HORSHAM >> As the Delco Christian Knights made a circle to stretch after the game Friday night, senior leaders like Amir Dorsey, Nazim Trammell-Wells, Kyle Winters and Giho Park gathered in the middle. They embraced.
The Knights lost, 21-9, to Bishop McDevitt in the Class A District One/12 sub-regional championship Friday at Hatboro-Horsham. Delco Christian’s stellar season ends at 10-2, while the 6-6 Lancers head to the state tournament.
“You have games like that, but even through that, we still gave so much effort,” said Winters, a four-year starting lineman. “That I’m not ashamed of at all.”
One season after winning this very game, the Knights found themselves in an uphill battle against an athletic squad from the Philadelphia Catholic League. A fourth-place team in the regular season due to competition like West Catholic and Landsale Catholic, the Lancers scored on three of their first four possessions and were up 21-3 at the half.
Delco Christian miscues set those up. It was late getting a fourth-down play call in and had to punt late in the first quarter. McDevitt scored on the ensuing drive. The Knights fumbled with 49 seconds remaining in the half at their 32. McDevitt scored 39 seconds later.
“I think we just had too many mistakes, that’s what cost us the game,” Dorsey said. “In the second half, I think we did a lot better on defense and offense, and if we played like that during the first half, it would’ve been a different game. But I’ve got to give them credit, they’re a pretty athletic team.”
The Knights also struggled to get off the field. McDevitt got 25 yards on a second-and-13 on its first touchdown drive and scored on a third-and-10. Its second touchdown came on fourth-and-five. The Lancers had 14 total first downs and 298 total yards.
Do-everything speedster Dontae Mason was involved in most of that. He ran the ball, generally behind center, for 96 yards. He threw for 70 yards. He even caught a pass for 12 yards.
“It just didn’t go our way tonight, but I was really proud of the way (we competed),” Delco Christian coach Drew Pearson said. “We were playing a really talented football team, They had five or six guys that were very talented and very good in space.”
Ford Harvey’s 26-yard field goal opened the scoring. Max Bryson’s 11-yard scramble gave McDevitt the lead. Mason’s 35-yard run made it 13-3. His 13-yard pass to Jaron Macon was the insurance.
Down 18 at halftime, Delco Christian opened the second half with a perfect onside kick. It drove down the field, but one-yard from paydirt, Dorsey fumbled. Instead of six points, it went for a touchback.
“It’s a bad feeling,” Dorsey said.
He eventually scored on a four-yard run, but that came with five minutes, 39 seconds remaining. A run-first, run-second and run-third team like Delco Christian was not built to score quickly.
“That’s not our game when we’re behind like that,” Pearson said.
Delco Christian wound up with 267 yards on the ground, and none through the air. In their final games, Trammell-Wells ran for 115 and Dorsey pounded for 74. The two combined to touch the ball on 37 of their team’s 58 plays.
They were singled out for their efforts by Pearson in the team meeting after the game. So was Harvey, Winters, Park, Jack Grim and the rest of the seniors. Through last year’s state berth and this year’s outright Bicentennial Athletic League title, they’ve had quite the run.
It came to an end, suddenly, on a chilly night in Horsham.
“It’s not like we lost to a bad football team,” Pearson said. “I’m proud of our guys, we just can’t afford to make mistakes.”
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