Delco Christian fights to the finish in loss

NAZARETH — Even if his players didn’t need the reminder, Delco Christian coach Drew Pearson was willing to offer it time and again Friday night, at the top of his lungs.

No matter what happened, Pearson exhorted his team time and again, the Knights weren’t going to die easily at the hands of Pius X in the first round of the PIAA Class A tournament.

While his encouragement was heeded time and again, Pearson’s Knights put the second-year coach in an unexpected position after the game. He couldn’t criticize their effort, their undeniable progress through a remarkable season. But he left Nazareth Area High School’s Andrew S. Leh Stadium with a team that played well enough to win, but just couldn’t.

That was the conflict for the Knights, the District One champions, who fought valiantly but ultimately ended up on the wrong end of a 29-22 decision to District 11 champ Pius X.

The Knights fought and battled, leading twice in the first half and getting to within one score late in the fourth quarter. They played well enough to beat Pius X, but they just couldn’t make that crucial play, the pivotal stop.

That left Pearson equal parts proud of his team and dismayed at the opportunity they’d let slip through their fingers.

“I’m going to watch this film and I’m going to be sick,’ Pearson said. “We probably had 10 different things that if we had just executed, it would’ve been a different game. Against a team as good as that, we had a chance.’

Much of that regret resides squarely on the shoulders of Pius X quarterback Tre Jordan, the kind of playmaker who spelled the difference between two otherwise evenly matched squads. The junior had a hand in all four scores for the Royals (10-2), running for two and passing for two. Friday’s contributions take his scoring tally on the season to 34 passing touchdowns and 46 total scores.

After being bottled up early, starting just 1-for-4 for three yards, he completed his last 10 passes to finish with 139 yards. Jordan also ran 17 times for 96 yards, accounting for the bulk of the Royals’ 126 ground yards.

It wasn’t just that Jordan got his yards and points. He seemed to go about it in the most demoralizing of ways, displaying his unbelievable elusiveness time and again.

He looked dead to rights in the backfield on third-and-goal from the 5 with 25 seconds left in the first half and Pius out of timeouts. But he somehow wriggled out from the pressure and found Aaron Weller in the corner of the end zone to send the Royals into halftime with a 15-14 lead.

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