NEW HOPE – Conwell-Egan Catholic (CEC) junior running back Patrick Garwo rushed for 157 yards and five touchdowns in the Eagles’ 55-14 win over Bicentennial Athletic League (BAL) champion New Hope-Solebury in the season opener for both teams that took place back in August.
While the Lion defense held Garwo to just one touchdown and limited his ground assault to just 94 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries this time around, New Hope (9-2) failed to contain the remainder of the Egan offense in the District 1/12 Class 3A Regional Semifinal Friday, Nov. 10 at NH-S.
The visiting Eagles (5-6) advanced with a 42-14 win over the Lions and will take on Philadelphia Catholic League (PCL) rival Lansdale Catholic in the D1/12-AAA final 1 p.m. Saturday at the South Philly Supersite. A berth in states is on the line. The Crusaders topped Conwell-Egan, 31-21, in a late-September matchup at Truman.
In the D1/12 semifinal, CEC junior quarterback Alex Goldsby reached the end zone on two occasions, while running back Terome Mitchell pitched in with a rushing touchdown and a punt return for a score.
It was Terome who put Egan ahead to stay on a 10-yard scoring scamper with 3:58 left in the second quarter. Mitchell also electrified the Eagles’ faithful when he took a Lions punt 50 yards to the house three and 1/2 minutes into the final frame.
Late in the first half, Egan was up only 7-0 when the Eagles turned the battle in their favor with a pair of touchdowns tallied within 12 seconds of one another.
In the closing moments of the second quarter, New Hope’s punt into a stiff wind gave Egan a short field and Goldsby made the Lions pay with a 48-yard touchdown jaunt that put the Eagles up 14-0 with 1:16 left in the half.
Egan recovered the ensuing onsides kick at the Lions’ 18 yard line and Garwo gave the Eagles a 21-0 edge going into the intermission when he scored from the left side on an 18-yard scoring run with 1:04 showing on the clock.
After the break, a 13-yard TD run by Goldsby put Egan on top, 28-0.
While New Hope-Solebury record-setting senior running back Jesse Capriotti rushed for 212 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries, the Eagle defense was able to limit the rest of the damage done by the Lions.
NH-S senior Morgan Shadle netted just 14 yards on eight carries, junior John Mangan gained just two yards and a touchdown on two carries and senior quarterback Nick Garritano recorded just 16 yards on six rushes.
Through the air, Garritano completed just five of 18 attempts for 39 yards with one interception.
Capriotti gave New Hope its first points when he burst through the Egan defense on a 17-yard TD run with 4:36 left in the third quarter.
The Eagles blocked the extra point however, and still led 28-6. What’s more, Egan answered with a 52-yard touchdown scamper by freshman DaJuan Harris to extend its lead to 35-6 before the end of the third quarter.
The teams traded touchdowns from there with Mangan plunging into the end zone from two yards out before the end of the third quarter and Mitchell reaching paydirt on that punt return in the final frame.
While Lansdale outpaced Conwell-Egan 31-21 in a regular season matchup between the schools, the defending D12 champion Eagles certainly didn’t do anything to help their cause with five fumbles in the game including three in the second half.
If Egan hopes to return to states, it must limit its turnovers as well as a Crusader rushing attack that gouged the Eagle defense for 290 yards in LC’s 10-point win at Truman.
In that game, Lansdale sophomore Danny Dutkiewicz led the Crusader ground assault with 129 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries while senior Matt Casee added 103 yards and three TDs on 15 scampers.
Egan led most of the way and was up 21-14 when it threatened to expand its lead to 14 points late in the third quarter. Penalties and miscues led to a turnover on downs however and the Crusaders responded with a 13-play, 74-yard scoring drive capped by Casee’s third touchdown of the game that knotted the score at 21-all 1:41 into the fourth quarter.
Two more Eagle turnovers led to Lansdale’s last 10 points – a 22-yard field goal by LC kicker Brendan Menges that put the Crusaders up 24-21 with just over four minutes to go in the contest and a 39-yard touchdown run by Dutkiewicz that sent the score to its final.
In the last three games, Egan has limited it turnovers to just one, an interception thrown by Goldsby at New Hope. CEC head coach Jack Techtmann believes his team can win the upcoming playoff if it can win the turnover battle.
“We start three freshman and some sophomores so we’re young,” said Techtmann. “We knew from the beginning that this group was going to have to grow up fast … and they have.
“We made some mistakes in the first game against Lansdale and we feel if we can correct that, we can win the football game.”
Casee is Lansdale’s leading rusher with 1,103 yards and 14 touchdowns on 155 carries. Dutkiewicz is right behind Casee with 974 yards and 10 TDs on 176 totes.
Garwo is the Eagles’ rushing leader with 1,370 yards and 21 touchdowns on 167 carries. Goldsby (96 carries/385 yds., 10 TD), Mitchell (57-331, 9 TD) and Harris (37-327, 4 TD) have combined on over 1,000 yards for CEC. Goldsby has also thrown 586 yards and seven touchdowns on the season.
NOTES: Capriotti is one of the area’s top rushers with 2,478 yards and 33 touchdowns on 182 carries. He set a new single-game rushing record when he ran for 405 yards and seven TDs in a late-season 48-7 road win over BAL rival Lower Moreland.
District 1-12 Class 3A Regional Semifinal
Conwell-Egan 42, New Hope-Solebury 14
(Nov. 10 at NH-S)
New Hope-Solebury (9-2) 0 0 14 0 – 14
Conwell-Egan (5-6) 0 21 14 7 – 42
CE — Terome Mitchell 10 run (Jack Barreras kick)
CE — Alex Goldsby 48 run (Barreras kick)
CE — Patrick Garwo 18 run (Barreras kick)
CE — Goldsby 13 run (Barreras kick)
NHS — Jesse Capriotti 17 run (kick failed)
CE — DaJuan Harris 52 run (Barreras kick)
NHS — John Mangan 2 run (Morgan Shadle run)
CE — Mitchell 50 punt return (Barreras kick)
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