By DAVE O’SULLIVAN

Staff Writer

WINSLOW — The Winslow High football team is waiting on some very talented transfers to become eligible to play, most notably junior Deante Ruffin, a quarterback who threw for 2,000-plus yards and 19 touchdowns while leading Camden to 10 wins and a Central Jersey Group 2 championship last fall.

Yes, the Eagles have a ton of potential, but head coach Bill Belton doesn’t waste time talking about potential. All he was worried about Thursday night was getting his team’s first win of the season. Winslow did that in convincing fashion, dominating Lenape, 34-0, to even its record at 1-1 after a disappointing season-opening loss against Cherokee.

“Potential gets people fired,” Belton said. “It’s another word for people who never did anything. Wherever this season goes, I’m just praying we stay healthy and can get guys out here who can compete week in and week out. We want guys who can play all four quarters and finish the game.”

Winslow (1-1, 0-0 West Jersey Football League Independence) showed its athleticism throughout the game — on both sides of the ball. Freshman quarterback Jalen Parker, making just his second career start, threw for 166 yards and a touchdown and scored two rushing touchdowns, and the Eagles racked up more than 200 rushing yards, including 121 from Jevon Johnson on just seven carries. Defensively, the Eagles amassed 49 tackles, including five each from Semaj Anderson, Malachi Brown and Rob Carstarphen.  

Deuce Everett had a solid game for Winslow on Thursday night, scoring one of the Eagles’ five touchdowns. (South Jersey Glory Days photo/Sully)

“Our line was great. We were explosive, we made big plays on the line, and I think we improved so much since last week,” said senior running back Kameron Brown, who racked up 74 yards and a score on just five carries.

Winslow won the toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff, and went straight down and scored to take a 7-0 lead. Parker connected with Johnson on a 50-yard passing play to set the Eagles up on the Lenape 5-yard line. Parker then hooked up with Kenneth “Deuce” Everett on a square-in, and Everett made a nice catch in traffic to put Winslow on the board. Timothy Bright, who went 4-of-5 on extra points, tacked on the point after for the early lead.

Winslow made it 14-0 just before halftime, capping off a long drive with a three-yard touchdown run from Johnson. Parker completed several passes to Cam Miller throughout the drive and showed what was to come all game.  

“He’s been getting better and better each day in practice, and he showed that out here today,” Brown said of Parker, who’s holding down the fort until Ruffin becomes eligible.  

“We played well. Our playmakers came out tonight and showed their talents. We had some penalties that held us back and we have to clean that up before we play Delsea,” Belton said. “(Parker) has been playing well. He’s stepped in and done what he’s supposed to. We’re looking for the team to grow over the next couple of games, and we’ll see where that takes us. We have a lot of room to grow. We’re young in areas so we need to continue to work on the fundamentals, and guys need to continue to get better on the little things each day.”

Winslow did some serious damage in the third quarter. After forcing a punt on the first possession of the second half for Lenape, Winslow took over at the Indians’ 41-yard line. A big run by Johnson brought the Eagles to the 5-yard line, and Parker scored on a scramble to push the lead to 21-0. Winslow then got a strip sack plus fumble on Lenape’s next possession and cashed in again, as Parker found Nakeem Powell for a big play down to the 3-yard line before Brown punched it in to make it 27-0.

The Eagles’ defense, led by Jeremiah Taylor (36) wraps up Lenape’s Michael Lemay in the first half. (South Jersey Glory Days photo/Sully)

The Eagles capped the scoring late in the third quarter when Brown’s 46-yard run helped set up a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Parker to boost the lead to 34-0.

Without injured quarterback Jaelin Mims, who threw for more than 1,000 yards last year, Lenape (0-2, 0-0 WJFL American) struggled offensively. The Tribe had four possessions in the first half and all ended with punts. Part of that, however, was outstanding defense played by the Eagles.

“We were on them all game. We just wanted to stop the run because we feel like no team can pass on us. That’s our game plan. Everybody thinks they can run on Winslow, but you’re not going to do that this year. You’re going to have to find a way around that,” said senior defensive end Jalen McCain. “This gives us a lot of confidence. We just have to pick up our energy and I feel like this did that. We should be able to do big things going forward. The potential of this team is big. We have some young guys who are going to be here for awhile, and I really think we’re going to do big things this year. We have a lot of confidence. Last week we didn’t have the energy, but this week we picked it up and you can see how things changed.”

Winslow wants to keep the momentum going as it faces a tough slate of games in September. Next up is a home game against Delsea, and the Eagles also have road games at Shawnee and Ocean City later in September.  

“Guys who we have returning from our championship run a few years ago are key,” Belton said. “They understand there are certain times during a game when you need to get things done — either getting a stop (on defense) or getting a score. They understand that, and they did a great job of doing that tonight.”

Added Brown, “right now, (the mission) was to just get a win under our belt. Last week we lost, so we wanted to get that win under our belt and keep improving week by week. This offense is going to be very explosive and we’re going to have a lot of big plays throughout the season.”

WHAT’S NEXT: Winslow hosts Delsea on Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. Lenape hosts Shawnee on Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

Contact Dave O’Sullivan: sullyglorydays@gmail.com; on Twitter @GDsullysays