• Chris Baker

Lenape topples rival Cherokee in thriller

EVESHAM (N.J.) - After last year's 35-0 loss to Cherokee, Lenape was looking for redemption.


The Indians found it by upending their district rival, 12-7, on Friday night.


Zyaire Fleming made his mark on the Lenape-Cherokee rivalry with a game-sealing touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Luca Jaffe/D2 Sports Network


From the opening kick, the feeling in the air was electric.


Both teams were shut down on offense in the first quarter. Then, Lenape struck first on a Desean Jackson-like punt return that Michael Lemay took 85 yards for a house call. The score remained locked at 6-0 until Cherokee got the ball in the red zone late in the third quarter.


Luke Brown took in a quarterback keeper for a three-yard rushing touchdown while filling in for the injured Ryan Bender. Cherokee's 7-6 lead remained intact until Lenape's Zyaire Fleming took a handoff on fourth down for a 53 -yard score to officially seal it.


Lenape’s defense remained immovable for the remaining four minutes.


"It's an amazing rivalry to be a part of," Fleming said. "I get to play on a good team with good coaches, and I'm here with my family.”


When Lenape head coach Joe Wojceichowksi was asked if there was a harder runner in South Jersey than Fleming, he responded: "Look, I’m a grown man and I don't even want to tackle him."


There's two sides to Fleming according to Wojcheichowksi.


And both help get the job done on the weekends.


“It's funny. He's a violent runner on the field but he's the nicest kid off of the field," Wojceichowski said. "He gets done what he needs to between the white lines and I appreciate that."

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