Maybe in September an early touchdown would have been a bigger obstacle to overcome, but with a few games under its belt, a young St. Joseph High School football team bounced back in a big way in its latest win.
It also helps that the Wildcats can lean on athletic quarterback Salaam Horne, who is one of only a few seniors starting.
The team wasn’t phased by giving up the opening kickoff against host Mainland, as Horne and the Wildcats stormed to a 48-24 win in Linwood on Oct. 23. The Wildcats have won two straight games, and have won four of five games to improve to 5-2.
“It’s a tough place to play, it’s a great atmosphere and it was a great night, and the weather was perfect,” St. Joseph coach Paul Sacco said. “We elected to play defense first and thought it was the right thing to do, but wow, you look up and we are down 7-0. But we drove right down the field and scored.”
After Mainland’s Kobe Roberts electrified the home crowd by returning the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown, St. Joseph went to work on offense, getting its ground game going.
The Wildcats tied the game, as A’Laam Horne scored the first of two touchdowns on the team’s first drive. Twin brother Salaam Horne, who finished with 228 yards in the ground, then followed with a 56-yard touchdown run to give St. Joseph the lead for good.
The Wildcats quarterback also scored touchdown runs of 64, 53, and 32 yards.
“We were able to put some points in the board and our quarterback had a great night,” Sacco said.
Salaam Horne’s 64-yard touchdown run put the Wildcats ahead 28-17 at halftime. He and the Wildcats put the game away in the third quarter by scoring two more times.
St. Joseph rushed for more than 350 yards in the game, as Qwahsin Townsel added 65 yards, A’Laam Horne gained 58 and Keagan Harvin recorded 48.
“I thought the offensive line, for the most part, had one of their better nights,” Sacco said.
The Wildcats’ DeAndre Kennedy return a fumble 60 yards for a score in the fourth quarter. Elijah Hardee registered two sacks and added a fumble recovery. Teammate Brad Lomax had one sack.
St. Joseph next hosts Egg Harbor Township on Halloween afternoon before traveling to Ocean City the following week.