NEWTOWN – Entering last night’s gridiron war with Suburban One National League (SONL) rival Council Rock North, visiting Truman was still stinging from the previous week’s 56-7 loss to league leader Neshaminy.
The Tigers say they wanted to show the world what they were made of Thursday night at Walt Snyder Stadium in Newtown.
“How we played Saturday, that’s not how we play,” stated Truman senior running back Sayyid Saunders. “We wanted to prove to everybody else that this is how we play and this is what we’re going to start doing to every other team that comes in front of us.”
Saunders sparked a proficient running attack that netted 288 yards for the Tigers, 56-28 winners in this one. The speedy tailback led the way with 109 yards rushing and two touchdowns on just eight carries. His 48-yard scoring jaunt down the right sideline gave the Tigers a 14-7 lead in the closing moments of the first quarter.
“This is a big win for us,” said Saunders. “It boosted our confidence way higher than it was.”
While the Indians were able to answer Saunders’ scoring sprint with one of their own, a 50-yard race to the end zone by CR North senior RB Michael Welde in the opening minute of the second quarter, Truman took control from there.
In a 28-0 scoring run to finish the first half, the Tigers were sparked by junior Gabe Gipli and sophomore Terrence Rodgers. Gipli came through with touchdown runs of 15 and 18 yards, respectively and Rodgers added a 25-yard scoring scamper that put Truman on top, 35-14, with 1:28 to play in the half.
“We came into the game expecting to win,” said Saunders. “But we weren’t expecting them to go toe to toe with us in the beginning.
“We started to focus more in the second quarter and ended up doing what we had to do.”
That was not enough for the Tigers, however. The Truman defense put the clamps down on three straight carries by Welde, forcing a punt with 28 seconds left in the second quarter.
Tigers quarterback Dylan Snelling – who put his team on top 7-0 less than three minutes into the game with a 1-yard TD plunge – moved the visitors into opposing territory with a 32-yard pass along the right sideline to junior Javeer Peterson. Snelling used almost the same play in a 38-yard scoring strike to Peterson, who tumbled into the end zone with 0:00 showing on the first-half clock.
“Our mentality was ‘no mercy,’” said Saunders. “We wanted to continue to score and get as many points on the board as we could.”
In the second half, the teams traded touchdowns in each quarter with Truman striking first in each frame. Snelling reached the end zone for the second time in the game after an Indians fumble gave the Tigers a short field at CR North’s 28 yard line.
Then, Welde capped a 10-play, 65-yard scoring drive for the Rock on a 19-yard TD scamper around the right end that drew the Indians only within four touchdowns with 2:16 still to play in the third quarter.
In the final frame, Saunders added a 12-yard TD run and CR North backup quarterback Adam Charen tossed a 9-yard scoring strike to sophomore Evan Mancinelli.
While Truman senior RB David Akinwande finished with just 42 yards rushing on five carries, Gipli stepped up with 70 yards rushing and two touchdowns on five carries and Rodgers added 75 yards and a score, also on five carries.
“They have some good ballplayers over there,” admitted CR North head coach Matt McHugh. “They blocked us off the ball in the trenches in the second quarter and we couldn’t make tackles in the secondary.
“We have to continue to work and coach these guys up. Our next opponent is Abington and we have to start preparing for them.”
After starting the season with a 14-13 win at West Chester East, the Rock has dropped five straight including three consecutive to SOL National Conference foes.
Abington is 2-4 and winless (0-3) in the SOL National Conference after last night’s 33-28 loss to Neshaminy (5-1). Council Rock South (2-4) toppled the Ghosts, 28-14, Sept. 23 at CR North. The Indians must travel to Abington on Friday night, Oct. 6 for the 7 p.m. league pairing.
At the same time, Truman, meanwhile, will host Pennsbury, which is 5-1 after last night’s 34-13 win over Bensalem (4-2).
TOP PHOTO: Council Rock North sophomore Tim Gibson (36), left, is pursued by Truman senior Sayyid Saunders in SOL National Conference battle between the schools Thursday, Sept. 28 at Walt Snyder Stadium in Newtown. (Steve Sherman – 21st-Century Media)
Truman 56, Council Rock North 28
(Sept. 28 at CR North)
TRUMAN (5-1, 2-1: SONL) 14 28 7 7 – 56
CR NORTH (1-5, 0-3: SONL) 7 7 7 7 – 28
T — Dylan Snelling 1 run (Kevin Buckland kick)
CRN — Michael Welde 6 run (Billy Robinson kick)
T — Sayyid Saunders 48 run (Buckland kick)
CRN —Welde 50 run (Robinson kick)
T — Gabe Gipli 15 run (Buckland kick)
T — Gabe Gipli 18 run (Buckland kick)
T — Terrence Rodgers 25 run (Buckland kick)
T — Javeer Peterson 38 pass from Snelling (Buckland kick)
T — Snelling 1 run (Buckland kick)
CRN — Welde 19 run (Robinson kick)
T — Saunders 12 run (Buckland kick)
CRN — Evan Mancinelli 9 pass from Adam Charen (Robinson kick)