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Crocodiles take on the Crows

Saturday March 24, 2001

In cold, windy and miserable conditions, the Lehigh Valley Crocodiles played the Philadelphia Crows in the seasons first game of Australian football. The Philadelphia team had worked hard to recruit players during the winter and arrived in Nazareth with one of the best teams they had fielded in two years.

Just before the game started, the wind howled and the sleet fell. It was a very inhospitable welcome for the Crows, and the afternoon did not improve much from that point on. The game had not been in progress for more than one minute when Nolan Berlew kicked a great goal to open the scoring. The Crocs adapted to the conditions and moved the ball better around the ground. The Crows were under constant pressure and could not control Jeff Paukovitch who kicked three goals in a row. Jason Amstutz was always dangerous at center-half-forward, and gave the Croc’s midfielders a big target.

The game, however, was being won in the middle of the field, with big guys Greg Cottrell and Robby Kemmerer controlling the center square. The dynamic Terry Hoff played an inspirational game, and was helped tremendously by the skillful Mike Roloson and Dustin Jones, and the speedy Dustin Malavolta.

The defense stood rock steady led by Josh Loring, Chris Elphick, Mike Zin, and the newcomer Ryan Schoeneberger. On many occasions, they rebounded the ball back to the midfield where Todd Messinger, Brian Macdonald and Jeremy Silimperi were able to provide options.

The Crows, even though a much better team than previous years, could not keep up with the running play of the younger Americans, and in the end the Crocs won comfortably. The final score was Lehigh Valley Crocodiles 16.12.108 to the Philadelphia Crows 6.3.39.

Goalkickers for the game were as follows: Jeff Paukovitch with three, then two each to Terry Hoff, Jon Bath, Dustin Jones and Brian Macdonald, followed by Jeremy Silimperi, Cory Creazzo, Nolan Berlew, Rob Kemmerer and Kyle Barnowski with one a piece.

Best Players were Terry Hoff, Mike Roloson, Greg Cottrell, Dustin Jones, Jason Amstutz, Josh Loring, Rob Kemmerer, Brian Macdonald, Dustin Malavolta, and Chris Elphick.

The Crocodiles next home game will be on Sunday, April 8, at the Nazareth High School football practice field. The game will commence at about 1:05pm and be preceded by another game played by the Junior Crocodile team, which will start at 12 noon. Spectators are very welcome.