LOWER GWYNEDD >> The Wissahickon football team needed to get the ice bags ready on Friday night. There were a lot of sore body parts and sore egos after the 42-12 loss to their Suburban One League American Conference foes from Quakertown.
The Trojans (0-6, 0-3 in conference) should have saved the biggest ice bag for the right toe of Virgil Johnson, the Trojans punter who found himself very active on the evening. His handful of punts averaged well over 30 yards, but the Panthers (5-1, 2-1 in conference) special teams and return game set them up with a short field over and over again.
“We tested my kicking out and saw I could kick far, so I keep on practicing it,” Johnson said. “We have a good offense and same with defense. We just have to know our role.”
When the Quakertown quarterback Brad Bryan surveyed the field, he licked his lips, salivating over all of his options. It seemed whatever play call the Panthers dialed up, they connected for positive yardage and more. The duo of Michael Terra and Christian Patrick, plus a plethora of others totaled 168 rushing yards.
“We are kind of banged up,” Trojans coach Bruce Fleming said. “Being a young team with light numbers it can be hard to find guys who are ready to play Friday night, varsity football.”
The Panthers started four different possessions on the Trojans’ side of the field and marched down the field with a balanced attacked. Patrick scored three rushing touchdowns and Bryan completed eight of his 10 passes for 131 yards, as they quickly put their first loss of the season to Cheltenham behind them. The starters took a seat in the half with the game in hand.
“We caught Quakertown after a surprising loss to Cheltenham last week,” Fleming said. “They were able to come out firing on all cylinders and we are a young team and a young staff. We ran into a good team tonight.”
The Trojans will continue to search for their first win of the season next week, but with a running clock in effect for the second half, they would take winning the half, winning the drive, or just moving the chains tonight.
Senior Chris Smalls did not need the chains, as he delivered the top highlight of the night for the home team as he took the opening kick of the second half 95 yards into the end zone. The Trojans picked up another score on a 13 yard touchdown pass from Nick Santo to captain Maurice Willis. They rallied from seven negative first half yards to finish the game with 134 yards of offense.
“We highlight the important things, which is fighting into the end of the game,” Fleming said. “The second half was great. Our captain Maurice Willis spoke up in the locker room, which was great, and it got our guys to fight until the end.”
A winless Trojan team has the ability to come out with nothing to lose and so they will try again next week to snap their losing streak against Upper Moreland. Punter Virgil Johnson will have all week to rest his right leg, but he hopes to be called on less as coach Fleming’s bunch starts to string some drives together, ultimately leading to a win.
“Punting is big role, but I also play defensive end and tight end,” Johnson said. “I enjoy punting, but not this much. We are good. Everyone just has to just do their job a little better.”
Quakertown 42, Wissahickon 12
Quakertown 14 29 0 0 – 42
Wissahickon 0 0 12 0 – 12
Christian Patrick one yard run (Croisette kick)
Patrick one yard run (Croisette kick)
Patrick seven yard run (Croisette kick failed)
Terra four yard run (Croisette kick)
Brad Bryan to Ryan Merwarth 20 yard pass (Croisette kick)
Menszak fumble recovery (kick failed)
Chris Smalls 95 yard kick return (kick failed)
Nick Santo 13 yard pass to Maurice Willis (conversion failed)
First downs 18 7
Rushing yards 168 97
Passing yards 131 37
Total yards 299 134
Punts-avg. 1-28 4-35
Fumbles-lost 2-1 4-2
Penalties-yards 1-15 2-10
Quakertown – Terra 9-46, TD; Patrick 7-33, 3 TDs; Bryan 3-11; Merwarth 2-15; Gorman 1-5; Ross 1-21; Williams 9-39; Casey 3-(-2); Demarco 1-4; Garlick 2-6;
Wissahickon – C. Smalls 9-60; Santo 5-(-18); Johnson 2-0; J. Smalls 4-55;
Quakertown – Bryan 8-10-0 – 131, TD
Wissahickon – Santo 6-15-0 – 37, TD
Quakertown – Garlick 3-30; Merwarth 3-55, TD; Schlegel 1-41 Pavone 1-5
Wissahickon – Willis 3-21, TD; Caso 2-18; Intrieri 1-(-2)
Quakertown – Herd
Wissahickon – Caso
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