DELRAN-- Dylan Sturtevant’s interception return for a touchdown turned out to be the top highlight from Holy Cross Prep Academy’s 29-19 win over Gloucester Catholic on Thursday.
However, it was far from the last play the senior linebacker and his defensive teammates had to make in the West Jersey Football League opener.
Sturtevant handed the Lancers a 17-point lead, but it wasn’t the last big play they had to make to fend off a surge from the visiting Rams.
“It’s important, but at the end of the day, you have to keep making plays,” Sturtevant said. “It put us up by 10, but it was the beginning of the fourth quarter. You still have to keep grinding. It’s hot out here and we have a lot of young kids. Just gotta go hard on every play. The last play is the last play. You have to look forward to the next one.”
On the drive after Sturtevant’s pick six, the Rams attempted to spring a comeback through running back Da’Shaun Harris, who sprinted 71 yards to the end zone for his second rushing score of the contest.
The Lancers defense withstood a late surge on Gloucester Catholic’s next drive, as the Rams used 16 plays in an attempt to reach the end zone again.
The Rams didn’t get past the Holy Cross 47 due to a few stops by the Lancers front seven and self-inflicted mistakes.
Holy Cross Prep’s defensive stand shut the door on the Rams and allowed it to finish off the game behind quarterback Andrew Paolini.
Paolini and running back Jack Fusco anchored the Lancers’ offense on Thursday after a few adjustments were made by the Holy Cross coaching staff.
With Nasir Abney receiving more attention, the Lancers opened up their offense, which resulted in touchdown runs by Paolini and Fusco.
“Defenses are going to line up to stop certain things so it takes a little bit to figure out what they’re giving you,” Holy Cross Prep head coach Frank Holmes said. “They were set to shut down the two-back stuff with our halfback. He got a little, but that opened up other things. We could run Andrew a little bit. We could do some misdirection and run it with Jack. I think we spread it around well.”
Paolini threw for 83 yards and ran for 48 more, while Fusco added 84 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
“Andrew’s the heart of our team,” Sturtevant said. “He’s a great leader. Defense just needs to back him up. He’s going to get us down field. He’s going to score us points. We just have to keep (the opponents) under us and behind us and let him do his thing.”
Danny Kay kicked three field goal for Cross, who take its 1-0 record to Bordentown next Friday for a Week 1 matchup.
“The first win means everything,” Sturtevant said. “We have so many young kids. Our first win means everything, but by no means are we done. We’re going to keep coming out here and keep doing our thing and look forward to next week.”