NEWTOWN SQUARE >> Shortly after Vince Capone decided to play football for Germantown Academy, he came to the realization that a big part of the game wasn’t exactly his favorite.
“I realized I hated hitting people and getting hit,” Capone said, “so I just decided to start kicking. I started in my freshman year. I played soccer until I was like, 12, but I haven’t played since.”
Kicking is working out just fine. With one second left in GA’s Inter-Ac League game against Episcopal Academy, the Patriots trailed as Capone lined up for what he hoped would be his third made field goal of the game. Moments later, he was sprinting in the opposite direction in celebration with his teammates in pursuit, all celebrathing his 37-yard boot at the buzzer that gave the Patriots a 9-7 victory over the Churchmen.
“I was more nervous, but I knew I was going to make it,” Capone said. “It started off a little to the right of the hash and curved in. I was so nervous, but it was pure joy. It was awesome.”
— Matt Chandik (@MChandik26) October 22, 2016
Saying that the Churchmen and Patriots engaged in a defensive battle would be a slight understatement. Neither team scored an offensive touchdown, but Chris Rushton got EA on the board in style in the third quarter.
Churchmen coach Todd Fairlie dialed up a fake punt from their 40, and Rushton took a handoff from punt protector Jon’avin Freeman, came around the edge, got a block from Kyle Virbitsky and sauntered into the end zone.
Rushton’s not the type to frequently get the ball, so once he did, he knew he had to make a play.
“It was definitely exciting to have that chance to get the ball and score a touchdown,” Rushton said. “You can’t get caught once you get the block. You have to score at that point.”
It looked like it would be enough, too. Dan Baker picked off a Kyle McCloskey pass with 5:24 to go as he wrestled a ball away from a Patriot receiver. The ensuing EA drive stalled, but Connor Ringwalt managed to recover a bad snap and punt it to the GA 20.
All that meant for GA quarterback Kyle McCloskey, though, was that it was time to piece together the Patriots’ best drive of the night. The Churchmen were flagged for a questionable pass interference call to give GA new life, and McCloskey scrambled for a 14-yard gain on third-and-15. A minute later, he darted for nine yards on fourth-and-7 before finding Mike Reilly for 19 yards. Three plays later, he hit Reilly for a six-yard out to get Capone into field goal range for the winning points.
Snap, hold, kick, good.
“I missed some throws, we missed a couple catches, but the last drive, we’ve done it the last three weeks; we’ve made last-minute drives to win games,” McCloskey said. “We’ve got something going for us. (Our receivers) made the catches they should have. I made a couple of plays with my feet and we managed to get out of bounds. I’ve got to give all the credit to Vinny. He won us this game. He was the only reason we had points on the board, so I give all the credit to him.”
Dee Will Barlee led the Churchmen with 75 rushing yards and CJ McAnally chipped in 122 total yards at quarterback while also adding a pass breakup at safety.