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High School Spotlight

September 12, 2011

Philadelphia, Pa.-Council Rock South senior quarterback Brian Donnelly made the difference in a game that featured two very explosive offenses and one that went to the last play as the Golden Hawks prevailed 35-34 over the  Father Judge Crusaders in a non league affair at Lincoln High’s barefoot bowl.

Judge is not used to seeing a team that primarily uses the triple option offense. Not only did they see it all day, but it was run by a guy that does it about better than anyone in the state of Pennsylvania. Donnelly caught the Judge defense out of position on a couple plays that turned into long touchdowns by the quarterback. Donnelly used his magnificent play faking as well throughout.

Rock fell behind 14-0 before the first quarter ended when Crusader senior quarterback Rob Daniels hit Raul Quinones with a perfectly executed screen play and a 41 yard touchdown followed by Matt Smalley’s 87 TD run down the left sideline. The Hawks Ryan Hickey took the ensuing kickoff 90 yards to pay dirt and suddenly this game had the makings of a see saw affair. Judge then executed a seven play, 62 yard drive that ended with Daniels hitting Timmy Mills with a 24 yard touchdown pass.

Down 21-7 Donnelly decided to get in on the act with runs of 55 and 4 yards (for the touchdown) then after a Judge fumble, he directed a five play drive ending with Ian McDermott’s 19 yard run and the halftime score was knotted at 21 apiece. The Hawk quarterback began to take control of the game in the second half with touchdown runs of 79 and 45 yards.

Entering the fourth quarter, Judge now found themselves behind 35-28 and Daniels provided more heroics by hitting on completions of 23 yards and a 32 yard touchdown pass to John Landis with six minutes left. At that point, Crusader coach Tom Coyle decided to roll the dice with a kick fake by holder Mills on the extra point and a pass for the two point conversion and the lead. The play worked almost perfectly, but this is where Maryland commit P.J. Gallo made the first of two great game changing plays. The Hawk defensive end recognized the fake and put himself in position to shield receiver Anthony Walker on the play causing Walker to lose the ball. Gallo then sacked Daniels on a fourth down on Judge’s last drive to end the game.

Donnelly had 213 yards on 15 carries; three touchdowns and mastered the triple option to perfection. Daniels finished unofficially with 14 of 24 completions for 237 yards, three touchdowns,  four dropped passes and completions to five different receivers. Smalley had 145 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown.

The Hawks (D1 , AAAA, Suburban One National) travel to Pennridge next week at 2-0 while Judge   (D12, AAAA, PCL) drops to 1-1 and a date looming with State College and a game with the Lions.

Scoring by Quarter

1st Quarter

Judge- Quinones 41 pass from Daniels- Kick Good- 4:30

Judge- Smalley 87 run- Kick Good- 2:02

CRS- Hickey 90 KO return- Kick Good- 1:40

2nd Quarter

Judge- Mills 24 pass from Daniels- Kick Good- 10:43

CRS- Donnelly- 4 run- Kick Good- 9:19

CRS- McDermott- 19 run- Kick Good- 6:11

3rd Quarter

Donnelly- 79 run- Kick Good- 6:15

Judge- Quinones- 2 run- Kick Good- 4:45

Donnelly- 45 run- Kick Good- 2:15

4th Quarter

Judge- Landis 32 pass from Daniels- Two Pt no good-3:20



  • Donnelly only attempted one pass (incomplete)
  • The Hawks used six different backs in the triple option offense
  • Top Judge Lineman Vince Lostracco (broken wrist) saw one series of action
  • Gallo (CRS, TE) provided key blocks that turned into long gains
  • Judge’s OLine provided great protection for Daniels
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Abington, Pa., The Abington Ghosts took advantage of two costly Plymouth Whitemarsh miscues in the fourth quarter en route to their closely contested 18-7 victory over the Colonials at Abington’s Memorial field.

Abington got on the board quick on their first offensive series in four plays when quarterback Ken Cropper snuck in for a touchdown and a 6-0 lead. Three plays later, Colonial quarterback Russhon Phillips fumbled the snap and the Ghosts Rob Phillips returned it for a 35 yard touchdown and a 12-0 lead.  The Colonials righted the ship and generated their own eight play, 66 yard drive highlighted by a 31 yard completion from Phillips to Xavier Ellington and ending with Corey Kelly’s one yard touchdown plunge for a score of 12-7 in the first quarter.

What looked like a high scoring affair became a defensive struggle the rest of the way. After two scoreless quarters the Colonials started the fourth quarter with momentum and good field position and seemed poised to take control of the game. A 38 yard touchdown run by Ellington and their first lead went astray on a Colonial holding call. On their next play, Phillips was intercepted by the Ghosts Josh Lee after a Whitemarsh receiver slipped on his route.  Abington then let workhorse running back Ray Schreiner do the work as he totaled 26 yards on three carries on their next possession ending with his three yard score and putting the game out of reach for Plymouth-Whitemarsh.

Schreiner, who has gotten some interest from Arizona State had 15 carries for 81 yards against a very tough Whitemarsh defense. “The offensive line did a nice job creating some openings for me”, said Schreiner. “They are going to even get better as the season goes along”. Phillips did a nice job directing the Whitemarsh Wing-T offense by running for 96 yards on 17 carries

With the win Abington (D1, AAAA, Suburban One National) moves to 2-0 and a date looming with a tough Souderton squad. Whitemarsh (D1, AAAA, Suburban One American) falls to 1-1 and will travel to West Chester Henderson.

Scoring by Quarter

First Quarter

Abington- Ken Cropper 1 yard run- 7:26 – PAT no good

Abington- Rob Phillips 35 yard fumble return- 5:52 – PAT no good

PW- Corey Kelly 1 yard run- 1:39- PAT Tyler Haney

Second Quarter

No Scoring

Third Quarter

No Scoring

Fourth Quarter


Abington- Ray Schreiner 3 yard run- 4:07- PAT no good

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NAZARETH – With his team down two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, Dan Harding directed three Blue Eagles touchdown drives in the last 12 minutes of the game. Harding completed the comeback to stun the Red Rovers 35-28 at Andrew Leh Field Friday night in Nazareth. It was the first win over the Red Rovers since 1998.

The Blue Eagles got on the scoreboard first on their second drive. The Blue Eagles striked first. Harding hit Adam Bridgeforth for a 67-yard bomb for the score. Jack Portnoy’s extra point made it 7-0 Blue Eagles.

The Red Rovers answered the Blue Eagles drive by engineering a 73-yard, eight-play drive. Quarterback Ian Hayden found Zach Herres in the back of the end zone for the 17-yard touchdown pass. The game was tied at 7.

The second quarter saw the Red Rovers running game take over. James Middleton scored on an 84-yard run and Kevin Griffin plowed in from two-yards out. The Blue Eagles added one score on a Kani Camacho three-yard run.

At halftime the Red Rovers led 21-14. The first half the Red Rovers showed a nice balance by throwing for 112 yards and rushing for 213 yards. They had 12 first downs.

The Red Rovers took a commanding 28-14 lead in the third quarter on Griffin’s 12-yard run. The drive went 58 yards on five plays.

In the fourth quarter it would be all Blue Eagles. The comeback started early in the fourth quarter. Harding’s eight-yard score capped off an eight play, 78-yard drive, to cut the Red Rover lead to 28-21 with 11:36 remaining.

Nazareth’s defense came up with the big stop and got the ball back with 9:56 remaining. The Blue Eagles offense used a balanced attack during this drive, passing and rushing five times each as Harding finished off the drive hitting Dan Shepherd. Shepherd made an amazing catch fighting off the defender for a 17-yard touchdown pass. The score tied up the game at 28 with 6:21 remaining.

Shepherd’s interception ended another Red Rover drive late in the game. The Blue Eagles started on Easton’s 34-yard line with less than three minutes to go.

Harding finished off the go ahead drive with a one-yard run putting Nazareth up 35-28 with 1:33 remaining in the game.

The Red Rovers drove inside the 20-yard line. The drive ended on a fumble that was recovered by Nazareth. Nazareth held on for a 35-28 win over Easton.

The teams combined for over 1,000 yards of total offense. Easton had 535 total yards of offense and Nazareth had 480 total yards.

Harding led the way for Nazareth completing 19 of 29 passes for 312 yards and two scores. His favorite target was Adam Bridgeforth who caught six passes for 135 yards and one score. Freshman running back Jordan Gray added 101 yards rushing on 14 carries.

The Red Rovers Ian Hayden passed for 188 yards and James Middleton added 147 yards rushing.

Nazareth (2-0) travels to Bethlehem to take on (2-0) Liberty. Easton (1-1) hosts Northampton (0-2).

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WARMINSTER, Pa. – West Catholic’s game plan against Archbishop Wood was rather simple.  Run the ball, control the clock and keep Wood’s explosive offensive unit watching helplessly from the sideline.

West did the run the ball – 47 times to be exact – and limited the Vikings to only 38 total offensive plays.  But Wood made those plays count.

Joey Monaghan threw for 279 yards in just 10 passing attempts and West Catholic (0-2) had to endure three turnovers on downs and an anemic passing attack as Archbishop Wood (1-1) posted a 28-0 shutout of the Burrs Saturday night at William Tennett High School in Warminster.

West head coach Brian Fluck said the effort came down to two words: missed opportunities.

“In the beginning, we did what we wanted to do,” the Burrs’ boss said.  “But we made too many mistakes.”

From the beginning, West showed its hand of trying to take the air out of the ball, orchestrating a 14-play march which drained 7:07 of game clock.  Junior running back David Williams saw six of the first 14 plays go his way, but the Burrs turned the ball over on downs at the Wood 37 yard line following a costly holding penalty and a pair of injured quail looking passes from Jaleel Reed fell incomplete.

West had another similar drive late in the first half.  Highlighted by a Williams 50-yard run to the Wood 27, the Burrs got as far as the Viking 14-yard line, but Jalil Shoatz fumbled away the opportunity at the seven yard line with 2:33 left in the first half.

Wood, already up 7-0 at that juncture, wasted no time in making West Catholic pay.  One play after West was flagged for pass interference, Monaghan hooked up with Nate Smith for a 52-yard touchdown pass and a 14-0 Viking advantage.  Smith caught a 31-yard pass from Monaghan earlier in the drive and had four catches for 153 yards in the first half.

“Nate’s a good one,” said Wood head coach Steve Devlin.  “I kinda kick myself for not using him more (in the Central Catholic game the week before).  He’s definitely one of our playmakers.”

Monaghan wasn’t slowing down – on Wood’s second possession of the second half, he hit Kyle Adkins on a 45-yard screen pass which went all the way to the Burrs’ 19 yard line.  Three plays later, senior Ryan McMullin crashed into the end zone for Wood to push the lead to 21-0.

McMullin saw action this night as Rutgers commit Desmon Peoples was held out of action due to a sprained ankle, shifting Brandon Peoples to the tailback slot.  #5 got Wood on the board to start the scoring with a 14-yard run just five seconds into the second quarter.

“He’s one of our guys – we have several guys who can carry the ball,” Devlin said. “Tonight, Ryan ran it well for us.”

Just for good measure, Monaghan signed, sealed and delivered Wood’s win with one more long connection with Smith – a 65-yard bomb down the middle of the field after forcing a West punt.  In all, Smith caught five passes for 218 yards – and none of the passes went for any length fewer than 31 yards.

“The goal was to shut down their ground game and force them to pass,” Fluck said.  “And we got caught playing some man-to-man coverage.”

West had one last chance to try to dent the scoreboard, driving from its own 31 to the Wood 14 with runs of 22 and 13 yards by Williams along the way.  But Wood stiffened, sacking Reed for a 14-yard loss and bringing up a 4th-and-26 situation, which ended in a turnover on downs when Reed’s pass intended for Williams was incomplete.

From there, Wood strung together four first downs on a series of runs from Kendall Singleton and Jake Cooper to run out the clock.

Wood finished with 420 yards of offense and 16 first downs – most of that came from Monaghan, who reached his passing total with an 8-of-10 night.  McMullin ran for 55 yards on eight carries and the two touchdowns.  Cooper ran for 49 yards on six carries and Singleton 17 yards on three carries.

West was paced by Williams’ 211 yards on 32 carries.  Shoatz added 18 yards on four carries.  Reed finished with minus-31 rushing yards and connected on 4-of-9 passes for 15 yards.  West finished with only 11 first downs, gained either by way of Williams’ runs or Wood penalties.

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PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. – Behind the area on the sidelines where the La Salle College High School football team stood, a weathered penny lie buried into the artificial surface, with the heads side facing upward.

Supposedly, pennies facing heads side up bring good luck.  But fate was not ready to yield the Explorers a lucky day.

Bergen Catholic (1-0) got a 306-yard passing effort from field general John Germano and two-time PIAA AAAA state finalist La Salle (1-1) had trouble keeping up with the Crusaders’ speed and spread offensive attack in a humbling 41-17 loss Saturday afternoon at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School.

BC, a 16-time New Jersey football state champion, wasted little time in flashing and dashing its way over, around, and through the La Salle defense en route to 396 yards of offense – mostly through the air – using an up-tempo offense.

“We really always want to play with that type of pace,” said BC head coach Nunzio Campanile. “We’re always trying to keep the opponent on its toes.  We want to be certain the other team is as uncomfortable as possible at all times.”

La Salle barely had time to settle in before Bergen began its offensive assault.  In just four plays after picking off La Salle’s Matt Magarity, Bergen had a 6-0 lead thanks to a Germano four-yard touchdown run.  But the Crusaders were just getting warmed up.

After La Salle went three-and-out, it took three plays for Bergen to find paydirt again.  Germano hit J.J. Rulsar for an 87-yard touchdown pass to push the lead to 13-0 and then recovered the ensuing onsides kick.  Six plays later, Bergen was in the end zone again on a 15-yard connection from Germano to Charles Wingate.

“They have great speed and quickness,” said La Salle head coach Drew Gordon.  “It’s hard to replicate their speed in practice.”

The Explorers seemed to quell the bleeding a little bit with a small rally, slicing the BC lead from 20-0 to 20-9 on a Tim Wade three-yard run and a Ryan Winslow 32-yard field goal.  Wade’s touchdown run was one of the few scant highlights on the day.  Yards were hard to come by for #33 – in three and a half quarters, he ran for 35 yards on 19 carries.

But any momentum La Salle had built up deflated quicker than a balloon with a hole in it.  Winslow’s field goal came with 1:46 left in the half, but that was more than enough time for the Crusaders to break the Explorers’ backs.  Beginning at its own 20, the red and gold marched 65 yards in just three plays – all Germano passes – to the La Salle 15.  Two plays after an Explorer timeout to stop the bleeding, Bergen lodged the proverbial dagger in the blue and gold’s heart as Germano found John Tsimis from four yards out and a 27-9 lead.

Five plays.  Eighty yards.  All in a mere 51.8 seconds.  Who needs those two-minute drills, anyway?

“Bergen Catholic will test you every play,” Gordon said.

The Crusaders tacked on two more touchdowns in the second half – a James Dawson two-yard run and a 15-yard pass from Germano to Tsimis – to push the advantage to 41-9.

Using its reserves, La Salle capped the game scoring with a one-yard touchdown run by Jared Herrmann with 2:00 left in the contest.  Herrmann’s run capped a 12-play, 80-yard, 4:17 march which saw five total first downs and back-up field general Chris Kane connect on all four of his pass attempts.

All told, La Salle finished with 211 yards of offense and 11 first downs.  Magarity connected on 11-of-19 passes for 79 yards with the one interception.  Wade paced the Explorer ground attack, which finished with 65 yards on 34 carries.  Herrmann added 23 yards on seven carries and Kane threw for 57 yards.  Sean Coleman caught five passes for 39 yards and Colin Buckley snagged three passes for 44 yards.

Germano’s banner day also saw him add 16 yards on 12 carries.  Dawson ran for 22 yards on six carries and Michael Gerst added 27 yards on six totes.  Tsimis caught seven passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns and Kulsar added two receptions for 98 yards.  Bergen was flagged eight times for 45 yards – about the only negative from the Crusaders’ season opener.

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