• Dan Russoman

St. Joe rallies for win


THG/Dan Russoman. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940. Ty Mercado (23) follows lead blocker Richard Chandler (25) for a short gain. Mercado scored a touchdown against Willingboro last week.

WILLINGBORO—Playing for the first time in two weeks, St. Joseph Academy’s football team rallied for a 14-7 win at West Jersey Football League (WJFL) foe Willingboro last week.


The victory was the second-straight for the Wildcats, whose record improved to 2-0.


St. Joe was sluggish in the first half, as the Wildcats struggled to gain yardage and momentum against a stingy Chimeras’ defense.


The Wildcats were held to less than 200 yards of offense in the game, most coming through the air. St. Joe averaged just 3.2 yards per play in the game and were penalized 15 times, helping Willingboro maintain drives and keep the Wildcats’ offense off the field.


Willingboro took a 7-0 lead with 4:56 remaining in the half, as Lamar Best connected with Khamaad Rice on a 14-yard touchdown pass.


Trailing 7-0 in late in the third quarter, St. Joseph’s fortunes changed when a blocked punt set the Wildcats up at the Willingboro 9-yard line. A few plays later, Richard Chandler helped St. Joseph tie the game when he scored on a 7-yard run and Trevin DelGozzo converted the extra point kick.


Midway through the fourth quarter, St. Joe took the lead when Jimmy Mantuano connected with Ty Mercado on a 19-yard touchdown pass for a 14-7 lead.


From there, the Wildcats kept the Chimeras out of the end zone and St. Joseph came away with its second victory of the season.


For the game, Mantuano completed 6-of-14 passes for 120 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Chandler led the Wildcats with 32 yards rushing on 16 carries, while Nasir Mahmoud caught four passes for 75 yards in the game.


This week, the Wildcats are on the road again, as they visit Cedar Creek on October 1. That game starts at noon.