CHELTENHAM >> At halftime, Conwell-Egan’s defense retreated to its locker room and made some adjustments to try and slow down Bishop McDevitt quarterback Max Bryson.
Bryson had been slinging the ball around against the Eagles’ defense in the first half, but had no points to show for it. To keep it that way, Egan didn’t ramp up the pressure on the Royal Lancers senior.
Instead, they did the opposite. And like pretty much everything else Egan’s defense has been doing the past three weeks, it worked.
“We sat back in coverage and made him make decisions that he wasn’t seeing,” Conwell-Egan coach Jack Techtman said. “He’s a great quarterback and (Jaron Macon) is an excellent receiver and we saw what they were doing. We said he’s so good at getting the ball off so quick, let’s sit back in coverage make him make some decisions.”
Egan’s defense kept its roll going on a damp Saturday night at Cheltenham High School, trumping the Lancers 28-0. McDevitt had its chances in a first half that saw the Lancers dominate the time of possession, but with its run game shut down and Egan clamping down after halftime, it was too much to overcome.
It was a game that left both coaches very complimentary of their opponents, with Techtman stopping Bryson, Macon and a few other Lancers on their way off the field for a few words and Lancers coach Mike Watkins noting the excellence of Egan’s defense.
Egan got on the board just four plays into the game, when Kendall Jones hit Chuck Layton on a 34-yard touchdown pass. Techtmann said the play, and the Eagles’ early passing looks, were based off some looks in game tape.
That score proved to be big, as McDevitt then engineered a drive that ate up the remaining 10:10 of the first quarter. However, the 19-play march stalled out at the Eagles’ five-yard line and backed up to the 26 before McDevitt turned it over to end the quarter.
“With a team like Egan when you have opportunities, you have to take advantage of them,” Watkins said. “That’s a heck of a football team on both sides. In the first half, I felt like we did a good job and kept everything kind of in check.”
The Lancers were flag-prone as well, getting tagged seven times for 61 yards. On the night, McDevitt ran the ball 28 times for a net total of 11 yards while Egan’s 29 rushes netted 164 yards.
McDevitt’s second drive also ended on in a turnover on downs when Jayvonne Campbell came up agonizing inches short of the marker on a 10-yard completion from Bryson. Egan would make McDevitt pay for that one by moving down the field and cashing in on a 30-yard run by Patrick Garwo.
That gave the Eagles a 13-0 lead that they would take into break and with that, Techtman was fine with McDevitt running all the plays it wanted.
“We only had 17 first-half plays but scored 13 points,” Techtman said. “We talked at halftime about controlling the ball a little bit and taking what they were giving us.”
At the half, Bryson was 11-13 with 145 passing yards. The McDevitt senior finished the game 13-25 for 174 yards and an interception. So, it’s safe to say Egan’s defense took things up a level, forcing Bryson into 2-8 passing for 29 yards and the pick.
“They had an odd front and made adjustments,” Watkins said. “We had more time to get rid of the ball, but couldn’t seem to find the holes in the defense. That’s all credit to (Egan) for finding and making those adjustments.”
While Egan wasn’t trying to put the quarterback under more pressure, it got to him a lot more, sacking him three times and dropping Bryson for a loss a couple of other times. Egan also did well to contain the quarterback, who is more than capable of getting outside and making things happen.
“We fell our two inside guys defensively, Keinan (Baines) and Dwayne Majors, they’re tough to block,” Techtman said. “Then we also have Quameer (Francis) and Kyree (Bronson). We let them out a few times in the first half, so we talked about containing that edge. We’re really happy with the way our defensive line is playing.”
Bronson also got some action on offense as part of the running back rotation and scored on a 21-yard pass with 2:52 left in the third quarter. Egan went on to ice the game on the first drive of the fourth when second quarterback Alex Goldsby ripped off a 26-yard run, somehow escaping a pair of McDevitt defenders that looked to have him lined up.
Egan faces a stiff test next week with PCL Red foe Cardinal O’Hara. O’Hara has some serious size up front, including Penn State recruit Desmond Holmes, that will test Egan’s soaring defense.
McDevitt has a nonleague game with Wilmington Friends, a team Watkins admitted the Lancers know very little about. But this week isn’t about the opponent, but one for the Lancers to look inward and get some of their issues and trouble spots fixed.
“We know we have the guys, we have the weapons, we just have to put it all together,” Watkins said. “We play such a tough schedule in the Catholic League, we don’t know what to expect but we have a lot to clean up on our end before we even start digging in to their tape.”
CONWELL-EGAN 7 6 8 7 – 28
BISHOP MCDEVITT 0 0 0 0 – 0
CE – Chuck Layton 34 pass from Kendall Jones (Jack Barreras kick) 10:14
CE – Patrick Garwo 30 run (kick fail) 5:11
CE – Kyree Bronson 21 pass from Jones (Jones to Layton pass) 2:52
CE – Alex Goldsby 26 run (Barreras kick) 9:42
First Downs 14 7
Rushes-Yards 29-164 28-11
Passing 4-13-2-0 13-25-0-1
Passing Yards 86 174
Total Yards 260 185
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-0
Penalties-Yards 3-25 7-61
Punting 3-32 5-37
Rushing: CE – Patrick Garwo 8-52, Kendall Jones 8-19, Terome Mitchell 2-2, Kyree Bronson 6-43, Dwayne Majors 4-22, Alex Goldsby 1-26; BM – Max Bryson 17-1, Nasire Griffin 2-2, Diavante Lloyd 8-6, Quamir Reynolds 1-2
Passing: CE – Jones 4-11-0-0-86, Goldsby 0-2-0-0-0; BM – McDevitt 13-25-0-1-174
Receiving: CE – Chuck Layton 1-34, Tom Reilly 1-12, Garwo 1-14, Bronson 1-21; BM – Jaron Macon 5-70, Lloyd 5-55, Jayvonne Campfield 2-36, Griffin 1-13
Interceptions: CE – Terome Mitchell