Vineland’s Pacheco makes game-winning TD and lots of fans
Vineland’s Isiah Pacheco is headed to another AFC Championship with his Kansas City Chiefs.
Pacheco’s touchdown in the fourth quarter brought the fifth — and ultimately final — lead change of the tight contest with the No. 2 Buffalo Bills.
The camera spanned to the box where Taylor Swift — famously dating Kansas City’s Travis Kelce — could be seen screaming “Pacheco” and flashing his number 10.
Swift is far from the only Pacheco fan.
The Rutgers University graduate has become a crowd favorite. His interaction with a young fan after Sunday’s win highlighted that.
Pacheco, 24, is shown signing the boy’s jersey as the kid then asks, “Can I have a glove, please?”
The running back puts down the pen and takes of his right glove for the young boy, who responds, “Thank you so much.”
But that did not end the interaction with the second-year running back known to many as “Pop.”
“Let’s go boy,” the kid repeats, as Pacheco walks away.
He then throws his other glove to the young fan.
Pacheco follows up with a high five, yelling, “Turn me up!”
Pacheco had 97 yards on 15 carries in the Chief’s first playoff game that was not at home since the Patrick Mahomes era.
His last two carries got the first down needed to run out the clock after Buffalo kicker, Tyler Bass, missed a 44-yard field goal that would have tied the game with about 1:43 left.
Pacheco and company now head to the AFC Championship in Baltimore for a chance to defend the Super Bowl title they won his rookie year. He was the lead rusher in the 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Mays Landing’s Melton scores in close contest
Pacheco was not the only South Jersey native making moves this weekend.
Mays Landing’s Bo Melton had a 19-yard touchdown for the Green Bay Packers playing the No. 1 seed San Francisco 49ers.
The wide receiver’s second touchdown in the NFL put the surprising seventh seed team up 13-7 with 9:27 left in the third quarter.
Melton helped the scoring drive in San Francisco by drawing a defensive pass interference call against cornerback Ambry Thomas, resulting in a 41-yard penalty against the No. 1 seed team.
The close contest ended in a heartbreaker for Green Bay fans with a comeback drive by quarterback Brock Purdy that led to the Niners returning to the NFC Championships.
San Francisco lost to Philadelphia last year after Purdy was injured.
The Cedar Creek High School graduate scored his first career touchdown in a 33-10 Packers dismantling of the Vikings.
Like Pacheco, he also attended Rutgers University.
Melton and the Packers have what looks to be a promising future. The youngest team in the playoffs was a surprising contender becoming the first No. 7 seed to win a playoff game, after defeating the Dallas Cowboys at home last week.