By Phil Anastasia
Kingsway coach Tony Barchuk says it's the best play in football.
Especially when it works.
"The dive play," is one of Barchuk's favorites because it's simple and basic and so much in tune with his idea of winning football.
Kingsway followed the old coach's formula for success en route to a 15-9 victory over Delsea on Friday night in a West Jersey Football League game.
The Dragons, the No. 14 team in The Inquirer Top 25 rankings, played strong defense and relied heavily on their power running game to improve their record to 3-1 with their third consecutive victory.
They even took a page out of one of Barchuk's 35-year-old playbooks, sending fullback Justin Morrison into the center of the line on a dive play on a fourth-and-one from the Delsea 17 with a little more than two minutes remaining in the game.
Morrison gained two yards for a first down, and halfback Ray Lawry went 15 yards on a counter for the game-winning touchdown on the next play.
"I knew the team was counting on me and I hadf to try my hardest," said Morrison, who carried 12 times for 64 yards and also caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Rob Green.
Lawry, the Old Dominion-bound speedster, gained 107 yards on 31 hard carries.
"This might have been the most physical game I ever played in," Lawry said.
Delsea (2-2), the No. 13 team in the rankings, got a 54-yard touchdown run from Isaiah Spencer in the second quarter and took a 9-7 lead on Bronson Deckert's 30-yard field goal with five minutes, 13 seconds remaining in the game.
But the Crusaders struggled to develop any offensive rhythm. Deckert's field goal came after Delsea took over at the Kingsway 10-yard line when a snap sailed over Kingsway punter Connor Bell's head.
They lost three yards in three plays.
"Give Kingsway credit -- they had a great game plan for us," Delsea coach Sal Marchese said. "But we have to execute better. We just made too many mistakes."
Kingsway's defense was led by junior end Denzell Polk and senior cornerback Khalif Pitts. The Dragons held the Crusaders to just two first downs in the first half and forced three fumbles, although they recovered just one.
Senior safety Deron Maxwell ended Delsea's final drive with an interception.
"Our defense was great," Barchuk said. "They played with emotion, the flew to the ball, they gang-tackled."
After Deckert's field goal, Kingsway went 64 yards in eight plays. Green hit tight end Jack Healey for 33 yards on a play-action on third-and-three but every other play was a run behind a line anchored by center Ron Ippolite.
The key gain was Morrison's surge up the middle on the simplest of plays.
"Body on a body," Ippolite said of the blocking scheme. "Just get on them and our backs with find a seam."
Delsea 0 6 0 3 -- 9
Kingsway 7 0 0 8 -- 15
K: Justin Morrison 22 pass from Rob Green (Connor Bell kick)
D: Isaiah Spencer 54 run (kick fail)
D: Bronson Deckert 30 FG
K: Ray Lawry 15 run (Lawry pass from Green)
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