PHILADELPHIA >> Two touchdowns separated by two minutes, 20 seconds of game time helped West Catholic beat Lansdale Catholic 28-7 for a Philadelphia Catholic League Blue Division victory at Drexel University’s Maguire Field Sunday afternoon.
The Burrs tied the game with 17 seconds left in the first half off a 15-yard touchdown pass from junior Zaire Hart-Hawkins to junior wideout Justino Griggs. Senior wide receiver Seth Degree caught a 28-yard pass down the left sideline to set West Catholic up in the red zone.
West Catholic (4-1, 2-0 division) took the lead for good in the third quarter. The Burrs received the second half kickoff and started with good field position after a 52-yard kickoff return by Jacir Savoy. The senior running back caught a 15-yard pass and had a 14-yard run before the go-ahead touchdown on a quarterback sneak by Hart-Hawkins.
“What we talked about was trying to stay away from giving up big plays, and they’re a big-play offense,” Crusaders’ coach Tom Kirk said. “We know that, and just a couple of those big plays came back to bite us. The second-half kickoff return gave them momentum. I think they started at their own 35, which, we can’t do that.”
“The first half, I really wasn’t getting the ball like that, so in the second half they were like, ‘All right, I’m going to start giving you the ball,’” Savoy said.
Savoy and Zahir Booker, who caught a fourth-quarter touchdown pass, combined for more than 100 yards rushing. Savoy accumulated most of his total in the second half.
“It started opening up on the outside,” he said. “It was there the whole game. It just took the second half to get it going.”
Kirk said he wanted his team to try to hold the Burrs to 14 points or less. Instead, Lansdale Catholic, a run-heavy team, had to attempt to come from behind in the second half.
The Crusaders (1-3, 0-2) started a drive with 11:38 left in the fourth quarter trailing by seven points. Aided by West Catholic personal foul and encroachment penalties, Lansdale Catholic marched to the Burrs’ side of the field.
The drive ended, however, with an interception thrown by junior quarterback Peter McHugh to senior Nadir Morton-Andrews. West Catholic scored a touchdown on the ensuing 55-yard drive to take a two-score lead with 1:48 left.
The Crusaders’ final consequential offensive play was also an interception. West Catholic junior Shakur Smalls picked off McHugh and returned it 92 yards to the end zone with 18 seconds left.
“We were just trying to score as fast as we could, trying to keep the game close,” said senior Jason Carr, who had four carries and two sacks.
“We’re a better running team than we are a passing team,” Kirk said. That’s just the way it is. And yeah, it’s not easy for us to come back quickly from being behind. So yeah, when they were up a couple of scores we had to change a little bit, but obviously that’s not our strength.”
Lansdale Catholic junior running back Danny Dutkiewicz led all rushers with 35 carries for 120 yards, and he scored the game’s first touchdown on a fourth-down play in the second quarter. The Crusaders made it a point to establish the run early.
“We always need to run before we can pass,” Dutkiewicz said. “And our linemen to block hard, they did good today. Just got to do better. Everyone has to do better.”
Lansdale Catholic missed an opportunity for a touchdown on the last play of the first quarter when junior Tyler Owen dropped a potential touchdown after getting behind a defensive back. But the Crusaders also kept the Burrs off the board after they took over in the red zone after a muffed punt.
West Catholic won its fourth game in a row, while the Crusaders try for their first Catholic League win Saturday against Bonner and Prendergast. Lansdale Catholic has been outscored 83-35 in its past two games.
“This is past right now,” Kirk said. “We’ve just got to move forward and figure out a way to beat Bonner.”
West Catholic 28, LC 7
Lansdale Catholic (1-3, 0-1)0 7 0 0 — 7
West Catholic (4-1, 2-0) 0 7 7 14 — 28
LC — 6-yard run by junior running back Danny Dutkiewicz. PAT by junior kicker Brendan Menges good (4:52)
WC — 15-yard pass from junior quarterback Zaire Hart-Hawkins to junior wide receiver Justino Griggs. PAT by senior kicker Yonata Fantun good. (0:17)
WC — 1-yard rush by Hart-Hawkins. Fantun PAT good (9:57)
WC — Hart-Hawkins 14-yard pass to junior running back Zahir Booker. Fantun PAT good. (1:48)
WC — 92-yard interception return by junior defensive back Shakur Smalls. Fantun PAT good. (0:18)
First Downs 11 14
Rushing yards 182 91
Passing yards19 109
Total yards 201 200
Passing 4-11 10-19
Penalties 2-10 13-120
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0
Punts-Avg 3-33.7 4-40.75
RUSHING: LC, Danny Dutkiewicz 35-120, TD; Jason Carr 4-36; Peter McHugh 6-15; Evan Zawadski 2-6; Evan Hannings 3-3; Mike Shragher 1-2; WC: Hart-Hawkins 3- -11, TD; Zahir Booker 10-51; Jacir Savoy 11-49; Julio DaSilva 1-2
PASSING: LC, Peter McHugh 4-11, 19 yards. WC: Hart-Hawkins, 10-for-19, 109 yards
RECEIVING: LC, Shragher, 1- 6; Zawadski, 3-13; WC, Seth Degree 2-29; Carl Smith 1-5; Justino Griggs 3-28; Jacir Savoy 2-22; Julio DaSilva 1-11; Zahir Booker 1-14
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