Truman blanks Conwell-Egan Catholic to end season on a high note

BRISTOL TWP. — Although it was tantalizingly close to achieving even more, the bottom line is the 2014 Truman High School football team accomplished a lot.

In a turnaround year in which the Tigers just missed a first ever playoff berth and were right in the hunt for a Suburban One Continental League championship, Truman finished up on Thanksgiving day with a solid 24-0 victory over Conwell-Egan.

With the win, Truman tied the school record of seven wins in a season that was previously accomplished during the mid-1990s. The Tigers (7-5) also ended a long string of losing seasons and showed all the signs of a program that is ready to remain a force.

“These seniors have a lot to be proud of,’ said Truman coach Jon Craig. “They never stop working to achieve their goals.’

Truman was coming off a pair of tough one-point losses, but it didn’t take long to see yesterday a victory would probably be in the works. And the reason was because while Truman wasn’t exactly a dynamo against Conwell-Egan’s scrappy defense, the Tigers’ defense allowed nothing all day.

“We had them scouted to perfection,’ said middle linebacker/fullback and captain Trysten Hunt. “We hadn’t won a game in a month, but we kept our focus.’

Truman started the game with a bang when Fuquan Caraway returned the opening kickoff 72 yards to the Conwell-Egan 3 yard line. The Tigers went backwards from there, but were able to open the scoring on a 24-yard field goal by Tim Kenny-Schwartz.

Set up by a muffed punt at the 13-yard line, Truman extended its lead to 10-0 in the first quarter on a 1-yard keeper by quarterback Mark Lopez-Shefcyk,

With its defense throwing back Conwell-Egan at every opportunity, the lead grew to 17-0 midway through the second quarter on a 55-yard drive capped by a TD by junior Justin Fant, who dove into the end zone on an 8-yard run.

A key here was Lopez-Shefcyk who began to heat up through the air, including a sensational catch by Fant on a 34-yard pass. For the game, Lopez-Shefcyk was an impressive 13-for-16 passing for 154 yards.

Truman’s final score came late in the third quarter on a 1-yard plunge by senior running back Sampson Bloh following a diving catch by junior Romeo Sturkey on a 7-yard pass. This scoring opportunity was set up by an interception by junior Maurice Jackson, who alertly jumped a Conwell-Egan pattern on the Eagles’ 20 yard line.

Nothing Conwell-Egan tried on offense worked. The Eagles were just 3-for-14 through the air and 1,000-yard rusher Joe Ruggerio was held to 27 yards on 12 carries. Harrassed Conwell-Egan quarterback Jarett Patman was also sacked six times

“We blitzed some, but our defensive line also really got after it,’ said Craig. “It was tough (bouncing back) after the way our last two games went, but this was not as tough as tough as getting up for Cheltenham (in game 11). This is a natural rivalry and our kids were ready to go.’

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