Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Lenape beats Shawnee, 45-0, in seniors' final home game

Senior quarterback Matt Lajoie threw three touchdown passes and senior linebacker Zach Cole led the defense.

Senior quarterback Matt Lajoie threw three touchdown passes as Lenape beat Shawnee 45-0 on Thanksgiving.
Senior quarterback Matt Lajoie threw three touchdown passes as Lenape beat Shawnee 45-0 on Thanksgiving.Read moreTim Tai/Staff photographer

They turned and faced the bleachers as the band played the school anthem for the final time on their home field.

"Bittersweet," Lenape senior two-way standout Mike Galaida said.

The bitter part for Lenape's seniors was the knowledge that they would not play another game on the muddy turf behind their
high school off Hartford Road in Medford.

The sweet part was the satisfication from the result of their last game at Driscoll Stadium, a 45-0 victory over school-
district rival Shawnee before a large crowd on Thanksgiving morning.

The even sweeter part was  the realization that they still had a game to play, a rematch with Rancocas Valley in the South
Jersey Group 4 title game Dec. 2 at Rowan University.

"You couldn't draw it up any better than that," said Zach Cole, another Lenape senior two-way player.

Cole caught a touchdown pass and lifted a key interception as Lenape (10-1) registered the program's most imposing victory
in the 37-year history of the series.

Shawnee (7-4) leads the series, 35-10-2, although Lenape has won three of four.

"These kids just love to play football," Lenape coach Tim McAneney said.

Lenape built a 31-0 halftime lead as senior quarterback Matt LaJoie was 10-for-12 passing for 192 yards and three
touchdowns while senior Jake Topolski caught three passes for 120 yards and a score.

Lenape's defense, led by linebackers Cole and Galaida as well as senior linemen Jared Davenport and Aaron Acosta, held
Shawnee to 41 yards and two first downs in the first half.

"They're really good," Shawnee coach Tim Gushue said. "Field position hurt us, but give them credit."

Both teams will appear in championship games next weekend as Shawnee will face Hammononton in the South Jersey Group 4
final Dec. 3 at Rowan.

Lenape's players lingered on the field on the cool, clear afternoon long after the final whistle. The Indians' seniors are
far and away the winningest class in school history, as the program has gone 38-6 in their four seasons.

Lenape will seek the school's first sectional title in the rematch with Rancocas Valley, which beat the Indians, 10-7, on
Oct. 6.

Since then, Lenape has won seven in a row.

"You only get so many of these games in your life," Cole said. "This is one I'll remember forever."

Shawnee 0 0 0 0 — 0

Lenape 6 25 14 0 — 45

L": JoJo Kellum 6 run (kick fail)

L: Zach Cole 10 pass from Matt Lajoie (Lajoie run)

L: Jake Topolski 62 pass from Lajoie (Steve Mulville kick)

L: Mike Galaida 26 pass from Lajoie (Mulville kick)

L: Mulville 21 FG

L: Amir Byrd 87 kickoff return (Mulville kick)

L: Xavier Coleman 21 run (Mulville kick)