September 15, 2021

Sophomore Running Back Goldberg Shows Promise As PHS Football Falls 47-0 to Haddon Heights

TIED UP: Princeton High football Tyler Goldberg, right, gets wrapped up by a Haddon Heights tackler last Saturday. Sophomore tailback Goldberg rushed for a team-high 32 yards in a losing cause as PHS fell 47-0 to the Garnets. The Tigers, now 0-2, play at Cherry Hill East on September 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton High football team trailing Haddon Heights 39-0 at halftime last Saturday in its home opener, the message was simple.

“At halftime, it was just go back in and have fun,” said PHS sophomore running back Tyler Goldberg. “That was it.”

Midway through the third quarter, Goldberg had some fun, ripping off a 29-yard run followed by an 11-yard jaunt.

“I saw daylight, I am hyped,” said Goldberg, who ended up with a team-high 32 yards net rushing.

The Tigers, though, did not find much more daylight on the day as they ended up falling 47-0.

“We have to be more of a team, we just have to communicate,” said Goldberg, reflecting on the defeat.

“This is our team, this is our family. We have go to work together to beat teams and I don’t think we did that today.”

PHS head coach Charlie Gallagher acknowledged that the Tigers ran into a very good team in Haddon Heights.

“My hat is off to their coaching staff; they have a good football program and they are 2-0 for a reason,” said Gallagher.

“They have got some big boys, they have some good wide receivers. Jackson Ferrante is a standout tailback and a standout middle linebacker. He stuffed us a couple of times early. It was just really challenging.”

Gallagher credited Goldberg with being up to the challenge. “Tyler is a starting tailback, he is a good player for us,” said Gallagher.

“He didn’t play varsity, he got one JV game the whole year. This is his third football game at the high school level and it is a varsity game against a really talented program.”

Despite the score, Gallagher thought his team displayed a higher level of football in its second game of the season.

“I am proud of them, we didn’t play very well in the second half of last week’s game,” said Gallagher, referring to a 26-7 loss to Overbrook on September 4.

“In the first half of this game, even though we were down quite a few, I saw improvement. It just so happened we were playing a really good team. We improved in everything, offense, defense. I thought we were a better tackling team. You don’t become excellent in one week but I saw marked improvement from the first week to the second week. You are going to look at the scoreboard and everybody is going to say that was a total blowout but I don’t think so. I think we got better.”

In the view of Gallagher, there were several bright spots for PHS.

“Jaiden Johnson had another great game, Lehehmoo Pwee has been real solid for us on special teams,” said Gallagher.

“I like this defensive end that we have, Jake Richter, he came off the edge pretty hard. You saw Zach Okoye in the mix, he had some big hits. Everaldo Servil had a fumble recovery.”

Gallagher believes that his squad can recover from the setback as it plays at Cherry Hill East on September 18.

“There are definitely things to build off of; you have to eliminate the score from your mind,” said Gallagher.

“You have got to look at the tape and see where is the improvement and acknowledge it and say we are doing well in certain spots. We got to find a way to correct in practice next week and I am sure we will. Now we are playing an 0-2 Cherry Hill East team who we beat here many years ago and then they really spanked us at their place. It is a good matchup but we have to work hard for them. We have to look at the tape, they have big boys.”

Goldberg, for his part, isn’t going to let the score on Saturday keep him from making a big effort against Cherry Hill East.

“It was stay in it, don’t hang your head,” said Goldberg. “We have a game next week against Cherry Hill. We have go into it refreshed, relaxed and ready to play.”