Northeast Times

Week 1 high school football recap

Want to know how the rest of your fa­vor­ite area high school foot­ball teams did last week­end? Here’s a re­cap of Week 1, as well as a look ahead to Week 2:

Epis­copal 30, Fath­er Judge 22

Judge’s first game un­der new head coach Mike McKay was a tale of two halves. The Cru­saders fell be­hind by a score of 30-3 at half­time, look­ing like a ser­i­ous blo­wout was in store. However, Judge nev­er said die and roared back on the road un­der the lights at Epis­copal, cut­ting it to 30-22 with pos­ses­sion late in the fourth quarter. They couldn’t com­plete the comeback, but they sure came close. Ju­ni­or quar­ter­back Zach Car­roll (10/29, 155 yards, TD) and the of­fense took over on its own 38 with 2:06 left in the fourth and ad­ded first down plays on the drive’s first two snaps. But Car­roll’s next four passes went in­com­plete and the Church­men held on for the vic­tory.

“Sev­er­al pen­al­ties on of­fense and a few dropped passes con­trib­uted to the bad half, and we had two cov­er­age break­downs in the second quarter that led to two long touch­downs,” McKay said. “We showed great heart and didn’t quit in the second half.”

It was a nice re­turn for star seni­or run­ning back Mar­quis Sea­mon, who missed most of last sea­son after break­ing his wrist in Judge’s sea­son-open­er in Ire­land. Sea­mon car­ried the ball 17 times for 139 yards and a touch­down. Sopho­more de­fens­ive back Yeedee Thaen­rat grabbed two in­ter­cep­tions, in­clud­ing one for a touch­down.

Up next for Judge will be Coun­cil Rock South Sat­urday night (7 p.m.) at North­east High School.

“We need to fine tune our spe­cial teams, our sec­ond­ary cov­er­age and get bet­ter in our of­fens­ive passing game,” McKay said.

Abing­ton 53, Fels 22

The score would sug­gest Fels took noth­ing pos­it­ive from its lop­sided loss at the hands of sub­urb­an power Abing­ton, but that’s not the case, ac­cord­ing to Fels head coach Bill Har­rigan.

“Based on the score, a lot of people would look at it noth­ing but neg­at­ive, but we took a lot of pos­it­ives away from this game,” Har­rigan said. “All in all, the team played to­geth­er for the en­tire game. There was no fin­ger point­ing, no head hanging … they went hard for all four quar­ters. It’s a mark of ma­tur­ity in how much our guys care about each oth­er.”

Fels was cer­tainly up against it, num­bers wise. Ac­cord­ing to Har­rigan, the Pan­thers dressed about 25 play­ers com­pared to Abing­ton’s 60 or so. Abing­ton also has one of the most highly-re­garded of­fens­ive lines in the area com­ing in­to the game. Jy­lil Reed­er was the standout on of­fense, rush­ing 19 times for 113 yards and a score, as well as go­ing 8/15 for 44 yards in filling in at quar­ter­back (the Pan­thers’ top two QB’s on the depth chart were out due to in­jury).

Fels will next travel to play Penn Charter Sat­urday morn­ing at 11 in former Judge head coach Tommy Coyle’s first game as the Quakers boss. Har­rigan said it’s an­oth­er op­por­tun­ity for his team to see a dif­fer­ent brand of foot­ball than they’re used to in the Pub­lic League.

“We played them last year, and while they might not have as many play­ers as Abing­ton due to the size of the stu­dent body, they still have some good ath­letes,” Har­rigan said. “We like to play these top teams, be­cause it’s a meas­ur­ing stick to see how they do things and how our own pro­gram is pro­gress­ing. Most of these sub­urb­an teams, they make a mis­take and they fix it right away. We want our guys to see that.”

Down­ing­town East 27, Frank­ford 14

It was a rough start at home for the reign­ing Pub­lic League champs, start­ing out sloppy with five turnovers and 140 yards of pen­al­ties.

“That’s not go­ing to win you too many games, es­pe­cially against a good foot­ball team like that,” Frank­ford head coach Will Dog­gett. “But it’s in­valu­able to play teams like this (to start the sea­son). If I went out and played a team I knew I could beat every week then it wouldn’t tell me much about what we’re do­ing as a team and a coach­ing staff.”

It was the Pi­on­eers’ first game since the gradu­ation of star re­cord-break­ing quar­ter­back Tim Di­Gior­gio, now with Temple Uni­versity as a pre­ferred walk-on. In his place was seni­or Mar­quise Po­ston, who struggled, com­plet­ing 11 of 28 passes for 154 yards while adding 43 yards rush­ing on 12 car­ries and a score. Seni­or run­ning back Dami­on Samuels, ex­pec­ted to be a huge part of the Frank­ford of­fense, man­aged just 20 yards on eight car­ries and a touch­down. Quin­ton El­lis ad­ded 27 yards rush­ing and a pick.

Up next for Frank­ford is an­oth­er home con­test against an­oth­er top sub­urb­an pro­gram in Penns­bury (Sat­urday, noon).

“It’s an­oth­er really, really good foot­ball team we have com­ing in here,” Dog­gett said. “We have our work cut out for us. It won’t be an easy task.”

SCH Academy 28, Wash­ing­ton 13

Wash­ing­ton was a little short­han­ded in its open­er due to some in­jur­ies, for­cing a few play­ers to play out of po­s­i­tion on the road at SCH Academy in Chest­nut Hill. The of­fense was a bit rusty, scor­ing just twice in six red zone trips, and the de­fense had trouble stop­ping the run as SCH run­ning back Kyle Lawlor (12 car­ries, 169 yards) and QB Paul Dooley (10 car­ries, 89 yards) ran rough shot on the Eagles.

“Only scor­ing twice in the red zone was a bit dis­heart­en­ing,” said Wash­ing­ton head coach Ron Co­hen, who star­ted off his 29th sea­son as head coach with a loss. “We def­in­itely have a lot to im­prove on as the year goes on, but I think we did some nice things. They played hard to the very end and I be­lieve the kids got a lot out of the game.”

Quar­ter­back John San­tos led the Eagles of­fense, com­plet­ing 11 of 24 passes for 151 yards, while re­ceiv­er Rasheed Black had four catches for 76 yards.

The Eagles will next be in ac­tion Fri­day night (6:30, North­east High School) against West Cath­ol­ic, who knocked off Haver­ford School (in the same con­fer­ence as SCH Academy) last week, 26-14. The Burrs fea­ture strong tal­ent on of­fense with QB Ant­oine Mc­Col­lum (13/22, 166, TD), RB Greg White (27 car­ries, 101 yards) and WR Ahkil Crump­ton (5 catches, 125, TD), so the Wash­ing­ton de­fense will need to come ready to play.

“What we want to work on this week­end is cor­rect­ing and lim­it­ing mis­takes, as well as scor­ing more in the red zone,” Co­hen said. “West Cath­ol­ic has some good ath­letes and they’re very well-coached. We beat them in over­time last year, so it’s go­ing to be a chal­lenge.”

Tru­man 47, Lin­coln 21

It was a tough open­ing week for the Railsplit­ters, as prob­lems that be­set the team in the pre­season fol­lowed in­to Week 1. Spe­cific­ally, pen­al­ties and fin­ish­ing tackles. In a scrim­mage against Si­mon Gratz, Lin­coln struggled in both areas again against Tru­man.

“The over­all team tack­ling was bad, we really need to work on wrap­ping our arms and fin­ish­ing,” said head coach Ed Mc­Get­tigan. “We also had 14 pen­al­ties, six of which were holds, so it was a bit of an un­dis­cip­lined start.”

Quar­ter­back Devon Thomp­kins led the way on of­fense for Lin­coln, com­plet­ing 11 of his 23 passes for 119 yards while still learn­ing the ropes of Lin­coln’s newly-im­ple­men­ted no huddle of­fense. Lin­coln will see an­oth­er Pub­lic League foe on Fri­day af­ter­noon (3 p.m. at home) in Over­brook, and Mc­Get­tigan said the coach­ing staff’s fo­cus this week in prac­tice has been cor­rect­ing those care­less mis­takes.

“We had a couple of good days of prac­tice, and the kids know they have to get bet­ter and im­prove on those as­pects where we struggled against Tru­man,” he said. “We’re go­ing back to ba­sics in teach­ing prop­er tack­ling tech­niques. Some kids watch the NFL and think they al­ways have to go for the big hit, so we’re go­ing back and teach­ing them the right way to do things. Over­brook looks like a good team, but we don’t think it will be as lop­sided as it was last week.”

Ne­sham­iny 33, North­east 0

For a young team like North­east that gradu­ated most of its key con­trib­ut­ors from last year’s team that fin­ished 7-5 and made the play­offs, open­ing the sea­son against the sixth-ranked team in the state was quite a tall or­der.

And while the Vik­ings didn’t get on the score­board in the 33-0 de­feat, first-year head coach Phil Gorm­ley cer­tainly saw some pos­it­ive signs from his young bunch.

“I’m mostly happy that they didn’t quit out there, play­ing a team that big and that good,” Gorm­ley said. “That be­ing said, we handed them two touch­downs on two early turnovers deep in our own end. We’re a very young team that’s go­ing to make some mis­takes, and against a team like Ne­sham­iny, you just can’t af­ford to do so.”

Gorm­ley de­scribed as team as “up­beat” when they ar­rived Sat­urday morn­ing to watch film. After two days off for the Labor Day hol­i­day, he has them back on the field pre­par­ing for an­oth­er very tough sub­urb­an op­pon­ent in Coun­cil Rock North.

So why does a first-year head coach that’s in­her­ited such a young team sched­ule such re­lent­lessly dif­fi­cult non-league op­pon­ents? It’s simple, ac­cord­ing to Gorm­ley.

“The good thing about be­ing such a young team is that their memor­ies are short,” he said. “The sched­ule is so tough be­cause we want to be able to clearly identi­fy our mis­takes against a team of Ne­sham­iny’s caliber. In ad­di­tion to the turnovers, we had a few dropped touch­downs in the end zone, so if we fo­cus on clean­ing those up, we’ll feel a lot bet­ter about our chances against a team of Coun­cil Rock North’s caliber. If we lim­it our mis­takes, tackle and run the ball, I think we have a chance.”

You can reach at emorrone@bsmphilly.com.

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