Second-quarter offense, second-half defense wins it for Neshaminy (VIDEO)

WARRINGTON — Football teams need the offense to put points on the board and the defense to hold the lead. Visiting Neshaminy had both Friday night, Oct. 9 in a crucial 21-14 Suburban One National League win over Central Bucks South.

Trailing 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, the Skins scored on three of four second-quarter possessions including an acrobatic 15-yard touchdown catch by junior Zach Tredway (2-50, TD) in the corner of the end zone with just 14 seconds remaining in the half.

With 1:30 left in the second quarter, Neshaminy had just taken its first lead in the battle on a two-yard TD plunge by junior FB Hayden Rooney. Then, the defense stiffened, forcing the Titans to go 3-and-out. A short punt gave the visitors the ball back at midfield and a 35-yard pass from junior QB Mason Jones (8-16-0, 84 yds., TD) to Tredway along the left sideline set the next score up.

Two plays later, the Skins were in the end zone again.

“We were just thinking about three-and-out – just getting a stop,” said Neshaminy head coach Steve Wilmot. “We saw some things in the first half that we liked but we weren’t thinking we could just throw two bombs and score again but we did.”

Three plays into the second quarter, junior RB Will Dogba tied things up at 7-all with a 12-yard scoring jaunt around the left end. Dogba accounted for 38 of the Skins’ yards on the 7-play, 60-yard scoring drive. For the game, he rushed for 127 yards on 27 carries. A pass to Denzel Hughes along the right sideline as the seconds ticked away on the first quarter was a key play on the drive.

While Jones was 8-for-16 with no interceptions, two quarterbacks for CB South – junior Sam Thompson and sophomore Jack Johns – completed just three passes between them. Thompson (3-13-1) accounted for all 50 of the Titans’ passing yards but a pass he threw near the end of the first quarter was batted into the air at the line of scrimmage and Neshaminy fans cheered loudly when senior LB Kyle Smith came down with the ball at the 40-yard line.

From there, the Skins’ defense stepped up, forcing either a turnover on downs or a 3-and-out on six of CB South’s last eight possessions.

“Defense wins championships, especially in high school football,” said senior nose tackle Hunter Kelly. “The defense came up big for us tonight.”

One of those defensive stops came late in the second quarter after Thompson’s 22-yard rush up the middle put CB South at the Skins’ 23 yard line. Two more rushes and an incompletion put the Titans in a fourth down situation, however, and senior defensive end Harmon Yalartai came up with his second sack in the battle, dropping Thompson back at the 28 with 4:40 left in the second quarter.

That’s when Neshaminy registered its longest possession of the night, assembling an 8-play, 72-yard touchdown drive that gave the Skins their first lead, one they would not relinquish.

Defensively, Neshaminy bent and but never broke as CB South out-rushed and outperformed the visitors offensively with the Titans posting 260 yards rushing and 310 yards of total offense.

Coming back from the break, CB South registered a 14-play drive that put the home team inside the red zone. While senior Joe Bechta (18-121) rushed for over 120 yards, it was three bursts by junior Nate Norris (9-66, TD) that set the Titans up on the Skins’ 15 yard line.

Unfortunately for the fans rooting for the home team, a holding call negated the last of those rushes by Norris and while Bechta got a lot of it back on his next carry, Neshaminy’s defense forced CB South into a fourth down situation at the 19. While a pass to Ian Vogt in the corner of the end zone hit his fingertips, the senior could not haul it in and the Titans turned it over on downs.

“It was definitely a game-changer,” said Kelly, who started the game at center in place of the injured A.J. Sanko. “We need those things to happen on those long drives.”

The Skins’ defense didn’t look nearly as good on CB South’s first drive, a 12-play, 70-yard possession that resulted in a 1-yard scoring burst by Norris that gave the home team an early 7-0 lead.

While a big second quarter by the offense turned the tide, ironically, Neshaminy failed to take advantage of a defensive stop that gave the visitors the ball back at the Titans 34 yard line. Two rushes by Dogba and two incompletions resulted in a turnover on downs.

The Skins scored every other time they touched the ball in the second quarter, however. After allowing CB South an 84-yard scoring drive that resulted in a 28-yard touchdown jaunt up the middle by Thompson, the visitors did not allow the Titans another first down.

“Everyone played well as a whole; we played together as a team,” added Kelly, one of four captains for Neshaminy. “I thought it was a great effort, overall, on both sides of the ball.”

After suffering a 17-7 loss to Pennridge the week before in its league opener, the Skins needed this win over CB South to even things out in league play.

“Both teams were coming off a loss and we knew we needed this win,” added Kelly. “We knew what it was going to take to get it and we got it done.”

Neshaminy improves to 4-2, 1-1 in the SOL National while the Titans fell to 2-4, 0-2 in conference play.

NEXT: Neshaminy plays host to Souderton next Friday, Oct. 16 while CB South hosts winless Abington, which lost last night at home to Pennridge (4-2, 2-0). Souderton is 3-3 overall, 1-1 in league play with a win over Bensalem and a loss to North Penn (4-2, 2-0).

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Neshaminy 21, Central Bucks South 14

(Oct. 9 at CB South)

NESHAMINY 0 21 0 0 – 21

CB SOUTH  7  0 0 7 – 14


CBS — Norris 1 run (Iannuzzi kick)

N — Dogba 12 run (McDonald kick)

N — Rooney 2 run (McDonald kick)

N — Tredway 15 pass from Jones (McDonald kick)

CBS — Thompson 28 run (Iannuzzi kick)


N             CBS

First Downs        17           19

Yards Rushing    179         260

Yards Passing     84           50

Total Offense    263         310

Comp. Passes, Int            8-16-0   3-16-1

Fumbles-lost      1-0          1-0

Penalties-yards 3-15       5-40

Punts-Avg.          5-28.5    5-40.0

Sacked-Yds. Lost              0-0          2-15



RUSHING: Dogba 27-127, TD; Jones 5-47; Rooney 4-4, TD; Smith 1-1; Hughes 1-0

PASSING: Jones 8-16-0, 84 yds., TD

RECEIVING: Tredway 2-50, TD; Hughes 2-25; Rooney 2-14; Dogba 2-5


CB South

RUSHING: Bechta 18-121; Norris 9-66, TD; Thompson 15-65, TD; Vitelli 2-12; Johns 1-(-3)

PASSING: Thompson 3-13-1, 50 yds.; Johns 0-3-0

RECEIVING: Iannuzzi 2-32; Vitelli 1-18


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