Southern Runs Past Palumbo on History Setting Day

The Southern Rams defeated the Palumbo Griffins on Thanksgiving by the score of 44-6. This was the second year of the annual contest after South Philadelphia’s old foe Neumann-Goretti was forced to terminate their 2016 season with three games remaining  due to injuries  which diminished their roster to 17 players.  The Neumann-Goretti football program has suddenly resurrected this season but a contract was signed by Southern and Palumbo administrator’s to make Turkey day  an annual contest. The Saints were participating  in the PIAA State Playoffs so a Thanksgiving contest would have been out of the picture.  The highlight of the day was that for the first time in South Philadelphia High School Football history the Rams had 2 One Thousand yard rushers in the same season.  Coming into the game Zaki Samuels needed 19 yards to reach the magic number and Dwayne “Pops” Parks needed 167.  Samuels finished with 80 yards on just 4 carries giving him a season total of  1061 with 9 TD’S.  Parks totaled 1049 and 10 TD’S.  The game  got off on the wrong track for the Griffins when on their first play from scrimmage  Parks recovered a fumble and returned it 12 yards to the Palumbo 33 yard line. Making sure that Parks at least had a chance at 1,000 yards Southern head coach Frank “Roscoe” Natale’ called on Parks quite frequently.  After a 5 yard infraction pushed the Rams back to the 38 , Parks ran the ball six consecutive times with his sixth being a 8 yard TD run.  Southern converted the two point conversion on a Sherriff Jones pass to Ronzell  Turner. Palumbo looked to make some noise on their first real drive when Jayson Davis completed a 9 yard  pass to Ernest Holland and into Southern territory at the 40 yard line. Two tackles behind the line of scrimmage by Southern’s Terrence Summers forced the Griffins to punt.  With Parks taking a breather it was now Samuels turn to try and march his troops down the field.  It didn’t take long as Samuels scooted 55 yards on just his third carry to give the Rams a 14-0 advantage with 2:40 remaining in the first quarter. After a 23 yard run by the Griffins Moussa Cisse and another completed pass by Davis, this time to Frederick Thompson Palumbo now had the ball again in Southern territory this time at the 30 yard line.  After an incomplete pass on first down  Cisse was hit almost immediately at the line of scrimmage by Jovann Anderson after Davis’ handoff and the ball squirted loose then was recovered by Summers at the South Philly 31 yard line.  It was back on the seesaw for the Ram as Parks re-entered the game and immediately made an impact on his first run traveling 49 yards down to the Palumbo 20. After Parks ran for 7 yards  on the opening play of the second stanza a 5 yard penalty pushed the Rams back to the 13.  On second down Rahmeer Silver sacked Jones for a 7 yard loss to the 20.  It was now time for the run happy Rams to call on their secret weapon Khalid Moore. Moore or Jones did not disappoint as they connected for the twelfth time this season , this one  for a 20 yard TD.  Incredibly 8 of Moore’s 12 catches have been for Touchdowns.  His 12 grabs have accounted for 359 yards for an impressive 30 yard per catch average.  On the season Jones had passed just 59 times while completing 28 for 636 yards with 11 TD’S.  After Jason Everett ran in for the conversion the scoreboard at 10th and Bigler read Southern 22 Palumbo 0.  Holland again attempted to ignite his squad bursting 30 yards to the Southern 32. The stingy Rams defense then tightened and forced the Griffins to pass on third down.  Again it was Summers who sacked Davis forcing Palumbo to punt.  Behind Parks and Jones the Rams marched down the field again. The end result was a highlight reel scramble and run to pay turf by Jones.  Jones took the snap at the Griffins 35.  He was chased back to almost midfield.  He danced and juked and then shifted from the East side of the field to the West side before finally seeing daylight and basically putting the contest away with 2:37 left before halftime.  Although Jones was credited for a 35 yard TD . He actually ran about 120 yards figuring in the 15 back to midfield then 15 back to the 35  plus 54 across the width of the field then 35 more to the end zone , this does not include all of his zigs and zags so he may have even traveled further. Parks would close the first half scoring on a 25 yard prance to the goal line.  After Jones ran for the 2 point conversion Southern led at the half 36-0.  Jones would pick off a Davis pass midway through the third quarter and take it 76 yards for six more South Philly points.  After another successful PAT the Rams led 44-0. Palumbo would finally light up the scoreboard early in the fourth quarter on a Davis QB sneak for the one.

For Palumbo Cisse ran 12 times for 60 yards. Davis passed just 3 of 9 for 31 yards. He ran 10 for 44.  Davis also retuned 3 balls for 63 yards giving him 138 all-purpose yards.  Davis was also named the Offensive MVP of the game while Holland who made 7 tackles including a sack  was named the Defensive MVP for the Griffins. Silver also was credited with 7 Griffins tackles.  On the other side Southern had Co-MVP’s both offense and defense.  The Offensive awards went to Parks and Jones while the defensive trophies went Summers and Mike Miller.  Summers led the game in tackles with 9–7 solo 3 Tackle for losses and two sacks. He also recovered 2 fumbles. Miller had 7 tackles with 5 being of the solo variety.




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