BRISTOL TWP. – Turnovers.
They kill you every single time.
Conwell-Egan Catholic’s best efforts against Philadelphia Catholic League (PCL) Blue Division rival Lansdale Catholic came undone, due to five turnovers – all fumbles – committed by the Eagles.
“You turn the ball over (five) times, you’re going to lose the football game,” said CEC head coach Jack Techtmann. “Every time we got within striking distance to go up two scores, we put the ball on the ground and lost it.”
“We didn’t punt in the second half. We scored on the first drive to go up by seven and then three fumbles after that. You can’t win a big game like this when you do that.”
Trailing 21-14 after three quarters, the visiting Crusaders outscored Egan 17-0 in the final frame, taking advantage of two CEC fumbles in the final 10 minutes to walk away with a 31-21 victory. Lansdale registered 24 points off Eagle turnovers in the contest.
“We missed some tackles and when we were down a little bit at the end, they got some second-effort yardage that really hurt us,” said Techtmann. “We let up 31 points. We couldn’t have done a great job if we let up 31 points.”
The Crusaders got three scoring scampers from senior Matt Casee and a last-minute 39-yard scoring jaunt by sophomore Danny Dutkiewicz to help seal their second PCL Blue Division triumph of the season Friday night at Truman High’s Henry C. Morgan Stadium in Bristol Township.
With 129 yard on 20 carries, Dutkiewicz led a Lansdale rushing attack that gouged the CEC defense for 290 yards. Casee added 103 yards on 15 scampers and junior Jason Carr had 25 yards on seven totes.
In the first half, the sides traded blows with each team reaching the end zone twice.
The Eagles scored on their second possession of the game with CEC junior running back Patrick Garwo capping a three-play, 53-yard drive with a 5-yard scoring plunge.
With the score tied at 7-all, Egan senior DB Chuck Leyton picked off an ill-advised Mike Dutkiewicz aerial at the 40 yard line, returning it all the way to the Crusaders’ six yard line. It took Garwo just one play to give Egan their second lead in the contest just 1:46 into the second quarter.
Both of Lansdale’s touchdowns before the intermission came off of Egan turnovers, though the first was just a spectacular scoring jaunt by Casee, to the tune of a 62-yard TD scamper that tied the game at 7-all.
The second Crusader score came after an Alex Goldsby fumble at the eight yard line. It took Casee just two plays to reach the end zone from there. He tied the game on a 1-yard TD plunge with 5:42 still to play in the half.
The tit-for-tat continued into the third quarter with the Eagles going to the air for their points. On second-and eight from midfield, Goldsby caught freshman Dajuan Harris in stride on a post pattern for a 50-yard TD strike.
On its next possession, Egan looked like it might pad the lead, driving the ball all the way to the Lansdale 26 yard line. The drive faltered however due to Eagle penalties and miscues and the Crusaders took over at their own 26 yard line after a turnover on downs.
“Penalties and fumbles – we talk about it all the time,” said Techtmann. “We talk about securing the ball and not making mental mistakes.
“We got down here, we had four yards to go to get a first down at the 10 yard line. Our tackle jumps, then we got another penalty and the next thing you know, we’re at the 30 yard line.
“It’s just too many mistakes to beat a good-coached team like Lansdale Catholic.”
From there, the Crusaders assembled a 13-play, 74-yard scoring drive that was capped by Casee’s third touchdown of the night, tying the score at 21-all 1:41 into the fourth quarter.
Again, a fumble by Egan set Lansdale up at midfield. The Crusaders took full advantage, using a 14-play drive, capped by a 22-yard field goal by LC kicker Brendan Menges to take a 24-21 lead with just over four minutes to go in the contest. The sophomore also made four extra points in the battle.
“I thought our kids played hard. Sometimes they played too hard,” said Techtmann. “That second effort, trying to get extra yardage, they’d get hit and fumble the ball. And those turnovers kill you.”
Garwo was limited to less than 75 yards on 18 carries, a common theme when the Eagles lose.
The week before in the Eagles’ 56-24 win over Berks Conference rival Schuylkill Valley, Patrick rushed for 288 yards and five touchdowns. Defensively, CEC limited the Panthers to 98 yards rushing while compiling 367 rushing yards in their own ground assault.
Lansdale entered the game coming off a 40-28 loss to PCL Blue Division rival West Catholic. In that game, Casee rushed for 137 yards on 23 carries. At kickoff, he led the Crusaders with 424 yards on 67 carries. Danny Dutkiewicz was his team’s second leading rusher with 232 yards on 45 totes.
Lansdale Catholic 31, Conwell-Egan 21
(Sept. 29 at Truman)
CONWELL-EGAN (2-4, 0-2: PCL Blue Div.) 0 14 7 0 – 21
LANSDALE CATHOLIC (2-3, 2-1: PCL Blue Div.) 7 7 0 17 – 31
CE – Patrick Garwo 5 run (Jack Barreras kick)
LC – Matt Casee 62 run (Brendan Menges kick)
CE – Garwo 6 run (Barreras kick)
LC – Casee 1 run (Menges kick)
CE – Dajuan Harris 50 pass from Alex Goldsby (Barreras kick)
LC – Casee 1 run (Menges kick)
LC – Menges 22 field goal
LC – Dan Dutkiewicz 39 run (Menges kick)