LANGHORNE >> Neshaminy quarterback Mason Jones insists he’s not looking for tight end Oleh Manzyk any more than usual lately.
On the other hand, when the Redskins are within striking range of the end zone, Manzyk has been awfully difficult to miss. The senior passer and sophomore pass catcher hooked up for two more touchdowns Friday night, Sept. 30 as Neshaminy pulled away from visiting Abington, 21-0, in a matchup of the top two teams in the Suburban One National Conference.
Manzyk has caught five touchdown passes in the last two games. His 10-yarder just before halftime broke a scoreless stalemate on a misty, soggy evening atop Heartbreak Ridge. After running back Will Dogba extended the lead to 14-0 with an eight-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter, Manzyk caught a 35-yard touchdown to end the period.
The performance was far from expected as Manzyk has been dealing with an ankle injury, which kept him out of the Redskins’ defensive lineup. Usually, he’s a starting linebacker.
“He’s a talented person. He twisted his ankle a bit and missed practice this week, so he was limited on defense,” head coach Steve Wilmot said. “But he knows our offense.”
Despite slick field conditions, the Redskins (6-0, 3-0 SOLN) relied heavily on Jones’ passing arm to move the ball. They ran just 11 true running plays in the first half. Jones threw 19 times and was sacked twice in that span. For the game, Jones completed 15 of 29 passes for 227 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Senior wide receiver Zach Tredway was the top producer yardage-wise with six catches for 109 yards. Manzyk was quiet for long stretches of the game, but his made his three catches count. He tallied 81 yards receiving.
“I’m not singling him out more. You can’t key on one guy,” Jones said. “I’m just going through my progressions and Oleh did a good job winning his match-ups tonight.”
Manzyk entered the game with more than 400 receiving yards on just 10 catches. Wilmont said that the tight end benefits from a passing scheme where the receivers flare and open the middle for the tight end.
“We try to do a bit of misdirection with the passing game,” the coach said.
Dogba and Mike Crescenzo shared the running back duties. They teamed for 21 carries and 71 yards.
“Abington played us tough,” Jones said. “Offensively, we kind of found a rhythm and the end of the first half and it continued into the second half.”
Wilmot was more interested in talking up his young defense after the game. Even without Manzyk in there, the Redskins played a bit of a bend-but-don’t-break style against a Ghosts team that entered the game undefeated in SOLN play.
Abington moved into Neshaminy territory on its first two possessions and three more times in the second half, but never advanced inside Neshaminy’s 23-yard line. Wide receiver George Reid ominously ran a wildcat play 56 yards on Abington’s second offensive snap.
But by game’s end, Reid had just 64 yards rushing. Similarly, the Redskins limited Abington quarterback Billy Griffenburg to five yards passing. He was 1-for-15. Neshaminy’s Jacob Gordon intercepted one of those passes.
Otherwise, the Redskins seemed content to corral Abington’s feature running back Darryl Davis, who needed 31 carries to tally 136 yards.
“We were trying to take away the run. We’re very lucky to have a talented defensive backfield with Jacob Gordon, Joel Stills and Zach Tredway, and we needed those guys to step up and help take away the run,” Wilmot said.
“Our defense was big for us tonight,” Jones said.
Neshaminy 21, Abington 0
(Sept. 30 at Neshaminy)
Abington (3-3) 0 0 0 0 — 0
Neshaminy (6-0) 0 7 14 0 — 21
N — Manzyk 10 pass from Jones (McDonald kick)
N — Dogba 8 run (McDonald kick)
N — Manzyk 35 pass from Jones (McDonald kick)