LANGHORNE – As expected, unbeaten Neshaminy trounced Suburban One National League (SONL) rival Council Rock South Friday night on Heartbreak Ridge.
The Skins were on top 21-0 in the second quarter when a pair of quick turnovers by the visiting Golden Hawks turned a battle into a 42-7 rout. The truth is this game had a significantly different flavor than Neshaminy’s previous skirmish at Bensalem, where the Skins faced a 5-point deficit at the half.
“It was a good bounce-back week,” said Neshaminy senior QB Mason Jones. “We had a good week of preparation, we watched a lot of film and we learned from Bensalem. We came out ready for Council Rock South.”
Neshaminy senior wide receiver Zach Tredway had just caught his second touchdown pass of the game to put the Skins up, 21-0. Council Rock South (1-8, 1-5: SONL) couldn’t get anything going on its next possession so all they had to do was punt and get a stop – right?
Yes, but first, you at least have to get the kick off. The Hawks didn’t get the punt away, muffing the exchange between the snapper and the kicker, giving Neshaminy (9-0, 6-0: SONL) the ball at Council Rock’s 25.
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The truth is you never want to give the Skins’ offense a short field. Six plays later, including an 8-yard pass from quarterback Mason Jones to Jacob Gordon on fourth down, and Neshaminy was on top 28-0 on a 3-yard TD run up the middle by senior Will Dogba, his second scoring jaunt of the game.
Now there’s 4:11 remaining in the half so South wants to get a touchdown and go into the locker room, down three scores.
That plan was foiled when Gordon stepped in front of an ill-advised throw by Hawks QB Christian Jabbar aimed for South tight end Nick Gallo. Gordon returned the interception 26 yards for a pick-six that put the Skins up, 35-0.
“Anytime a big play happens, it’s exciting and Gordon’s pick-six was big for us,” said Jones.
“The defense played great tonight. The turnovers set us up with some good field position and we were able to capitalize off of it.”
The score meant a running clock throughout the entire second half.
“We wanted to execute the offense and we have multiple plays that we can run on one (snap),” said Jones. “We did a good job of staying balanced and that enabled us to be successful.”
The Hawks got a touchdown back when Neshaminy junior RB Mike Crescenzo fumbled a ball on the Skins’ first possession after the break into the hands of Ryan Kilgariff, who returned the ball 27 yards to the Neshaminy 11 yard line.
Two plays later, Hawks junior RB Chase Patterson got CR South on the scoreboard with an 8-yard TD scamper around the left end that set the score at 35-7.
With 6:45 left in the third quarter, Neshaminy had already begun entering its scout team into the contest. The Skins went right back to Crescenzo and the junior running back carried the ball six times on the next drive, including a short TD plunge.
While it looked like Neshaminy backup QB Nick Donato tossed an interception into the hands of Hawks DB Nick Lauletta on 4th-and-14 at the 41, the pick was negated by a roughing the passer penalty on South that gave the Skins a first down at the Hawks’ 26.
Four plays later, Neshaminy was in the end zone again, this time, on a less than 1-yard plunge by Crescenzo.
Twin Skins sophomore running backs Savaughn and Savion Hebron, direct descendants of the famed Eagles special teamer Vaughn Hebron, wrapped the SOL National Conference clash with some nifty runs on Neshaminy’s last possession.
“They’re tough runners and they did a good job and made some plays,” said Jones, of the Hebrons.
“It’s always good for the young guys to get experience because that will help them in their careers.
“I know when I was a young guy and I got reps, it really helped me to get into the position I’m in right now.”
With only one game – next Friday at home vs. Pennsbury – separating the Skins from the postseason, some might think Neshaminy – which captured a district championship in 2013 and went to the D-1 semis last year – would be looking ahead to the postseason. Not so, says Jones.
“We have one more week to go against our rival Pennsbury so it’s going to be a big game and we’re going to get ready for that,” said Jones. “We’ll think about playoff when they come around.”
The Skins earned a hard-fought 16-14 victory in last year’s battle with the Falcons but lost to Pennsbury the year before by a 17-3 score.
Neshaminy 42, Council Rock South 7
(Oct. 21 at Neshaminy)
NESHAMINY (9-0, 6-0: SONL) 14 21 0 7 – 42
CR SOUTH (1-8, 1-5: SONL) 0 0 7 0 – 7
N — Will Dogba 19-yd. run (Dylan McDonald kick)
N — Zach Tredway 2-yd. pass from Mason Jones (McDonald kick)
N — Tredway 11-yd. pass from Jones (McDonald kick)
N — Dogba 3-yd. run (McDonald kick)
N — Jacob Gordon 26-yd. interception return (McDonald kick)
CRS — Chase Patterson 8-yd. run (Brett Gold kick)
N — Mike Crescenzo 1-yd. run ( Matt Leonhauser kick)