Neshaminy’s ground attack overwhelms Abington

ABINGTON >> In Abington coach Tim Sorber’s estimation, finding a quality fullback was just what Neshaminy needed.

As a result, Sorber watched Neshaminy get its ground game in high gear from the first snap. Neshaminy’s rushing attack proved quickly it was too much for Abington as Neshaminy ran to a 47-7 win over the host Ghosts in a rare Monday night game. It was also the Suburban One League National Conference opener for both teams.

Led by Will Dogba’s 148 yards and two scores, Neshaminy ran for 382 yards on 53 total team carries.

“They do a nice job and the one missing piece they didn’t have last year was a fullback,” Sorber said. “The guy they have at fullback now is similar to the type they’ve had in the past and been successful with. They’ve got good skill kids and a really smart quarterback.”

Dogba did a game’s worth of work in the first quarter, where he ran for 139 yards and both TDs. He had 50 yards alone on Neshaminy’s (3-1, 1-0 conference) first drive, capped by a 12-yard scoring run. Splicing speed, shiftiness and strength, the back was a nightmare for tacklers all game long.

Neshaminy scored on its first two drives, going up 13-0 when fullback Hayden Rooney powered in from six yards out with 6:12 left in the frame. At that point, trailing in total plays by a 14-6 margin, the Ghosts offense found some traction.

A pass interference call on 3rd-and-11 kept Abington (0-4, 0-1) alive and it sparked a 77 yard drive down the field. Senior quarterback David Kretschman was the catalyst with a couple of strong runs and two nice completions to George Reid. Reid’s back-to-back grabs totaled 34 yards to the Neshaminy 16 where Kretschman did the rest, rushing the rest of the way for the score.

Unfortunately for Abington, things spiraled down from there.

“It’s always a shoulda, woulda, coulda but we just can’t sustain drives,” Sorber said. “The one thing that was a little bit disheartening was that despite all our struggles this year, we’ve done a nice job protecting the football but tonight we had a couple of turnovers which we haven’t had.”

Neshaminy responded with another touchdown, a 14-yard run by Dogba with 25 seconds left in the first quarter to go up 20-7. Abington went for it on a 4th-and-1 but got stuffed on their own 43, giving Neshaminy a short field, though the Ghost defense stood up and forced a turnover on downs.

However the momentum didn’t last as the Ghosts had to punt and a low snap forced their punter to take a knee before kicking the ball, giving Neshaminy the ball 36 yards from paydirt.

“That stuff happens,” Sorber said.

Neshaminy proved fortune was on its side a few plays later when Dogba fumbled at the one, only for receiver Denzel Hughes to scoop it up and tumble for the score. Taking a 34-7 lead into the half, Neshaminy kept things rolling its way when it recovered a fumble on Abington’s drive to open the third quarter.

That turned into another score when back-up tailback Joe Pirrone dove in from four yards out. An interception by Dave Nuckles on the ensuing Abington drive handed Neshaminy the ball back at its own 33. Another long drive followed, capped off by a Mike Crescenzo score.

“The thing that worries me is our health,” Sorber said. “We’ve got kids banged up and we don’t have a tremendous amount of depth at certain positions. The fact we’re playing Friday is a little disconcerting.”

In fact, the Ghosts face a remarkably quick turnaround, traveling to Pennsbury for a Friday night title. Neshaminy faces Pennridge Saturday night, moving their game back a day for extra rest.

Like Neshaminy, the Falcons are a run-heavy team. The Ghosts know it won’t be an easy test, but they’ll have to turn around fast and be ready.

“It’s the defending District 1 champions,” Sorber said. “If that doesn’t motivate you, I don’t know what does. We’re facing two of the more physical teams we’re going to face all season this week.”

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