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Bucks holds off Montco to win Bucks-Montco Lions All-Star Classic

Bucks' Jesse Capriotti alludes a host of Montco tacklers at the Bucks-Montco Lions All-Star Football Classic at Delaware Valley University on Friday, May 4, 2018. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

DOYLESTOWN TWP. >> Jake Reichwein followed the plan. Christian Jabbar’s touch did the rest.

“I was supposed to run a banana route. But (Bucks coach Steve Wilmot) said in the huddle before it was going to be open,” said Central Bucks West’s Reichwein. “And I wasn’t sure it was that open but he threw it in the perfect spot where I could go out and get it. And it just worked out.”

Reichwein raced to the right corner of the end zone and the Council Rock South quarterback lofted a pass over a Montco defender into the hands of his Bucks teammate for a 16-yard touchdown with 65 seconds left in the first half of Friday night’s Bucks-Montco Lions All-Star Football Classic.

“I haven’t usually played tight end, it something I haven’t done before but it was just fun playing — my last high school game,” said Reichwein, who heads to Holy Cross in the fall. “And he threw a perfect ball and I went up and got it. It was just a good play.”

Buck’s quarterback Christian Jabbar runs the sidelines at the Bucks-Montco Lions All-Star Football Classic at Delaware Valley University on Friday, May 4, 2018. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

Reichwein’s catch gave Bucks a 20-7 lead and with neither offense fully clicking that cushion proved enough for Bucks to hold for the win at Delaware Valley University’s John Work Memorial Stadium.

Montco, coached by North Penn’s Dick Beck, pulled within seven early in the fourth, but Bucks — coached by Neshaminy’s Wilmot — made a late defensive stand inside its own 10 and went on to claim a 20-13 victory.

“It was different, not high scoring. But it was basically just like a defensive game,” said Upper Moreland’s Sterlen Barr, Jr, who played on the Montco side.  “We stopping them and offense couldn’t really get it going, too many mistakes but it’s all right though.”

Barr Jr scored the game’s opening touchdown and was named Montco’s Offensive MVP while Jabbar rushed for a score before finding Reichwein for six and earned Offensive MVP honors for Bucks.

Defensive MVP awards went to Neshaminy defensive back Joel Stills for Bucks and Wissahickon defensive back Antaun Lloyd for Montco.

“It feel real good. I was just happy to be out here again,” said Lloyd — a Kutztown commit — of the award. “I just love playing football. I appreciate it.”

Bucks earned its second consecutive victory in the third year of the Classic, but just as important as the result for the players was getting a chance to take the field for one more game at the high school level with teammates both old and new.

“There’s a bunch of guys that you knew of but you don’t really know and it’s just cool to meet a lot of new, good football players, great football players and have some fun,” Reichwein said.

Barr Jr gave Montco a 7-0 lead on its first possession Friday night, a five-play, 61-yard drive the West Chester University commit capped by taking a screen pass from Cheltenham quarterback Jordan Gyabaah and dashed down the left side for a 34-yard score at 8:44 in the opening quarter.

“It was a little screen play. I knew I had to wait for my linemen to get out there,” Barr Jr. “And then I just waited and then saw the lane and we was out. It was good to start out with that and get the momentum going. It was going feeling.”

Montco’s Sterlen Barr, Jr crosses the goal line for a first quarter touchdown at the Bucks-Montco Lions All-Star Football Classic at Delaware Valley University on Friday, May 4, 2018. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

Bucks answered on the ensuing series, a seven-play, 77-yard drive New Hope-Solebury’s Jesse Capriotti finished when he went around the left side and burst through the Montco defense for a 31-yard touchdown run, cutting Montco’s lead to 7-6 at 5:27 in the first.

Jabbar gave Bucks the lead for good with 2:07 left in the first quarter, taking a QB keeper up the middle for a four-yard touchdown run. Jabbar then hit Pennsbury’s Andrew Basalyga on the two-point conversion for a 14-7 edge.

Montco looked poised to answer on its next drive after a 59-yard run by Darryl Davis-McNeil of Abington down to the Bucks five. Montco, however, fumbled the ball away two plays later.

A pass interference call on fourth down kept a Bucks drive alive and Wilmot’s squad took advantage — going up 20-7 at 1:05 in the second quarter as Jabbar connected with Reichwein for the 16-yard TD.

North Penn’s Anthony Andrews plowed over the goal line from four yards out at 11:56 in the fourth to pull Montco to within 20-13. After forcing a three and out, Montco moved the ball to the Bucks six after Gyabaah found North Penn’s Justis Henley for a 16-yard completion on 4th and 8. Bucks, however, forced fourth straight incompletions for a turnover on downs and proceeded to run out the clock.

Finishing Kick

North Penn’s Kelly Macnamara said she slipped on her first varsity kickoff in 2015 against Central Bucks South. So blasting her last kick Friday into the end zone for a touchback was a satisfying finish for the Knights’ first-ever female player.

“I started and ended my career in two different notes,” she said. “I’m happy the way it ended.”

While she did not get a chance to try a field goal, Macnamara did go 1-for-2 on extra points that were from the 15-yard line.  An All-SOL Continental Conference first-team selection last season, Macnamara is heading to Indiana University of Pennsylvania for lacrosse and was part of a healthy North Penn contingent of nine players at DelVal.

“It was so much fun, I had a smile on my face the entire game,” she said. “Like, I didn’t care about the score, I was just happy to be out here.”

Montco’s Kelly Macnamara kicks off at the Bucks-Montco Lions All-Star Football Classic at Delaware Valley University on Friday, May 4, 2018. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

Macnamara said there was a still a chance of trying to kick in college, but the priority will be staying up to speed in lacrosse.

“My only hesitation is I don’t want to miss the fall season for lacrosse as a freshman and then jump in in the spring and be a step behind everybody else,” she said.”

Going on the Defensive

In last year’s Bucks-Mont Lions Classic, the teams combined for 105 points in a 65-40 Bucks victory. Friday’s night contest mirrored in the 2016 game that saw Montco earned a 19-17 victory.

“It kept me up, it kept me ready to make a play,” said Lloyd, who played cornerback for Montco. “Sad I didn’t have many targets but I was still out there trying to do my best.”

Good Sports

Hatboro-Horsham offensive lineman Brett Johnson was given the game’s sportsmanship award for the Montco team while Pennsbury offensive lineman Nika Wright earned the honor for Bucks.

“That definitely means a lot to me,” said Johnson, who is heading to Ursinus. “I had a great time out on the field. I was able to make some new connections with players from different schools and even meet some future teammates. It was definitely a great time.”

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