DOWNINGTOWN – There’s something to be said about recording the first strike right out of the gate.
Visiting Neshaminy wasted no time going for the throat Friday night against winless Downingtown West with Skins senior quarterback Mason Jones hitting junior wide receiver Mike Garlick for a 74-yard touchdown strike on the third play from scrimmage less than a minute into the Sept. 9 non-league contest at Kottemeyer Stadium.
Jones would reach paydirt through the air twice more before the final gun, helping Neshaminy to its third win of the season against some pretty stiff competition. The Skins topped Roman Catholic and Suburban One Continental rival Pennridge in their first two games. They host Council Rock North next Friday night in their Suburban One National League opener.
Senior running back Will Dogba rushed for 143 yards and a first-quarter touchdown that put Neshaminy on top, 14-0 only 7:19 into the contest.
The Whippets answered with a 20-yard touchdown run by senior Cole Zaph that cut their deficit to seven points with 2:04 remaining in the first quarter.
Jones went back to work in the second quarter, hitting sophomore flanker Cory Joyce with a 54-yard TD pass that extended the visitors’ edge to two scores with less than seven minutes to go in the half.
However, Zaph struck again before the halftime bell, capping a 79-yard touchdown drive when he reached the end zone for the second time on a 10-yard scoring run with 41 seconds to go in the second quarter.
After the break, it was all Redskins, who opened the second half with an 8-play, 95-yard scoring drive. Midway through the third quarter, Jones capped the drive when he hit his favorite receiver, senior Zach Tredway, for a 27-yard TD pass.
In the final frame, junior running back Mike Crescenzo replaced Dogba in the backfield and ran for two more scores. Crescenzo came in for Dogba – who was shaken up on a play and was reportedly on his back on the turf for five minutes – in the third quarter.
Jones tried to hit Tredway again in the end zone again in the fourth quarter but the ball bounced off the receiver’s hands on fourth-and-one, giving the ball back to Downingtown. The Whippets then went for it on fourth-and-one and didn’t make it, the difference being they were buried deep in their own territory.
Taking possession of the ball at the DW 29 yard line, Crescenzo scored his first touchdown on a 2-yard plunge, putting Neshaminy on top, 35-14 with 7:04 to play. After an interception by senior DB Jacob Gordon at Downingtown’s 16 yard line with 4:48 left, Crescenzo powered in from the five to send the score to its final.
For the game, Dogba rushed for 143 yards and a touchdown. Jones threw for 279 yards and three scores. Tredway caught six passes for 123 yards and a touchdown.
By halftime, Jones completed six of 13 passes for 180 yards and two scores. Dogba rushed 12 times for 74 yards and a touchdown.
On the season, Jones has tossed the ball for over 820 yards and eight touchdowns. Tredway – who lives on the same street as Jones – has over 225 yards receiving and Dogba is nearing 400 yards rushing. Together with his yards receiving and some more ground gained on kick returns, Dogba has registered more than 500 all-purpose yards in the first three games of the season.
Including last night’s game, the Downingtown team has surrendered 118 points, a near-40 point average for the season. The last time Neshaminy started a campaign at 3-0 was 2013 when the Skins captured the District 1-AAAA championship.
Next up for Downingtown West, the Whippets travel to Ches-Mont American Division rival Kennett to begin the league play portion of their schedule. Kennett is 2-1 with wins in its last two battles against Chichester and Twin Valley. The Blue Demons topped the Raiders, 30-15 last night at TV, which was doomed by six turnovers.
In next Friday’s league opener at home vs. Rock North, the Skins are expected to induct into their Football Hall of Fame linebacker Tom Munski (1963-65), tackle Vince Sannelli (1987-89), center Chris Rogers (1988-90), fullback/linebacker Jay Collins (2000-01) and kicker Kevin Kelly (2001-04).
A four-year starter at Penn State (2005-08), Kelly finished his career with the Nittany Lions with 425 points – 143 points more than No. 2 on the list, kicker Craig Fayak (1990-93).
Neshaminy 42, Downingtown West 14
(Sept. 9 at Downingtown West)
NESHAMINY 14 7 7 14 – 42
DOWNINGTOWN WEST 7 7 0 0 – 14
N — Mike Garlick 74 pass from Mason Jones (McDonald kick)
N — Will Dogba 3 run (McDonald kick)
DW — Cole Zapf 16 run (Biscardi kick)
N — Cory Joyce 54 pass from Jones (McDonald kick)
DW — Zapf 10 run (Biscardi kick)
N — Tredway 27 pass from Jones (McDonald kick)
N — Mike Crescenzo 2 run (McDonald kick)
N — Crescenzo 5 run (McDonald kick)
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