools are prohibited from hosting or traveling to an out of state competition. Limitations on persons attending competitions remain in place, so as a practical matter there will be no spectators allowed.
The NJSIAA Sports AdvisoryTask Force will release updated guidance for spring sports by December 11, 2020. At this time, it is anticipated that the spring sports season will most likely extend until June.
For more information, visit https://www.njsiaa.org/sites/default/files/documents/2020-11/return-to-play-season-2-season-3.pdf
Thanks to MercerMe contributors Paul Domboski, who submitted both articles and photos for football and soccer, and Tracy Vogler, who manages the Monday Sports Roundup and submitted the information about winter sports.
In the feature photo, Dylan Eng turns the edge against Allentown.