LANGHORNE – While Council Rock North hadn’t played a Suburban One National League game in two seasons, Neshaminy didn’t exactly extend a warm welcome to the visiting Indians – who resided in the SOL Continental Conference the past two years – Friday night, Sept. 16 on Heartbreak Ridge.
Entering the contest unbeaten, the Redskins didn’t score on every possession they had in the first half but almost. Neshaminy reached the end zone in six of seven first-half possessions to take a 43-0 lead over the Rock into the locker room on its way to a 43-7 triumph, it’s fourth of the season.
Starting their first drive at their own 22, the Skins came out passing – Neshaminy senior quarterback Mason Jones tossed the first ball to junior Mike Garlick on an out pattern, good for 22 yards. The next play was a 21-yard pass to senior Zach Tredway. The next was a pass in the flat, again to Tredway that went for 24 yards down to the 1 yard line.
Jones plunged in from the one and the Skins were on their way.
“We watched a lot of film and we prepared this week to take advantage of what they gave us,” said Jones, who tossed a pair of TD passes and ran for another score.
“The pass was there and we saw it so we were able to take advantage of it and our receivers did a good job catching the ball and making plays for us.”
While both sides traded punts on their next possessions, Neshaminy scored touchdowns on its next five touches and a safety on a botched punt, one of two by the Indians before the break.
“We always come out to win,” said Jones. “We executed and did our job. When we do that, good things happen.”
Jones threw incomplete on the first two passes on the Skins’ next drive. But he went right back to Tredway for a 21-yard third-down completion that gave Neshaminy the ball at Rock’s 34 yard line. A couple of runs by senior Will Dogba and a 16-yard pass to Garlick and the Skins were in the end zone again.
The Rock recorded a first down on its next touch but only one before punting. Neshaminy took the kick to the 41 and was awarded 15 more yards on a late hit, giving the Skins a short field with which to operate. Four plays later, Dogba beat the defenders around the left end, then raced everyone to the end zone on his way to a 20-yard TD run to put Neshaminy up 20-0 with 10 minutes still to play in the first half.
“Will’s a great runner so you just know they’re going to focus on him,” said Jones. “But our line does a great job blocking for the run.”
“When they focus on the run, we can pass and when they focus on the pass, we can run the ball, too.”
After going 3-and-out on its next possession, Council Rock snapped the ball over the head of its punter, who kicked the ball off the back of a Neshaminy blocker. Ruled a safety, the Indians were forced to kick off from the 20.
That gave the Skins another short field and Dogba took full advantage when he took the following snap up the middle for a 50-yard touchdown strike that put Neshaminy up 29-0 with 7:31 to go in the half.
The Rock gave the Skins another short field when the Indians failed on fourth down and short yardage from their own 44. On the ensuing Neshaminy drive, Garlick took a swing pass 24 yards to the house for a 36-0 Skins’ lead.
“Our receiving group is very talented,” said Jones. “They’re hard-working guys; they run good routs and they have good hands. We’re always on the same page and we talk things through together and they’re having a successful year, so far.”
North botched the ensuing punt and again Neshaminy made the visitors pay when junior Mike Crescenzo took the ball in from the 11 yard line.
With the clock continually moving after the break, the Skins called the dogs off in the second half while the Rock took the opening kickoff and drove it 61 yards down the field for its only touchdown in the contest. Junior Mike Welde, who mustered more than half of North’s offense in this one, took the second-half kickoff to the 39 and a late hit by the Skins gave Rock the ball at Neshaminy’s 46 yard line.
North converted a pair of big third-down plays on the drive, both to Welde. On 3rd-and-7 at the Skins’ 33, Welde bounced off the right tackle for a 21-yard gainer that gave the Tribe the ball at the 12. A motion penalty cost North but Welde took a 3rd-and-14 pass to the house to put the Rock on the board with 5:23 to play in the third quarter.
While the Indians are still searching for their first win under first-year coach Matt McHugh, the Skins started with non-league triumphs over Roman Catholic, Pennridge and Downingtown West.
“The goal for us is to win every game but we take it one week at a time,” said Jones. “We’ve been building but we’re looking to continue our season and get better, from here.”
At halftime, Neshaminy inducted into its 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).
After registering 20 points against 2014 District 1-AAAA finalist Coatesville in week one, the Rock has been outscored 78-13 by its last two foes. North (0-3) returns to the gridiron Saturday, Sept. 24 at home vs. Pennsbury in a Homecoming contest. The Falcons are 2-2 after a 21-6 win over William Tennent.
Neshaminy (4-0) must travel to Truman Friday, Sept. 23 for a 7 p.m. contest. The Tigers fell to 1-3 overall with a 12-6 loss to CR South (1-3), which recorded its first win of the season.
Neshaminy 43, Council Rock North 7
(Sept. 16 at Neshaminy)
NESHAMINY 13 30 0 0 – 43
CR NORTH 0 0 7 0 – 7
(Sept. 16 at Neshaminy)
N — Jones 1-yd. run (McDonald kick)
N — Garlick 16-yd. pass from Jones (kick failed)
N — Dogba 20-yd. run (McDonald kick)
N — safety
N — Dogba 50-yd. run (McDonald kick)
N — Garlick 24-yd. pass from Jones (McDonald kick)
N — Crescenzo 11-yd. run (McDonald kick)
CRN — Welde 16-yd pass from Devine (Troia kick)