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Special teams ignite Conwell-Egan comeback win over Lansdale Catholic

Conwell-Egan's Patrick Garwo finds a hole in the Lansdale Catholic line during the District 1/12-3A final on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 at Henry C. Morgan Stadium at Truman High School. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

BRISTOL TWP. – A high-octane offense can score you plenty of points and a stiff defense wins championships. In Friday night’s District 1/12 Class AAA Subregional final between Conwell-Egan and visiting Lansdale Catholic, the Crusaders lost the special teams battle while the Eagles paid attention to all three aspects of the gridiron game.

The result was a 44-20 Conwell-Egan victory.

LC gave up a 78-yard kickoff return for a touchdown at the end of the first half, then had a punt blocked for a safety and muffed a kickoff in the third quarter to go into the final frame down, 30-13. Three plays into the fourth quarter, C-E junior running back Patrick Garwo walked into the end zone with his second touchdown of the night and a 37-13 Eagles’ lead with 10:37 remaining on the game clock.

Garwo – who raced for 196 yards and two TDs on 29 carries – and LC senior Matt Casee traded touchdowns for their respective teams in the fourth quarter when the game was well out of reach for the Crusaders.

Lansdale’s special teams difficulties began near the end of the second quarter after it had just taken a 7-6 lead on a 5-yard TD pass from QB Mike Dutkiewicz to RB Jake Doheny and continued the rest of the way.

After the safety, Mitchell returned the free kick to the visitors’ 27 yard line, From there, it took Egan just four plays to reach then end zone for the third time in the game and go up 23-7.

The Crusaders looked like they might make a game of it when they responded to Egan’s first touchdown in the second half with a 6-play, 62-yard scoring drive capped by Matt Casee’s first touchdown of the game that drew the visitors back within 10 points – 23-13 – with 6:58 still to play in the third quarter.

Egan responded with a 13-play, 61 yard drive that C-E quarterback Alex Goldsby capped with his second touchdown of the night that put the Eagles up 30-13 with 34 ticks left in the period.

Lansdale dropped the ensuing kickoff and the rest, as they say is history.

Conwell-Egan advances to the next round of states where they will face either Palisades or Lehighton 1 p.m. next Saturday at Northeast High School.

The Eagles looked like they were headed into the intermission with a 1-point deficit. As fate would have it, Egan junior Terome Mitchell electrified the C-E football faithful with a 78-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Mitchell put the icing on that cake when he picked up his own fumble and converted on the two-point after play to put the Eagles up, 14-7 with 15 seconds left in the half.

Egan actually had a chance to go up by two scores going into the intermission when the Crusaders muffed the ensuing kickoff, which was recovered by Mitchell, of course. But two incomplete passes and a blocked field goal attempt kept the score where it was.

Early in the second quarter, Egan went up 6-0 after driving 87 yards down the field on 18 plays, a possession that was capped by Garwo’s 6-yard touchdown scamper. The extra-point kick was blocked however.

When the C-E defense forced a 3-and out, the Eagles looked opportunity in the eye – and dropped it. On fourth and two at LC’s 42 yard line, Garwo ran four for the first down then lost control of the football.

Taking possession at its own 38, the Crusaders assembled a 12-play, 62-yard scoring drive capped by a 5-yard TD pass from Dutkiewicz to Doheny. The extra point gave LC a 7-6 edge with 26 ticks left on the first-half clock.

Egan entered the title tilt coming off a 42-14 victory over Bicentennial League rival New Hope-Solebury last Friday in the District 1/12 Class AAA Subregional semifinal

Lansdale came into the game coming off back to back wins over High School of the Future including a 42-30 triumph last week in the D 1/12 subregional semifinal.

Garwo ranked ninth among area rushing leaders with 1,370 yards and 18 touchdowns on 167 carries in 11 games. 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.

Casee was also over the 1,000-yard mark with 1,103 yards and 14 touchdowns in 10 games. Danny Dutkiewicz (11 games) wasn’t far behind with 974 yards and 10 touchdowns on 176 carries.

NOTES: The Crusaders caught a big break after they dropped the second-half kickoff and officials blew the play dead before the Eagles could recover, which they did.

District 1/12 Class AAA Subregional final
Conwell-Egan 44, Lansdale Catholic 20
(Nov. 17 at Truman)
EGAN (6-6, 3-4: PCL)                          0              14           16           14 – 44
LANSDALE (5-7, 3-4: PCL)              0              7              6              7 – 20
Second Quarter
CEC — Patrick Garwo 6 run (kick blocked)
LC — Jake Doheny 5 pass from Mike Dutkiewicz
CEC — Terome Mitchell 78 kickoff return (Mitchell run)
Third Quarter
CEC — Dajuan Harris safety
CEC — Alex Goldsby 5 run (Barreras kick)
LC — Matt Casee 3 run (run failed)
CEC — Goldsby 8 run (Barreras kick)
Fourth Quarter
CEC — Garwo 1 run (Barreras kick)
LC — Casee 1 run (Brendan Menges kick)
CEC — Garwo 39 run (Barreras kick)

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