September 12, 2018

After Suffering Opening Day Loss to Hightstown, PHS Football Aiming to Be Sharper Going Forward

HIGH AND DRY: Princeton High football player Drew Staples heads upfield last Saturday as PHS hosted Hightstown in the season opener for both teams. Falling behind 28-0 by halftime, the Little Tigers went on to fall 52-0 to the visiting Rams. PHS will look to get on the winning track when it plays at Pemberton on September 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

There was reason for optimism early on for the Princeton High football team as it hosted Hightstown last Saturday in the season opener for both teams.

Taking the opening kickoff, PHS drove 34 yards into Hightstown territory before punting it to the Rams.

Things went downhill, however, for the Little Tigers after that promising possession. Utilizing a strong ground game, the Rams marched down the field for a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead. Hightstown ran through PHS for the rest of the half, building a 28-0 lead by intermission.

The Rams never looked back from there, grinding out a 52-0 win, piling up 271 yards rushing in the rout.

In reflecting on the rough afternoon, a subdued PHS head coach Charlie Gallagher was able to glean some positives.

“A lot of guys made great individual efforts; we need to continue that,” said Gallagher. “I am excited about the football team.”

Gallagher was excited about the play of several players including sophomore Dylan Angelucci along with seniors Evan Angelucci, Tommy Tenzlinger, Connor Coffee, and Drew Staples.

“I thought Dylan had a nice game; Evan had a real nice game as well,” said Gallagher.

“Then you have some guys who are just going all of the time, like Tommy, Connor, and Drew; these guys are stalwarts, they are solid guys who are always there.”

Junior Jay Jackson made some nice plays with his arm and feet in his debut as starting quarterback.

“There is a lot of potential for Jay Jackson,” said Gallagher. “We haven’t even touched the tip of the iceberg yet with that young man but we will. He is going to get better.”

PHS will need to be sharper with the ball to get better as it lost three fumbles on Saturday, including miscues on two consecutive possessions in the third quarter.

“We have got to straighten that out,” said Gallagher, whose team also committed some costly penalties as it lost its 19th straight game and suffered its 22nd defeat in its last 23 games. “That is a big deal, turning the ball over.”

As the Little Tigers get ready to play at Pemberton on September 15, Gallagher is confident his players can straighten things out.

“It all starts with preparation; you have got to really prepare well,” said Gallagher. “We have a tough Pemberton team next week. We have done some scouting on them already and they are going to be challenging.”