Sometimes it’s difficult to find a silver lining in defeat.
When Frankford walked off its home field after losing 43-12 to Pennsbury on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, most of the Pioneers weren’t exactly in the mood to have a deep conversation.
“I’d like to help you out,” said a Frankford senior, who requested anonymity, “but you’d probably have to use the word ‘bleep’ about a hundred times. We bleeped.”
Perhaps some commentary from the opposition can provide a little bit of comfort.
Pennsbury’s coaching staff had seen the film of Frankford’s first game of the season, a 27-14 loss to another formidable suburban opponent in Downingtown East.
They were impressed.
“We didn’t take this game lightly,” said Pennsbury coach Galen Snyder. “They have a dangerous team. They have guys that can get down the field. They hurt (Downingtown East) with some things. We were aware that we had our work cut out for us.”
Pennsbury (1-1 overall) had two reasons to carefully critique the aforementioned film; not only were the Falcons taking on Frankford (0-2), they were also scheduled to face Downingtown East this coming weekend.
While Frankford coach Will Doggett certainly appreciates the kind words, he found very few of his own when asked to assess his team’s performance.
“It was one of the worst performances I can remember,” he said. “We stunk up the place on offense and defense. We started the first quarter by playing tough but then we got soft. It was very disappointing.”
The Pioneers had no answer for Pennsbury junior tailback Charles Snorweah. In the first half, he carried the ball nine times. The result was ugly – 197 yards and three touchdowns from 49, 43 and 8 yards, respectively.
But the third quarter was an entirely different story. On the second-half kickoff, the Pioneers climbed to within 21-6 when Quinton Ellis rode through several excellent blocks for an 85-yard touchdown return. By the end of the quarter, the Pioneers had converted a forced fumble inside the Pennsbury 10-yard line into a 6-yard scoring run by Damion Samuels to cut their deficit to a manageable 21-12.
Suddenly, Frankford had life.
But the fourth quarter was a nightmare for the Pioneers. Perhaps because fatigue settled in thanks to Pennsbury’s depth on both sides of the line, the Pioneers appeared spent. Keeping nearly every single play on the ground, an increasingly physical Pennsbury team scored 22 unanswered points via three more TD hauls, two extra-point kicks and a two-point conversion run.
Unable to solve Frankford’s secondary through the air to the tune of one completion in seven attempts for 13 yards, Pennsbury accumulated 377 yards rushing to Frankford’s 116. While being doubled in first downs 20 to 10, the Pioneers completed 3 of 22 passes for 32 yards and two interceptions.
“We played well in the third quarter, but that was the only time we did anything positive,” Doggett said.
In the Pioneers’ loss to East, Marquise Poston finished 11-28 for 154 yards through the air. While those numbers aren’t particularly impressive, the fact that he hit five different receivers – Juwan Manning, Rene Herrera, Rob Simmons, Samuels and Ellis – along with adding 43 yards and a touchdown run on 12 carries, led Pennsbury’s coaching staff to pay close attention to disrupting Frankford’s aerial assault.
Against Pennsbury, Poston was able to connect with only Manning (two for 16 yards) and Herrera (1 for 15).
The player of the game for Frankford was Samuels. Even though Pennsbury had its collective eyes glued to the senior back, he still gained 87 yards on 12 carries.
But that did little to reduce the disappointment of Frankford’s players and coaches.
“I thought we had a good week of practice, but we came out and laid an egg,” Doggett said. “Our players know they played poorly, as both a team and individually.”
The road won’t get any easier from here, as up next is defending Catholic League Class AAA champion Archbishop Wood.
“They’re a very, very good football team,” Doggett said. “They have a lot of depth. We will have our work cut out for us.” ••