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2006 Turkey Day Football: Gloucester City HS vs Gloucester Catholic HS


Originally Published November 2006


Special to ClearysNotebook

GLOUCESTER CITY NJ —With the Lions / Rams game less then a week away the talk has begun. The “ELECTION” is over and the residents and alumni have started the annual rite only a local GHS or GCHS graduate can appreciate. This talk is for the locals not the wannabes, the talk is not held on the bus ride from Deptford  or Archives 3Washington Twp, but held at the Memorial A.A. church. I’ve heard the sermons at the bright orange church about mixed marriages. Lately the sermon preached why can’t we forgive and accept these marriages. How can a Lion marry a Ram? How can they send their children to that place on Cumberland St?

Yes, it has begun. Wednesday night the hardworking, church going, people of Gloucester will head to a local establishment and dissect the upcoming Turkey Day game. They will argue that no game on Turkey Day was better then the 1971 Delsea game. Or the Froggy Rebstock catch a few years later against Delsea. Anyway they look at it some old-timer will say it was the “Shot heard round the world”, forgetting they are talking about football and not the 1971 boys basketball.

Yes, it is Turkey Day. The two teams will prepare differently, the Rams will have their moms make a pre-game team breakfast, while the Lions players will go to their own breakfast at the “Orange Church”. The church better known as Coffee Corner at Broadway and Market St. has a pew and will be occupied Mr. Harris, Ken Settar, Steve Cowgill, and Ma Hagan the few survivors of Wednesday evening. The Preacher Pop Cowgill will hand out communion a Breakfast sandwich to each Lion. After these players are blessed, they will head over with the Pride of the City on their shirts.

It is game time. Lions Coach Harris has a team, which was a play, or two from the playoffs and the team wants to end the season with a .500 record while the Rams underachieved and missed out on the playoffs.

On offense, the Rams will rely on the passing of Brooklawn’s Ray Mc Kenney. Mc Kenney who has struggled at times this season will look to get the ball to City teammates Mike Calzonetti (child of a Lion/Ram marriage) and George Spingler. If Mc Kenney is on his game, it will be a long day for the Lions.

The Lions have been hurt to many times by the pass so look for Coach Harris to give DB Bryan Collins some extra help in the deep patterns. The Rams backfield has struggled with its running game. Locals RB Ryan Alcott and RB Ed Saunders have carried the load and will have another difficult time establishing a running game against the Lions strong defensive line.

On offense, the Lions have suffered in the passing game. With the exception the short pass to WR Liam James or TE Mike Becker, the Lions have not put together any consistency in the passing game. The Lions will provide a running game with TB Brandon Mc Elwee and the punishment of FB Josh Porter. Mc Elwee is coming off a strong game against Audubon where he rushed for 250 yards and scored 3 TDs. Both of these players will provide the majority of the Lions “O”.

The game will come down to Mc Kenney or backup quarterback Calzonetti’s ability to work the ball down field against a soft Lions secondary. The Rams will not be able to move the ball on the ground so look for an aerial attack from the Rams. The Rams will work away from the Lions DB Liam James and work more towards DB Brian Collins with help from FS Brandon Mc Elwee

The Lions will work the inside game and will win the battled of the line. Behind Mike Marchionne, the Lions will hammer a running game against the Rams, which has not been able finish off tackles. A few missed tackles and the Rams will be in trouble. Nevertheless, the game will come down to the pass. Who can pass, will win the game? The Lions have a lot of pride and will make all necessary adjustments to win this event but the locals who went astray and betrayed our great city, Alcott, Spingler, Mike Gartland, Mc Kenney, Harry Amwake and Calzonetti will provide enough offense and defense to beat the Lions.

My prediction........Rams 26 Lions 14