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Quick hits: Holy Spirit vs. St. Joseph

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Holy Spirit 31, St. Joseph 28 Score at halftime: St. Joseph 20, Holy Spirit 19 Records: Holy Spirit 2-0; St. Joseph 1-1 Up next: Holy Spirit at Mainland Regional, Friday, Oct. 4, 7 p.m. St. Joseph vs. Millville, Saturday, Sept. 28, noon. Sound the Horne: If you haven’t heard of the Horne twins by now, don’t worry, it won’t be long until you do. St. Joseph may have lost Friday night to Holy Spirit, but the dynamic duo of Salaam and A’Laam Horne put their talents on display in front of a capacity crowd at Ed Byrnes Stadium in Absecon. A’Laam showed some of his talents at running back, but the Spartans’ defense did a pretty good job of St. Joseph sophomore quarterback Salaam Horne showed Friday night why he is one of the most dynamic players in the Cape-Atlantic League, scoring on a 47-yard punt return and tossing a 27-yard TD pass while nearly leading the Wildcats past Holy Spirit, the top-ranked team in South Jersey. (Glory Days Magazine photos/Dave O'Sullivan) St. Joseph sophomore quarterback Salaam Horne showed Friday night why he is one of the most dynamic players in the Cape-Atlantic League, scoring on a 47-yard punt return and tossing a 27-yard TD pass while nearly leading the Wildcats past Holy Spirit, the top-ranked team in South Jersey. (Glory Days Magazine photos/Dave O’Sullivan) bottling him up for the most part. Still, his speed created problems for the Holy Spirit defense. Salaam, the Wildcats’ quarterback, showed why he might become one of the most electrifying players in South Jersey during the next three years. Just a sophomore, he showed poise, toughness, and the ability to get the ball down the field. In the first half Spirit was forced to punt. The punt bounced, and most of the players figured the old “poison!” call goes up, the ball gets downed, no big deal. But Salaam fielded the bounce, burst up the middle, and raced virtually untouched for a 47-yard touchdown. Then, with time winding down and the Wildcats facing a 31-20 deficit, Salaam dropped back, rolled left and lofted a gorgeous 27-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline to Cody Sampson. For good measure, on the 2-point conversion attempt he deftly avoided a sack, sprinted to his left and ducked inside the pylon. If you want to see one of the most exciting players in South Jersey, you might want to get out to St. Joseph next Saturday when the Wildcats host Millville at noon. T.J. Clayton walks off the field after Holy Spirit's grueling 31-28 victory over rival St. Joseph on Friday night. T.J. Clayton walks off the field after Holy Spirit’s grueling 31-28 victory over rival St. Joseph on Friday night. Laying it on the line: Give a lot of credit to Holy Spirit defensive linemen Ray Ellis and T.J. Clayton, who played relentless football and helped control one of the better offensive units in the Cape-Atlantic League for most of the game. Ellis had a monster first half, getting multiple tackles on nearly every St. Joseph series. “The defensive line did a great job tonight,” said senior safety Tyler Flynn. “Ray is an animal. He’s like that every day at practice. He’s just a freak athlete.” Fever pitch: The packed stands certainly had football fever, but Holy Spirit RB/LB Franco Rifici was dealing with a different kind of fever. The kind that had him puking into a trash can at halftime. No biggie, he’s a football player. There wasn’t anyone who was going to be able to tell him he couldn’t strap on his helmet for the second half despite a 101-degree fever. That’s diesel. Versatility: St. Joseph certainly showed it can score in a variety of ways. Along with Salaam Horne’s punt return, the Wildcats had a pair of rushing touchdowns and Ricardo Quirindongo, a wide receiver, rolled out on a 2-point conversion and hit C.J. LaFragola, a linebacker and running back, in the back of the end zone. LaFragola also had an option pass to Quirindongo that helped set up a score. Mascot mania: Holy Spirit has my vote so far for best mascot. The Spartan outfit with the giant head would make Lee Corso proud! Jammin’: Several members of the Holy Spirit student body have formed a band that plays rock music during the games at the bottom of the home-side bleachers. Stefan Borne, a senior, plays guitar and leads the group that also features another guitarist, a bassist, a drummer and a horn player. They might need to come up with a better name than “The Pep Band” though. Any suggestions? Email sully@acglorydays.com and we’ll post your thoughts on our Facebook page (Facebook.com/acglorydays). Contact publisher Dave O’Sullivan: sully@acglorydays.com; on Twitter @GDsullysays. 

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