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Bonner & Prendie’s ground game hits hyperdrive

PHILADELPHIA >> The rain didn’t stop falling until midway through the third quarter, but the yards never stopped coming for Bonner & Prendergast.

The Friars racked up 366 yards on the ground en route to a dominating 52-18 victory Saturday over Neumann-Goretti in Catholic League action. Joe Hartley-Vittoria led the way with 143 of those yards and two touchdowns. Tom Millison added 97 and two scores of his own.

The victory sent Bonner & Prendergast to 3-4 overall and 2-2 in Blue Division play. It also left their coach smiling when he found out how many yards his team had accumulated on the ground.

“It’s a nice number,” Friars coach Jack Muldoon said.

Ten different Friars touched the ball against this severely undermanned, and still winless, Saints team, which hosted this one at the South Philadelphia Supersite. Bonner & Prendergast led 26-6 at halftime and 39-12 at the end of the third quarter.

Midway through the fourth quarter, the benches emptied and the underclassmen got some work in. It took a while – 2 hours, 45 minutes to be exact – but it was a fairly easy, clean night for the Friars.

“We knew that we had a real good game plan,” Muldoon said. “Obviously, we just felt like if we stuck to the plan, we’re going to kind of wear them out, which is exactly what happened.”

The scoring started on the game’s opening play when Hunter Clements-Ragin took the kickoff 60 yards for a touchdown. That set the tone. The Friars pounded their way to dominance from there, scoring three more times in the first quarter; Shawn Harmon had scoring runs of 13 and eight yards, Hartley-Vittoria had a two-yard TD plunge.

The win was never in doubt, yet the scrappy tailback wasn’t over-the-moon with what had transpired.

“It was good work by the whole team in general, but I think when it comes down to it, if you compare the external scoreboard – those 52 points – to the internal scoreboard, we’ve got a lot to work on,” Hartley-Vittoria said.

“Especially going into next week. We’ve got a hard week of practice. We’ve got to put this week behind us and get on to next week.”

Next week would be a home date with West Catholic, which will stand as a much tougher test than Neumann-Goretti posed. The Saints did rack up three touchdowns, two on big plays, but it stood as another comfortable win for Bonner & Prendergast.

After four straight losses where the Friars scored a total of 28 points, they’ve dropped 85 over the last two weeks.

“Our confidence is coming, we’re feeling like we struggled a little bit scoring early,” Muldoon said. “Now this gives us a lot of good stuff to go by.”

After the game, a Bonner & Prendergast coach asked the skill position players to stand up and applaud the offensive linemen. That wasn’t lost on Millison.

“It’s won up front on the offensive line,” he said, “and the offensive line did a good job.”



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