Academy New Church roars in season opener, routs Lower Moreland

BRYN ATHYN >> With Academy of New Church leading 14-6 in the second quarter, Lower Moreland’s Matt Gallagher uncorked a 53-yard punt that rolled all the way down to ANC’s one-yard line.

It seemed — for the moment — the Lions were backed up. That was until Anthony Weizer got the football on the very next play and was off racing down the sideline toward school history.

“It was definitely my career long. I don’t think I’m gonna be able to top that,” the senior said with a big smile afterwards.

Weizer’s 99-yard touchdown run down the soggy left sideline emphatically sent ANC on its way to a 41-6 opening-day win over crosstown rival Lower Moreland Saturday afternoon.

“That’s what we love,” Weizer said of the ANC ground game, which piled up 300 rushing yards in the first half alone. “It starts with the line — they did their job. And the running backs followed behind.

“The offense isn’t even close to being where it can be. We still have a lot we can improve on.”

If ANC’s offense improves even further, the field might have to be extended a bit. Lion running backs reached the end zone from 99 yards and 69 yards away for scores, as part of a cross-country style performance that amassed over 500 yards on the ground.

“Anthony had a great game,” ANC coach Ty Klippenstein said, “and our line, for the most part, was able to do some things and we were able to get the ball into our athletes’ hands.”

Even on defense.

On one of the prettiest plays of the day, Kam Kittrels intercepted a pass by Lower Moreland quarterback Mike Parisse at the LM 20, put on a spin move and weaved his way to a touchdown that — coupled with an earlier score by Weizer — increased the ANC lead to 14-0 early in the non-league clash.

“That set the tone a little bit,” Klippenstein said. “We have a whole line of guys that are good tacklers, aggressive linebackers, and I think we were able to sort of impose ourselves a little bit defensively.”

Weizer would score his third and fourth touchdowns — 11 and seven yards — to cap ANC scoring drives in the third quarter. The Lions’ 5-foot-9, 190-pound senior racked up 235 yards on 15 carries, including his very long one in the second quarter.

Weizer found a crack on the left side of the line and took off down the sideline. Lower Moreland’s Nick Hines gave chase, clutching and reaching for the back of Weizer’s jersey, but the power back pulled away.

“I was getting tired. I wanted to stop running,” Weizer said with a smile, “but I had to get to the end zone.”

Seamus Hogan provided the only points of the fourth quarter, a 69-yard touchdown run that enforced the mercy rule and the running clock.

Lower Moreland (0-2) had a long-distance score of its own, a 93-yard kickoff return by Gallagher, who also had 84 yards on the ground.

“We played hard. ANC’s very good, a lot of talent,” Lions coach Mark Mayson said. “We really struggled defensively. We played well in spots and made some improvement from last week — we’ll keep working at it.”

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