Football looks to make divisional playoffs after preseason flu outbreak

With the start of the new school year, the football team will continue building team strength, despite having a low number of returning seniors.

“I think we have really solid seniors, but we don’t have a lot of them,” said Head Coach Charles Gallagher. “We need help from our younger guys. We feel like we can get it; we definitely feel that way. I think the expectations are somewhat high.”

“The ultimate goal is we want to make the playoffs and the championships,” Gallagher said. “As a football coach … we do have to be somewhat realistic. But I think a realistic goal every year is to be at least 0.500. 0.500 will give you a chance to make the playoffs, which is what we’re always looking to do.”

The team lost its first game 33–6 on September 11 to Pemberton High School after falling behind 20-0 before halftime.  The team bounced back five days later with a 33-0 blanking of Hightstown High School. Wide receiver  Isaac Webb ‘19 led the team offensively with 177 yards and four touchdown receptions.  On September 23, the Tigers dropped to an overall record of 1-2 after losing to West-Windsor Plainsboro High School North 28-10.  So far this season quarterback Vince Doran ‘18 is averaging 203 passing yards per game, coupled with a touchdown pass to interception ratio of five to four.  The team’s next game is against Lawrence High School on October 1.

With only six returning seniors, the team looks to its returning junior and sophomore players to step up and lead new players.

graphic by <span class="credit credit- "><a href="/credit/"Hsihsin/" title="View all of this person's work">"Hsihsin</a></span>

graphic by Hsihsin Liu

“There’s a small returning senior class, but there’s also a large returning junior class and sophomore class,” said linebacker and running back Moses Mahiri ’18. “There’s a lot of good leadership. So, there’s no real problem there.”

“I think the seniors have done a really nice job. They’re asking guys to step up that they probably wouldn’t normally ask to step up,” Gallagher said.

With the homecoming football game still to come, the team is very excited for the upcoming season and hopes to win as many games as possible.

“We had a lot of good defense; we got the ball rolling,” Mahiri said. “I know we’ve been struggling with that. I think we’re doing good.”

While homecoming is still some time away, Gallagher has already started scouting West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South’s team for strengths and weaknesses.

“They have some big guys; they have better team speed; their coach is a really good coach,” Gallagher said. “I know he’ll have his team prepared, but I know that he’s not prepared for Princeton right now, though. Just like I’m not prepared for him.”

The team is focusing on preparing for the five upcoming games prior to homecoming.

“I know it’s very clichéd to say, but we just take it one game at a time,” Gallagher said.

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