PINE HILL – The Foley twins, Jay and John, have played as teammates and have served as motivators and inspirations for each other for many years.
But it wasn’t until Saturday that the two Haddonfield High School juniors hooked up for their first touchdown connection as varsity players.
Jay, the team’s starting quarterback, threw a five-yard scoring pass to his brother in the second quarter.
It was first of three touchdown passes Jay through for the game, and it contributed to the Bulldawgs 38-20 win over Overbrook in a West Jersey Football League Colonial Division game.
According to John Foley, the two have connected for a number of touchdowns playing at lower levels of football. But Saturday’s score was John’s first touchdown as a varsity player.
“Every touchdown is special no matter what level you’re playing, to me at least,” John said. “Just going forward it’s nice to know that we can continue this bond – the linkups we’ve had. In the house it will give us some confidence and on the field it will give us some confidence.”
For his part, Jay was more interested in putting the points on the board than who accomplished the feat.
“I just felt like it was good that we scored,” he said. “It felt good, but it really wasn’t any different to throwing a touchdown to any of our other guys. Hopefully it will be the first of many.”
That sentiment was echoed by coach Frank Delano.
“You hope this is just the beginning for them, but you have to worry about the next snap and the next play,” he said. “I give the credit to them. These are two really good kids who work extremely hard and they’ve put themselves in a situation to be successful and to help our team.”
The brothers grew up in a football family. Their father Glenn is a former star player at Cherry Hill East who went on to play for Boston College and then for six seasons in the NFL.
Both brothers talked about the chemistry they shared growing up together over the years.
“Just basically he knows where I am and I know where he is at all times,” John Foley said. “So that linkup is good. It helps us on the field and every other aspect of life.”
Jay Foley’s other touchdown passes went to Drew Gavranvich. One covered nine yards in the second quarter, and the other went for for 32 yards as the Bulldawgs pulled away in the fourth quarter.
Jay also ran for a touchdown, and Nick Patrizi added a touchdown run to a diverse offense that pretty much controlled the momentum of the game.
A lot of the credit for that had to go to Jay Foley, who did a good job of mixing things up and keeping the Overbrook defense off balance.
“His reads are coming along,” Delano said. “You hear this at all levels, but the game has got to slow down for him and he’s not there yet. It’s not perfect but he’s working at it.”
For his part, Jay was more than willing to spread the credit around for the balanced offense the Bulldawgs were able to execute.
“Obviously our offensive line should get the credit for all the passing yards and how many rushing yards we got,” he said. “Our running backs, you can’t give enough credit to them, either. There’s a lot of talent back there.”
The Bulldawgs took command of the game early when they opened a 21-0 lead in the second quarter.
Patrizi got the scoring started with a three-yard scoring run, followed by the Foley hookup for their touchdown.
Jay Foley’s second touchdown pass of the game a 9-yarder to Gavranich extended the lead TO 31-13.
Xavier Martin got Overbrook on the board late in the first half, but the Rams never put together a serious challenge.
Erick Riley scored two touchdowns for the Rams in the second half, the later coming with only 1:42 to play in the game.
West Jersey League
Haddonfield 7 14 3 14 -38
Overbrook 0 6 7 7 -20
H: Nick Patrizi 3 run (Henry Grozier kick)
H: John Foley 5 pass from Jay Foley (Grozier kick)
H: Drew Gavranich 9 pass from Jay Foley (Grozier kick)
O: Xavier Martin 1 run (KF)
H: Grozier 34 field goal
O: Erick Riley 1 run (Jagger Pinto kick)
H: Gavranich 32 pass from Jay Foley (Grozier kick)
H: Jay Foley 1 run (Grozier kick)
O: Riley 9 run (Pinto kick)