By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Trenton — Just last year, E.J. Nemeth wasn’t focusing on potentially playing close to home.
But that all changed with his former team, the Baltimore Mariners, deciding to cease operations in September. Once the Mariners were no longer a thought in his mind, Nemeth signing with the Trenton Steel became a reality.
Nemeth was able to play in front of many family and friends near where he attended high school and coached high school football with Trenton Catholic Academy last night, before the school decided to not have a football team for the time being.
Unfortunately, for Nemeth and the Trenton Steel, the game did not go as they would have liked. The Steel lost to the Erie Explosion, 76-73, last night at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton.
“Baltimore was my home,” said Nemeth. “Things didn’t work out there, so now I’m here. All my attention is focused here. I’m trying to make this team the best that it can be. I’m excited to be playing in the City of Trenton.”
The loss drops the Steel to 0-2 on the season, while the Erie Explosion improved to 2-0 on the season. The Harrisburg Stampede, who are currently 0-1, will be playing the Fayetteville Force this afternoon.
“It was good to have the fan support that we had,” said Steel head coach Rod Miler. “Unfortunately, we were not able to get a win (last night). But we’ll come out again next Sunday (April 3rd), and hopefully, we’ll be able to get our first.”
Nemeth throw the final touchdown in the game to Damon Harrison. Harrison caught the touchdown with 0.00 on the clock at the end of the game. The touchdown catch made the final score 76-73.
Nemeth and Harrison connected two additional touchdowns. Nemeth and Harrison connected again with 1:07 left in the third quarter to make the score 57-54. The two connected again at 1:20 in the second quarter to make the score 32-26.
Nemeth also connected with Dan Huff and Najah Pruden for additional touchdowns. Huff scored four touchdowns on the night. He scored at 3:37 in the fourth to make it 69-67.
Prior to that, he scored at 7:10 to make the score 69-60. In the second quarter, Huff scored at 9:44 to make it 45-40. Huff scored in the first at 12:04 to make it 18-16.
Pruden was the lone receiver with just one touchdown. He scored his touchdown at 6:53 in the third quarter to make it 51-46. Shortly after the Pruden touchdown, an Explosion player was tackled in the end zone for a safety to make it 51-47.
“I try as a quarterback to get everybody involved,” said Nemeth. “You can’t keep everybody happy, but you have to try to keep everybody interested. You have to spread the love around.”
Explosion quarterback Adam DiMichele also put on a touchdown clinic, as well. His favorite target on the night was Kevin Concepcion, who caught four touchdown passes. Concepcion scored at 34.0 to make it 76-67 after scoring right after the start of the fourth quarter at 11:05 to make it 63-54.
Conception added another touchdown in the third quarter at 13:01 to make it 45-33. For his first touchdown of the night, he made an unbelievable catch diving into the stands at 12:30 to make it 18-10 Explosion.
DiMichele connected with Trumaine Riley and Tirone Morris for two touchdowns apiece. Riley scored a touchdown at 3:55 in the third to make it 57-47, then again at 14:50 in the second to make it 12-10. Morris scored a touchdown at 8:29 in the third to make it 51-40, then again at 4:04 in the second to make it 32-19.
Morris also had a kick return for a touchdown at 1:13 prior to halftime to make it 38-26. Ernest Jackson also caught a touchdown from DiMichele at 8:52 in the second to make it 25-16.
The Steel could never get closer than 2 points in the game. The final touchdown was the final time in the game that they were within 3 points. With nearly 4 minutes left, they were within 2 points at 69-67.
Prior to that, they were within 3 points at 57-54 with 1:07 left in the third quarter. That was the first time since the score was 18-16 that the Steel was within 3 points. They were also within three points again at 12-10.
“We were trying to battle back,” said Coach Miller. “That’s what we try to do. We couldn’t get one more stop, so that we could get ahead. We want to keep fighting back, but we don’t always want to be in the position of always fighting back. We want to learn what its like to keep a lead and then learn how to keep the lead.”
After an Explosion touchdown, the Steel got the ball back trailing 63-54 in the fourth. Explosion defender Chris Johnson picked off Nemeth at 8:16 and returned it for a touchdown to put the Explosion up 15 at 69-54.
“I would have to watch the film, but it looked like it was tipped,” said Nemeth. “It was intercepted, so its my fault. We have to work on that.”
Nemeth also scored two rushing touchdowns. He scored his second rushing touchdown at 07.2 to make the score 38-33 right before halftime. He scored the first touchdown in Steel history at home at 02.8 in the first quarter to make it 10-6.
“I guess looking back years from now, it would be pretty cool,” said Nemeth. “But right now, it’s just a touchdown that I had in a loss. It is what it is right now.”
DiMichele scored the first touchdown in the game. He scored a rushing touchdown at 2:45 in the first to make it 6-3.
Craig Camay scored the first points in the Trenton Steel history at home with a field goal to put the Steel up 3-0. He also added a field goal later at 6:19 in the second to make it 25-19.