HAMMONTON The St. Joseph High School football team didn’t panic.
When the Wildcats found themselves in a very rare close game at Bill Bendig Memorial Field on Sept. 26, they stayed pretty calm.
And they eventually took down Millville 13-7 in an exciting overtime thriller.
“No panic,” senior running back A’laam Horne said. “We knew they were a great team coming in, they have a great defense. We kind of expected this. We kind of expected this was going to be a tough game in between the tackles, but we dug down and got the win.”
It was Horne’s 5-yard touchdown run in the overtime period that was the game-winner.
After Millville (1-2) got the ball first in overtime, the Wildcats (2-1) stopped them and forced a 44-yard field goal that the Thunderbolts missed.
On St. Joseph’s drive, A’laam Horne got the ball on three of the four plays — Salaam Horne got the ball on the other — and drove into the end zone for the walk-off win.
“It was a very exciting game,” A’laam Horne said. “At the end, I told my O-line to get me to the second level and make the plays. I knew I had to get in. I knew I had to break at least one tackle to get in and my line got a good push. I just put my head down.”
A’laam Horne finished with a game-high 139 yards on 25 carries. Salaam Horne had 54 yards on 12 carries.
The Wildcats finished with just 212 total yards of offense and their 13 points was their lowest total since Sept. 15, 2012.
St. Joseph’s first touchdown came after a 14-play, 74-yard drive that spanned more than seven minutes to start the second quarter.
A’laam Horne capped that drive with a 1-yard touchdown dive. That was the only score in the game at halftime.
Millville scored on its first possession in the second half after starting on its own 35. That drive featured 57 yards through the air from Millville quarterback Will Polhamus, who finished with 181 passing yards in the contest.
The Wildcats had a chance to end the game in regulation when Salaam Horne intercepted Polhamus for a pick-6, but a targeting call away from the play brought the score back.
St. Joseph will host Vineland on Oct. 3 at 3 p.m.
Dave Zangaro; (856) 563-5255; firstname.lastname@example.org