PHILA. – In Saturday’s Bicentennial Athletic League (BAL) battle at Calvary Christian Academy, Morrisville had so many players on the injured list, Bulldogs head coach Derrick Savage lost count.
Suffice it to say, the home team Cougars downed the battle-weary Bulldogs, 42-16, Oct. 10 in front of an exuberant audience that came to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of the church and school.
Due to a significant number of injuries, Morrisville was down eight starters on offense and seven on defense.
“We were looking uphill when we got here,” admitted Savage. “But the kids came out and played hard. We had a lot of guys playing in different places and they played hard.
“That’s all I can ask them to do.”
CCA seniors – quarterback Josh Reichenbach and running back Mike Hollinger – staked the Cougars to a 35-0 halftime lead. For the game, Hollinger rushed for 62 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also caught a 53-yard scoring strike from Reichenbach to open the scoring early on in the first quarter.
For his part, Reichenbach threw for 120 yards on 4-of-7 passing. He also rushed for a pair of touchdowns, one in each of the first and second quarters including a 16-yard scoring burst that sent Calvary into the locker room holding a 35-0 edge.
“Morrisville is an athletic team,” said Reichenbach. “We knew we had to give it our best to beat them.”
“Their offense looked really, really good in the first half. That’s a credit to them,” added Savage. “We knew it would be a struggle coming in whether we had everybody or not.
“They’re a very good team. They are sound in what they do. Their quarterback is a really nice player and they complement him well.”
The Bulldogs came out after the intermission and at least won the second half with junior wideout Braedon Alward gathering in a 10-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Mike Sacco midway through the third quarter to draw the visitors within 25-8.
After CCA sophomore Daryl Debnam (9-33, TD) put the Cougars up 42-8 early in the fourth quarter, Morrisville scored again, this time on a 55-yard bomb from backup quarterback Darnell Middleton to Alward on a fourth-and-long situation.
“I thought the second half was good; I thought we executed a little better,” said Savage. “We had a couple big throws and I think that was the difference.
“We had looks that we liked the whole game. We didn’t execute in the first half the way we did in the second half.”
Two games – losses suffered in the same week at home at the hands of Lower Moreland and Valley Forge Military Academy – did a number on the Bulldogs’ starting lineup. Morrisville’s offensive line saw four men missing including sophomore guard Zaire Merritt (ankle), Chandler Rich (hand), junior center Joe Jacobs (elbow) and tackle Givenson Charles (ankle).
“You can’t play when you’re missing as many starters as we were,” stated Savage. We gave up some field position, sure. But they went out there and they played their butts off.
“I can’t ask for more than that.”
For his part, Sacco finished the game with 47 yards rushing on eight carries and 76 yards passing on 9-of-14 attempts. Sophomore Isaiah McDavidson added 35 yards rushing on 12 carries. Freshman James Williams caught two passes, good for 22 yards and Alward gathered in both two-point conversions, one from Sacco and the last from Middleton.
After starting the season 0-4, Calvary Christian has now won two in a row including the previous week’s 50-7 triumph at Lower Moreland.
“It feels good to win a couple,” admitted Reichenbach. “We’re gaining some momentum going into some of our tougher league games coming up.”
Reichenbach completed passes of 16 yards to sophomore Chuck Layton, two to Hollinger for 68 yards and another to senior Vic Pedraza. He also rushed for 35 yards on three attempts.
With the win, Calvary pushes its record to 2-4, overall, 2-2 in the BAL while the Bulldogs fall to 2-4 overall, 1-3 in the BAL.
NOTES: From Jamison, Reichenbach is looking at Liberty University (Lynchburg, Va.) and Virginia Tech as places he’d like to attend college. He is the son of Mike Reichenbach, a former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker (1984-89) and the coach of CCA since 1995.
NEXT: Morrisville hosts Bergen Tech Friday, Oct. 16 while Calvary Christian travels to BAL rival DelCo Christian Sat., Oct. 17.
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Calvary Christian 42, Morrisville 16
(Oct. 10 at CCA)
MORRISVILLE 0 0 8 8 – 16
CALVARY CHRISTIAN 21 14 0 7 – 42
CCA — Hollinger 53 pass from Reichenbach (Crouch kick)
CCA — Hollinger 5 run (Crouch kick)
CCA — Reichenbach 2 run (Crouch kick)
CCA — Hollinger 3 run (Crouch kick)
CCA — Reichenbach 16 run (Crouch kick)
M — Alward 10 pass from Sacco (Alward pass from Sacco)
CCA — Debnam 9 run (Crouch kick)
M — Alward 55 pass from Middleton (Alward pass from Middleton)
First Downs 8 10
Yards Rushing 79 161
Yards Passing 131 120
Total Offense 210 281
Comp. Passes, Int 10-15-1 4-7-0
Fumbles-lost 3-1 1-0
Penalties-yards 1-10 4-35
Punts-Avg. 2-26.5 1-41
Sacked-Yds. Lost 3-20 0-0
RUSHING: Tirado 1-(-2); Sacco 8-47; McDavidson 12-35; Little 1-(-1)
PASSING: Sacco 9-14-1, 76 yards, TD; Middleton 1-1-0, 55 yards, TD
RECEIVING: Alward 7-103, 2 TDs; Pack 1-6; Williams 2-22
RUSHING: Hollinger 5-62, 2 TDs; Reichenbach 3-35, 2 TDs; Kellander 4-25; Debnam 9-33, TD; Fisher 2-6
PASSING: Reichenbach 4-7-0, 120 yards, TD
RECEIVING: Layton 1-16; Hollinger 2-68, TD; Pedraza 1-36
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