By Stephen Goodwin Jr.
LOWER GWYNEDD >> Heartbreak visited Hatboro-Horsham each of the last two weeks and it looked like it might pay another visit when the Wissahickon Trojans hosted the Hatters Friday night.
The Hatters lost to Upper Moreland on Sept. 23 41-40 and to Quakertown Sept. 28 26-20. Any breakdowns were held off by Hatboro-Horsham’s Josh Smith who carried the ball 22 times for 133 yards and a touchdown in the Hatters 21-12 win at Wissahickon High School.
“It was a great bounce back win,” Smith said. “It was a big win to get our team confidence up and that is what we need. We lost those couple close games because we didn’t finish like we should have, but we finished today.”
The Hatters nearly doubled the century mark with 39 rushes for 190 yards on the ground. Smith credited his hard work, dedication, preparation and hunger for the game for his success.
“I just want to win,” Smith said. “I just wanted to give it all up for the team. The line played great. They blocked for me. The holes were open and I just ran. They gave me all they could give and I gave them the same back.”
The Trojans kept the game close throughout, but were plagued mostly with drops and penalties at inopportune times. The Wissahickon defense jumping offsides was a main culprit with the Trojans jumping six times.
“It’s frustrating,” Wissahickon coach Randy Cuthbert said. “We have to get better at that and play with more discipline on both sides of the ball. We did it on our defense a bunch of times and we did it on our offense at bad times. You just can’t shoot yourself in the foot like that when you play good teams.”
The Hatters turned the ball over on downs on their first drive when they went away from the run, but Hatboro Horsham coach Michael Kapusta returned to the run his next drive. The ground game ate up the clock and set up passes from Chris Edwards who only had to throw the ball eight times. One of those balls landed in the arms of Will Riemenschneider on a seven-yard touchdown pass from Edwards for the 7-0 lead.
“I think that we had a physical advantage and we wanted to use that,” Kapusta said. “They were stacking up the box and basically saying, ‘okay, we are going to do everything we can to stop your running plays,’ and they did a nice job of that.”
The Trojans’ feature back Antaun Lloyd was finding running room hard to come by in the early going, but his quarterback Nick Santo found him in space on a 69-yard touchdown. The extra point was missed and the Trojans still trailed the Hatters 7-6.
Hatboro-Horsham responded a few plays later when Smith found the end zone on a three-yard scamper to go up 14-6. Wissahickon nearly answered with a drive of its own, but Santo’s pass to Lloyd on a slant route in the end zone fell short just before halftime.
The third quarter mainly consisted of both teams surging upfield and then falling back due to penalties. Edwards was harrassed by Trojan defenders on the day, but made them pay early in the fourth quarter with an eight-yard strike to Calvin Broaddus Jr to put his team up 21-6.
An elusive kick return by the Trojans’ Zahmir Baldwin got Wissahickon back in the game on the Hatboro-Horsham nine-yard line. The Trojans nearly wasted the chance, but on fourth down, Santo hit Rahsheed Wright on a nine-yard fade route for a touchdown to get within 21-12.Cuthbert said he has been impressed with his freshman quarterback who does well in the face of pressure.
“All week he was on that fade route and so I was just anticipating it,” Santo said. “When we got down there it was just the perfect time for it and I just hit him in the back of the end zone.”
The ensuing two-point conversion failed and the onside kick followed suit. All the Hatters had to do was get one first down and knee their way to its first win in three weeks.
“It feels good,” Kapusta said. “I felt like our kids closed the game out well tonight, so it is a really good feeling to get back on the winning side of things.”
Hatboro-Horsham 21, Wissahickon 12
Hatboro-Horsham 0 14 0 7 – 21
Wissahickon 0 6 0 6 – 12HH –
Riemenschneider 7 pass from Edwards (Kim kick)
WH – Lloyd 69 pass from Santo (kick failed)HH – Smith 3 run (Kim kick)
HH – Broaddus Jr 8 pass from Edwards
WH – Wright 9 pass from Santo
First Downs 11 7
Rushing Yards 190 108
Passing Yards 61 127
Total Yards 244 260
Passing 7-8-0 6-18-0
Penalties 6-60 8-40
Fumbles Lost 2-0 0-0
RUSHING – Hatboro-Horsham: Smith 22-133, 1 TD; Adam Suder 8-51; Chris Edwards 7-11; Anthony Kwiatanowski 1-2; Amir Bookard 1—7. Wissahickon: Antaun Lloyd 15-59; Jalen Smalls 1-35; Marco Rivera 3-8; John Dickson 2-3; Raejon Benjamin 1-3.
PASSING – Hatboro-Horsham: Chris Edwards 7-8-0, 61, 2 TDs; Wissahickon: Nick Santo 6-18-0, 127, 2 TDs.
RECEIVING – Hatboro-Horsham: Ben Ejimonyeugwo 3-29; Ismal Collazo 2-14; Calvin Broaddus Jr 1-8, 1 TD; Will Riemenschneider 1-7, 1 TD; Adam Suder 1-2; Wissahickon: Antuan Lloyd 4-103, 1 TD; Rahsheed Wright 2-14, 1 TD.
INTERCEPTIONS – None