NEWTOWN – Abington coach Kevin Conlin is happy to have a player like junior running back Darryl Davis-McNeil on his side. The 5-11, 170-pound tailback for the visiting Galloping Ghosts helped turn an eight-point game in the fourth quarter into a rout Friday night (Oct. 7) at Council Rock North’s Walt Snyder Stadium in Newtown.
Davis-McNeil reached the end zone five times including a pair of late fourth-quarter TD runs that went for 46 and 86 yards in the last four minutes of the contest, helping Abington (4-3, 3-1: SONL) to its fourth win of the season, a 35-13 victory over the Indians.
“Darryl is a fantastic player. He’s a really good runner and a big-play machine,” said Conlin. “Once he gets through those linebackers and defensive backs, he scores a lot of long touchdowns.
“He’s pretty dynamic.”
For the game, Davis-McNeil rushed for over 280 yards on 27 rushes including 171 yards on 10 carries in the second half.
“He makes us look really good as coaches,” added Conlin.
Council Rock (1-5, 1-3) scored on its first possession – on a 12-yard burst by senior RB Andrew Kelly – to take a 7-0 lead, then forced the Ghosts to punt on their first possession of the game.
Just when you thought you had a horse race, the Indians fumbled the ball back on the very next play. The Rock would lay the ball on the turf twice more before the half expired and coincidentally, Abington scored twice more to take a 21-7 lead into the locker room.
“We went toe-to-toe with these guys,” added CR North head coach Matt McHugh. “We scored on our first drive and got them 3-and-out on theirs.
“We can compete; we just have to be consistent throughout the game.
“If we do that, we can compete with anybody in this league.”
North’s first fumble came after a nice 17-yard gainer by junior RB Michael Welde, who was down by the time the ball popped loose but a Ghost defender helped him lose possession by prying it loose as the Rock runner was rushing by.
It took Abington nine plays to move the ball 57 yards but the visitors evened the score on a 3-yard TD jaunt by David Mc-Neil.
Following the Indians’ second fumble, one of those long TD runs by Davis-McNeil was a 47-yard scoring scamper with 5:37 showing on the second quarter that gave Abington the lead for good.
“We’re not consistent. They scored 21 points off of our turnovers and that’s unacceptable,” said McHugh.
“We have to continue to get better as players and coaches and not turn the ball over.”
The Indians fumbled a third time deep in their own territory following Davis-McNeil’s 47-yard TD run and four plays later, the Ghosts were in the end zone again. Abington was gifted with a dozen yards on the drive on an absolutely terrible pass interference call on first down (the receiver was the one doing all the pushing), though it really made little difference in the outcome of the game.
“They didn’t do anything different; they didn’t do anything that we haven’t seen before,” added McHugh. “Everything that they did, we practiced against.
“They have schemes and tendencies and we were able to be in position to make plays.
“We just have to consistently play 48 minutes of football. That’s all we have to do and we’re not doing it.”
Coming back from the break, North’s defense stiffened and forced a turnover on downs at its own 43. It took a dozen plays but the Indians finally punched the ball into the end zone again on a quarterback keeper by junior Evan Devine that cut the deficit to eight points late in the third quarter. An 8-yard jump ball pass that senior Connor Collins came down inside the 10 with on third-and-7 was a key play on the drive.
What’s more, the Rock forced the visitors to punt on their first possession of the final frame.
The Abington defense, however, returned the favor on North’s next possession. While the Ghosts got a first down on their next touch, the Indians forced a turnover on downs when Andrew Kelly broke up a pass to Temple-bound wide receiver George Reid.
While that gave the ball back to the Rock at its own 37 yard line, once again, North failed to get a first down, giving the ball back to the visitors at the Indians’ 46.
The Rock turned it over on downs on its next possession and it was around that time that Davis-McNeil turned what appeared to be a close game into a rout.
Contact Steve Sherman at [email protected] or @BucksLocalSport on Twitter
Abington 35, Council Rock North 13
(Oct. 7 at CR North)
CR NORTH 7 0 6 0 – 13
ABINGTON 0 21 0 14 – 35
CRN — Andrew Kelly 12-yd. run (Alexio Troia kick)
A — Darryl Davis-McNeil 3-yd run (Casey Hesdon kick)
A —Davis-McNeil 47-yd run (Hesdon kick)
A —Davis-McNeil 4-yd run (Hesdon kick)
CRN — Evan Devine 3-yd run (kick failed)
A —Davis-McNeil 46-yd run (Hesdon kick)
A —Davis-McNeil 86-yd run (Hesdon kick)