CHERRY HILL--- The Boot won’t be moving location for at least another year.
Cherry Hill West won the 50th edition of its Thanksgiving rivalry with Cherry Hill East 22-7 on Wednesday night .
The Lions used a pair of touchdown passes from Nick Arcaroli to Johnny Ioannucci and a long touchdown scamper from Carlos Gomez to down the Cougars.
In addition to winning The Boot, the Lions earned a share of the West Jersey Football League National Division crown.
“We had our mind set on a bigger goal, the conference championship,” Gomez said. “We had two goals coming in. We wanted both The Boot and the conference championship. I’m just glad we were able to accomplish both.”
“It means everything,” Arcaroli said. “We’re conference champs. It feels great to win six straight (games against Cherry Hill East).”
The confidence flew through the roof on the Lions sideline after Arcaroli hit Ioannucci on a 40-yard touchdown pass on West’s opening drive.
“(We felt confident) right after our first drive when we scored the first touchdown on the swing,” Arcaroli said. “Getting in the end zone first means everything, especially on the first drive. It felt great.”
The second celebration on the away sideline at Cherry Hill West, where the Lions resided since East was the home team, was sparked by a 20-yard connection between Arcaroli and Ioannucci.
“Every year we’re away we just want to take it right back,” Arcaroli said. “We hate it when they’re over there. We want to be on our sideline in our home.”
The standout moment from West’s sixth straight rivalry victory came in the third quarter, when Gomez ran left, cut right past a few defenders and zagged his way back into the middle of the field for a 73-yard touchdown run.
“I saw the cut-back lane and I love to cut back,” Gomez said. “As soon as I saw it, I hit it and my eyes opened up and nobody could stop me. I was determined to score that touchdown.”
On top of all the achievements earned by the Lions on Wednesday night, Gomez couldn’t put into words how special the victory was.
“It’s amazing,” Gomez said. “I can’t describe. It’s crazy because it’s my last high school football game so it’s all mixed emotions. Time flies. I’m just glad I got this win with my brothers.”