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Conwell-Egan punches ticket to state semis with win over Palisades (VIDEOS)

Conwell-Egan Catholic junior running back Patrick Garwo rushed for 280 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries in the Eagles' PIAA-AAA quarterfinal win over Palisades Saturday afternoon at Charlie Martin Memorial Stadium in Philadelphia. (Steve Sherman – 21st-Century Media)

PHILA., Pa. – Conwell-Egan Catholic (CEC) just finished off a convincing 34-17 victory over Palisades in the PIAA Class AAA quarterfinal Saturday afternoon at Charlie Martin Memorial Stadium.

The nearly 200 yards in penalties levied against the Eagles on their way to their biggest win since joining the PIAA a decade ago would have to be a mere footnote.

That’s because next week in a state semifinal matchup vs. District 3 champion Middletown at a date and time that is to be determined, Conwell-Egan will play its first game in December in over 50 years.

Up 21-3 at the half and 27-10 after three quarters, the previously unbeaten District 11 champion Pirates climbed back into the battle, in large part on Eagle penalties and also a pair of second-half touchdowns including a 47-yard scoring aerial from Palisades quarterback Ethan Brader to tight end Andrew Nickles that drew the upstate rival within 10 points with 10:29 still to play in the fourth quarter.

“Penalties killed us today,” said CEC junior running back Patrick Garwo. “Penalties was the only reason why they crawled back into the game. We had to calm down, and respond and just lock in, because we knew we were the better team.”

“We just had to keep our cool and close it out.”

Helping Egan keep its collective head was Garwo, who raced for a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter including a 74-yard scoring scamper on the second play of the second quarter to put the Eagles on top 14-3 just 51 seconds into the period.

By halftime, Garwo eclipsed 100 yards on 11 carries. For the game, he notched 280 yards and three TDs on 31 touches.

“Patrick Garwo is a special player,” said CEC head coach Jack Techtmann. “When you put the ball in his hands, good things are going to happen.”

With under two minutes left in the game and Egan still hanging on to a 10-point lead on second-and 23 from its own 44, Garwo took the ball 29 yards to the Pirates’ 27 yard line. On the play, Garwo’s younger brother Andrew threw a block to spring Patrick loose for the final yards.

One of 18 flags thrown against the Eagles on the day, Andrew was cited for a personal foul and ejected from the contest. A few plays later, on 3rd-and-20, Patrick put the ball in the end zone for the third time in the contest, this time on a 35-yard TD scamper down the right sideline that sent the score to its 34-17 final with 1:06 showing on the game clock.

“They kicked my brother out of the game so obviously you gotta be angry,” said Garwo. “I was just mad that I wasn’t keeping my cool and setting the standard for him.

“He erupted so that’s bad on my part.

“So I knew I had to cap it off to get the win.”

Patrick went a step further and intercepted the last pass thrown by the opponent in the end zone with under 30 seconds remaining in regulation. CEC senior Silvio Shaw also intercepted a ball in the fourth quarter.

It was freshman RB Dajuan Harris who got the scoring started, sprung loose on a 57-yard TD run, giving Egan an early 6-0 lead with 7:05 remaining in the first quarter.

After Garwo’s 74-yard scoring strike, Egan took advantage of a short field when the Pirates failed to convert on a fake punt, handing the Eagles the ball just 25 yards from paydirt. It took nine plays but Egan took a 21-3 lead on Garwo’s second TD, a 1-yard scoring run with 3:47 left in the half.

After Palisades closed to 21-10, Harris opened the lead back to 17 on an 11-yard scoring scamper with 1:27 left in the third quarter.

PIAA Class AAA Quarterfinal

Conwell-Egan 34, Palisades 17

(Nov. 25 at Northeast HS)

CONWELL-EGAN (7-6)   6              15           6              7 – 34

PALISADES (14-1)             3              0              7              7 – 17

First Quarter

CE — Dajuan Harris 57 run (kick failed)

P — Jared Colletti 28 field goal

Second Quarter

CE — Patrick Garwo 74 run (Garwo pass from Alex Goldsby)

CE — Garwo 1 run (Jack Barreras kick)

Third Quarter

P — Matt McGrath 6 pass from Ethan Brader (Colletti kick)

CE — Harris 11 run (kick failed)

Fourth Quarter

P — Andrew Nickles 47 pass from Brader (Colletti kick)

CE — Garwo 35 run (Barreras kick)

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