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Five TDs a blast for Barlee, Episcopal Academy

BRISTOL TWP. >> DeeWil Barlee smiled when asked about his final touchdown Saturday night at Harry S Truman High School.

The Episcopal Academy junior running back was a workhorse in leading the Churchmen to a 38-21 victory over Conwell-Egan.

Barlee played coy when discussing his final carry of the night. EA could have kneeled the ball at the Eagles’ 10-yard line and run out the clock. But Barlee was on the doorstep of something special.

Not many players have the opportunity to score five touchdowns in a game. While the Churchmen (2-0) had the win locked up with 20 seconds to go, pretty much everyone in attendance was cheering for Barlee to get one more touch.

“I go with the play call,” he said. “It was nice to help my team. I do whatever it takes to win, whatever the coaches need me to do, I do it.”

Barlee exploded for 259 yards and five TDs on 26 carries.

“I saw how close I was. I came over the sideline (before the last play), and I was like, ‘OK, come on coach,’” he said.
Barlee took the handoff from quarterback Maurcus McDaniel and ran straight ahead, knocking over defenders along the way, and stretched his arm over the goal line. He didn’t hit the ground, and there was some drama as to whether he actually made it across. Finally, the sideline judge raised his arms in the air to signal touchdown.

It capped a memorable night for Barlee and the Churchmen.

“The offensive line got those five touchdowns,” said Barlee, giving a shoutout to linemen Adam Klein, Mike McFillin, Harry Riley, Dom Minicozzi and Ryan Rockenbach. Junior tight end Jack Purcell flourished in a blocking role, too.

“Running behind these big boys,” he said, “that’s what I look forward to.”

Barlee was a freshman when his big brother, Dee, rushed for five touchdowns in a game against Conwell-Egan at Truman High. Cool coincidence, huh?

“Oh, man,” he said, upon remembering that little fun fact. “I wasn’t really thinking about what Dee did. I was just thinking about winning.”

Barlee was angry at himself for allowing a touchdown in the second quarter — the first one the Churchmen had yielded this season. Barlee plays every down in the secondary.

“It was tied 7-7 at halftime, and I let up the touchdown,” he said. “My whole mindset changed. I was driven. That was the first touchdown (we) as a defense let up, so I got down on myself. The coaches picked me up.”

Barlee was on a mission after halftime. He had 39 yards on nine carries in the opening half, then proceeded to run for 220 in the third and fourth quarters. He took complete control, with an assist from the big guys in the trenches, of course.

“I love that kid, he’s one of my best friends here,” said Klein, a Temple commit. “He definitely deserves it. He put in the work all summer and every day. It’s awesome that our O-line is getting the credit, but it comes from him having the talent to run the ball.”

Episcopal grabbed a 10-7 lead on a James Silvi 20-yard field goal in the third quarter. Conwell-Egan (1-2) quickly answered thanks to a six-yard quarterback keeper by Alex Goldsby late in the period.

That’s when Barlee kicked into full gear, scoring three straight touchdowns as Episcopal went in front to stay. Moments earlier Purcell forced a fumble on defense to put offense back on the field, effectively ending Conwell-Egan’s bid at a rally.

Despite the 21 points, the Churchmen were quite good on defense. In the first half senior end Milt Mamula set the tone with two sacks and a slew of QB pressures. Unfortunately Mamula sat out the second half with an injury.
Jack and Matt Bush also excelled on the defense for EA.

“It wasn’t always pretty, but we got it done.” Purcell said. “When Milt went down, that was huge. We knew we had to come together, put a lot of work in on the pass rush and stay tough up front.”

A devastating injury to Conwell-Egan sophomore Luke Scrocca early in the first quarter caused a 20-minute delay. Scrocca appeared to suffer a leg injury and had to be carted off the field and transported to a nearby hospital. The Eagles honored their teammate with a gutsy outing, one week after falling to Archbishop Carroll in double overtime.

But Saturday night was the DeeWil Barlee Show. If he wants, he can put together a whole season’s worth of Hudl highlights just from this one game.

“I’m very exhausted,” he said. “But it was nice.”

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