Pennsbury explodes in second half, downs Garnet Valley

FAIRLESS HILLS — It took a while to get going with the score tied at the half, but once it did, the powerhouse Pennsbury football team again showed just how awesome it can be Friday night at Falcon Field.

Roaring into next week’s PIAA District 1 Class AAAA semifinals, top-ranked Pennsbury exploded for 31 second-half points to blast Garnet Valley (9-3) by the score of 45-14.

Next up for the Falcons (11-1) will be a home game next week against Upper Dublin, which shocked Bayard Rustin, 41-23, on Friday night.

For a while, it looked like this might be a dogfight to the end as the teams traded first-half touchdowns to leave the sides tied, 14-14, at the half.

Pennsbury scored right away on a 56-yard bolt by Charles Snorweah and later got an 8-yard, second-quarter touchdown run from Raheem Thompson. Garnet Valley, meanwhile, had the the Falcon defense on its heels and moved the ball well behind the running and passing of quarterback Steve Flanagan.

“We talked (in the locker room) about how the second half would be a fresh start,’ said defensive back Rob Daly, who ended up with two interceptions, including a pick six in the fourth quarter. “We wanted to play solid defense in the second half and come out and make a statement.’

Pennsbury received the ball to the start the third quarter, and although it did not reach the end zone, it did chew up nearly eight minutes off the clock. It also took the lead on a 39-yard field goal by Josh Leon, an unsung hero by also getting off a couple booming punts.

With its defense stepping it up, the Falcons then got the ball back on downs and took over at their own 36 yard line. After starting the second half in the trademark Wing-T, quarterback Mike Alley changed his wristband on third down and the team switched back to the I-formation it used in the first half.

The switch couldn’t have worked out any better as Snorweah then raced 60 yards on the very next play for a touchdown to put Pennsbury up, 24-14.

Garnet Valley again started moving the ball, only to fumble it away at the Pennsbury 31.

Ball game.

With Garnet Valley’s defense spread out in an attempt to keep Snorweah from beating it on the flanks, the Falcons sent Alley up the middle on a quarterback sneak. The junior did the rest, outracing the Delaware County team’s defense for a 58-yard touchdown.

From there, Pennsbury poured it on with a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown by Daly and a 31-yard run by fullback Victor Delgado, who returned to the starting lineup after missing last week’s game because of injury.

Although it paled in comparison to the 440 yards he ran for the previous week, Snorweah had another big game with the two TDs and 187 rushing yards. The Rutgers-bound speedster now has 30 touchdowns on the year and has run for more than 2,000 yards.

Alley also ran for 113 yards for a Pennsbury team that came in averaging nearly 47 points per game. Again leading the way was the devasting blocking from the likes of Austin O’Neill, Sam Raywood and center Mason Houriet

But the bigger development was the return to form by the swarming Pennsbury defense in the second half. The Falcons are back to full strength following some injuries, and Luke Snyder had another big game, making one tackle after another at linebacker.

Should it prevail next week, Pennsbury will reach the second district final in program history. The team certainly looked ready to keep it going Friday night at Falcon Field.

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