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Allentown shuts out Steinert for 4th straight gridiron win

By Wayne Witkowksi

Jha’Quel Brown is a defensive starter who has not practiced much at quarterback, but he stepped in for suspended starter Jordan Winston, and Allentown High School’s football team hardly missed a beat when it defeated Steinert High School, 33-0, for its fourth straight victory Oct. 22.

Brown got the Redbirds (5-2) going with a 35-yard touchdown run on Allentown’s sixth play of its opening series, and there was no looking back. Aydon Chavis ran for two scores — a 53-yarder in the second quarter and a 4-yard rush in fourth. Rick Mottram and Joe Mannino had 6-yard touchdown runs in the third quarter when Allentown broke open a 27-0 lead and stayed in the hunt for home-field advantage in the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group IV playoffs. Allentown is the No. 2 seed in the section behind Brick Township High School.

Allentown had three 100-yard rushers, led by Brown’s 162 yards on 20 carries, while Chavis picked up 121 yards on 14 carries. Mannino carried 19 times for 119 yards.

The victory assures Allentown of a share of the West Jersey Football League’s Patriot Division title.

Allentown next players Trenton Central High School in a nondivision game on Homecoming Night at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 28.

Allentown closes its regular-season and league schedule Nov. 4 at Princeton High School.

Winston, who may return against Trenton, has thrown the ball well at times, and the Redbirds did not complete a pass against Steinert, which coach Jay Graber feels will be needed against Trenton.

“We are going to have to throw the football against Trenton,” Graber said. “We had a lot of rushing yards against Steinert — 442 of them — and did a good job there but had zero passing. Trenton is huge up front and quick. We have to continue to play well on defense because they do a lot of different things.”

Graber said Trenton utilizes multiple sets, including a spread offense and wing T.

“They’ve played a lot of good teams with five wins, and those teams’ losses have been to each other,” Graber said of Trenton’s 2-5 record. “They have an outstanding schedule and are way better than their record shows.”

Along with coming off a 13-6 loss to Burlington Township High School (6-1) Oct. 21, Trenton also has lost to unbeaten teams Lenape High School and Cherry Hill High School West (both 6-0) and to Rancocas Valley Regional High School (7-1).

Mottram continued to lead the defense at linebacker, while Makelli Quinones and Ryan Huth led a seven-player rotation on the defensive front that put constant pressure on the Steinert backfield, where its quarterback was out and replaced by the running back.

Graber felt the turning point came in the third quarter after Brown’s touchdown and a 51-yard scoring scamper by Chavis spotted the Redbirds a 14-0 lead at halftime. Allentown recovered the fumbled second-half kickoff and drove for the touchdown by Mottram.

Allentown, which has outscored its opponents, 250-112, again got a big push from its offensive line that includes Quinones and Huth at tackle, Carson Capone and Mike Pugliese at guard and Antonio Triscari at center.

Field hockey

Defending champion Allentown lost in the semifinals of the Mercer County Tournament, 3-2, to Princeton Day School in overtime to fall to 13-3 heading into the state tournament. Princeton Day forced the overtime on a goal with four minutes left and won it with a score about nine minutes into overtime.

Sydney Pado opened the scoring for the Redbirds before Princeton Day tied it, and Paige Zytkowski put the Redbirds back ahead. Katie White made 13 saves. It was the most goals scored against Allentown by any team this season

Allentown beat the Hun School, 2-0, in the quarterfinals. Mary Bellotti scored a goal, and she and Caitlin Nolon had assists on the other goal by Zytkowicz. White made four saves in goal, as Allentown won its sixth straight.

Girls’ soccer

Allentown (10-5), seeded No. 10, fell to No. 2-seed Pennington School, 2-0, Oct. 22 in the quarterfinals of the Mercer County Tournament after an opening-round victory, 1-0, over Lawrence High School Oct. 20.

Allentown goalkeeper Abby Howell made 10 saves against Pennington, which went to 14-0-1. Allentown, which next heads into the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group III tournament, scored only one goal in its last three games. It lost, 1-0, to Steinert Oct. 18 before taking on Lawrence.

The Redbirds opened the week with a 3-0 victory over Ewing High School Oct. 17 that clinched the Colonial Valley Conference Valley Division championship. Allentown was 3-0 in the four-team league. Lauren Coiante, Delaney Matthews and Alex Searing scored against Ewing, while Molly Robinson and Howell shared time in goal.

Boys’ soccer

Allentown (5-9-1) lost, 4-0, to West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South Oct. 20 and 2-1 to Steinert Oct. 18 after pulling out a 5-4 victory over Ewing on Sam Togna’s goal in the closing minutes of the second overtime. Zach Kokot had the hat trick, and Max Allen put in the other goal for Allentown.

Joe Jurik and Chris Reeder shared time in goal. Kokot scored the goal against Steinert. He has a team-high eight goals.

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