By: John Knebels
Photos/Videos: Aaron Mitchell, James Williamson, Alexandra Conroy (Episcopal Academy), Alex Duda (Father Judge), John Leuzzi (St. Joe's Prep) and Liam Turnbach (La Salle). Videos edited by Austin Ampeloquio.
PHILADELPHIA –Touchdown . . . touchdown . . . touchdown . . . touchdown . . . touchdown . . . touchdown.
Yep. On six different occasions, Neumann-Goretti sophomore Tysheem Johnson did something special to make the public address announcer shout that word to the crowd in the Saints’ 54-14 Catholic League Blue Division victory over visiting Bonner-Prendergast.
No one had ever scored six touchdowns in a Neumann-Goretti uniform. Until now.
“It was an amazing feeling,” said Johnson. “I didn't expect ever to have a game like that. I was only hoping for three TDs, but after I did that in the first quarter, my coach (Albie Crosby) said I needed six. So with the help of my quarterback and offensive line, I accomplished that.”
In order, Johnson scored on a short run, an interception return of 52 yards, three receptions on throws from junior quarterback Rausheen Lively– one going for an amazing 99 yards – and a kickoff return of 80 yards. He finished with five catches for 155 yards.
Not a bad way to start the season, as the Saints had two previously scheduled games canceled.
Johnson was asked how his teammates responded during the one-man onslaught.
“They were like, ‘That’s a ‘Bama (football haven University of Alabama) offer you’re getting after this,’” he said. “It was crazy.”
Johnson wasn’t the only Saint to wow the crowd. Lively completed eight passes for 264 yards and four touchdowns. Junior Malik Griffin gained 65 yards on 12 carries. Senior Tre’Sean Bouie notched three of the team’s five interceptions, returning one of them for a touchdown. He also snared a 64-yard strike.
“For it to be our first game, we played good,” said Bouie. “We have to fix some things, but they’re just little mistakes.”
B-P junior Charles Ingram gained 81 yards on 15 carries while sophomore quarterback Kyle Lazer scored on two rushes.
In other Blue Division action . . .
West Catholic survived a 36-35 shootout against Archbishop Carroll at Drexel University. After Carroll junior Richie Kimmel stripped the ball and recovered it in the end zone, and junior quarterback Russell Minor-Shaw (8 for 17, 200 yards, three touchdowns) threw a 24-yard strike to senior Dan Morgan on a fourth and 20, the Burrs trailed, 14-0.
But West Catholic rebounded to take a 28-21 lead on a pair of touchdown passes from junior quarterback Zaire Hart-Hawkins to senior Seth Degree on lengths of 60 and 44 yards. Carroll tied the score in the fourth quarter when senior Koran Butler caught a 15-yard pass.
In overtime, Carroll scored a touchdown (three-yard run by senior Raphael Manning) and added an extra point (junior Juliano Mastrocola), but West countered with a 15-yard TD pass from Hart-Hawkins to junior Julio DaSilva.
With no one to kick the extra point, West went for the victory. The Burrs got it when Hart-Hawkins found senior Jacir Savoy near the back of the end zone.
To put it mildly, the loss was difficult to digest for Carroll.
“I was kind of expecting them to go for two in a game like that,” said Kimmel, a linebacker. “I could tell they wanted nothing less than to win that game after they started to make a comeback, and so did we, but it didn’t turn out the way we wanted.
“But that’s in the past. Our guys learned to put that behind us and focus on going 1-0 every week from now on. We just use that heartbreaking game as motivation to win out the rest of the season and never face a loss like that again. We were hit with adversity and now we’re on track to handle that adversity and bounce back even stronger.”
In a 55-28 victory over Lansdale Catholic, undefeated Conwell-Egan (4-0) experienced a first in school history – three players eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in the same game.
Senior quarterback Alex Goldsby (9 carries for 107 yards, two touchdowns), sophomore Dajuan Harris(15-110-2), and senior Patrick Garwo (10 carries for 114 yards, one reception for 54 yards, two touchdowns) joined senior Terome Mitchell (one reception for 51 yards and a touchdown; fumble recovery for a touchdown) for a memorable victory.
“It was a big game on our calendar,” said Mitchell, an outside linebacker. “We had it marked down and we came prepared to win the game, and did all the things the coaches asked of us to get the job done.”
Garwo, already with eight touchdowns and 610 yards rushing, took the win in stride.
“We came out slow and knew that’s not how we play,” said Garwo, referring to an early 14-6 deficit. “So we had to come together and just do what we do. We just had to lock in on defense and be disciplined.”
Senior lineman Dwayne Majors isn’t surprised by the Eagles’ success.
“We are psyched to play every game,” he said. “We have a lot to prove and our goal every week is to be 1-0. That’s what we do week in and week out. Take one game at a time.”
Bishop McDevitt overcame a defensive battle and edged Cardinal O’Hara, 12-7. Sophomore Jon-Luke Peaker rushed for 150 yards and a touchdown – his fourth straight game with 150 yards or more on the ground. Junior quarterback Lonnie Rice, who along with senior Zay Scott made an interception, scored his seventh touchdown this fall.
In addition to Rice and Scott, McDevitt has other defensive standouts.
“Our defense is very physical, starting with the defensive line,” said Rice. “Big Tyrone Fowler (junior) gets through everything and delivers hits. (Senior) Richard Cotton and (senior) Lawrence Richardson are probably two of the most physical linebackers I ever played with. Our defensive backs are different because they can play almost any position on the field and they’re very athletic.”
Peaker said the win was pivotal.
“It showed us where we are compared to other teams in the Catholic League, and it also set the tone for the rest of the season,” said Peaker. “It was basically sending a message that we’re better than last year and that we’re way stronger, way faster, and that we have athletes that compete no matter who the opponents.
“Everyone did their job and they executed. It was all about execution and when you do your job, you get a ‘W.’”
The Catholic League Red Division begins in two weeks.
Archbishop Ryan is the talk of the town after a 45-30 win over Chester improved its record to 4-0 and a composite 165 points along the way. Junior Julian Jones scored the first three touchdowns and finished with 67 yards on 15 carries. Senior Jahlil Sanders threw two TD passes; senior teammate Kyron Long added a 65-yard scoring heave off a trick play.
Sophomore sensation Tyreek Chappell caught five passes for 150 yards and scored his seventh and eighth touchdowns of the young season.
“We’re always psyched to get out on the field,” said Jones. “It was a good win. Chester is a tough team, but we have a tough team, too, and we were ready for them. We played hard, but that wasn’t our best. We could’ve done a lot of things better, but we got the ‘W’ and that’s what matters at the end of the day.”
St. Joseph’s Prep seems like they’re about to dominate. The Hawks defeated rugged Our Lady Of Good Counsel (MD), 34-27, at Widener University.
The Hawks led, 26-20, at halftime, trailed 27-26 with 1:35 left in the third quarter, and took the lead for good when junior Kolbe Burrell scored on a two-yard run, followed by a two-point conversion pass from sophomore Kyle McCord to seniorJohnny Freeman.
It was a breakout game for several Hawks. McCord completed 26 of 38 passes for 370 yards and three touchdowns. Freeman caught four passes for 103 yards and a score. Sophomore Marvin Harrison, Jr., collected 11 receptions for 111 yards and two touchdowns. Burrell rushed for 79 yards and the game-winning score. Senior Marques Mason caught eight passes for 115 yards and rushed for 31 more.
On a defense that already intercepted five passes, senior Nick Rios (second of the season) and senior Mike Alexander each picked off a pass. Senior defensive back Myles Talley contributed 11 tackles and a sack; Rios engineered four tackles.
“It was just a huge team win,” said McCord. “We never quit on each other and there was no doubt between us that we were going to pull it out. It feels great, but we got to get better and improve every week.”
The Prep is idle this week. Their first division opponent will be rival La Salle, which will also gets a one-week hiatus. The good news for the Explorers is that it comes after their first win, a 58-28 blowout over Haverford School that included over 500 yards on the ground.
Senior Manny Quiles led the victory with 153 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. Senior quarterback Sean Daly gained 98 yards and scored twice. Junior Jalen DeVose added 92 yards, and freshman Samuel Brown chipped in for 80 more.
Junior T.J. Meachum returned an interception for a score. Junior kicker Jake Gandolfo connected on his fifth successful field goal along with seven extra points for a personal best 10 points.
Archbishop Wood also enjoyed its first success, albeit in nail-biting fashion. The Vikings squeaked past Pope John (NJ), 22-20, as junior Tom Santiago gained 165 yards and scored two touchdowns on 21 carries. Senior quarterback Jake Ross, who has taken over for injured former starting senior Jake Colyar, completed 10 of 18 for 150 yards and a touchdown to senior tight end Bill Cook. Senior Jalen Cobb caught four passes for 92 yards.
“We worked hard for it all summer, and it’s a confidence builder for the whole team,” said senior defensive back Brad Otto. “It’s definitely a weight off our shoulders. Now we’re going to keep going. There’s no looking back.”
Colyar, who hopes to resume playing by the postseason, concurred.
“It was really important for us,” said Colyar. “We needed to get our first win. Hopefully we can keep it rolling.”
Roman Catholic dropped a 28-14 decision to Springside-Chestnut Hill Academy. In defeat, sophomore Nadir McLeod connected on a 51-yard scoring pass from senior Jeff Grosso while sophomore Shamar Ellis also scored.
Father Judge dropped a 31-21 slugfest against Germantown Academy. Senior quarterback Shane Dooley gained 96 yards and scored twice rushing. He also threw for 258 yards and a 22-yard touchdown pass to junior Darrell Tripline. Senior Katob Joseph (93 yards) and junior Shane McGovern (85) also enjoyed big nights.
(John Knebels can be reached at Jknebels@gmail.comor on Twitter @johnknebels.)
Tag(s): Home Schools Philadelphia Catholic Football Red Division Father Judge Football 6A La Salle Football 6A Roman Catholic Football 6A Saint Joe's Prep Football 6A Arch. Carroll Football 5A Arch. Ryan Football 5A Arch. Wood Football 5A Blue Division Bonner & Prendie Football Cardinal O'Hara Football Bishop McDevitt Football Conwell-Egan Football Lansdale Cath. Football Neumann/Goretti Football West Catholic Football