Lansdale Catholic mercy-rules Neumann-Goretti

PHILADELPHIA >> A sun-sparkling morning at the South Philly Supersite began with Whitney Houston’s rendition of the National Anthem from Super Bowl XXV booming throughout the stadium, and soon developed into an afternoon of domination for the Lansdale Catholic football team.
The Crusaders broke big plays in the run game, showed a nice touch on the deep ball, and scored touchdowns on all but one of their first-half possessions — the only one they didn’t reach the end zone was a kneel down to end the half.
LC looked playoff-ready, cruising to a 42-6 win over the rival Saints in a Philadelphia Catholic League Class AA game, as the Crusaders finished up their regular season in commanding fashion.
“We knew what we had to do,” said LC quarterback Michael Basilii, who completed four of six passes for 177 yards and three scores. “We had to come out here, get a win, and now we get ready for the playoffs.”
The Crusaders (7-2 overall, 3-1 PCL AA) will take on Conwell-Egan in a PCL Class AA Semifinal next week — the Crusaders earned a 34-21 win over Egan two weeks ago.
LC, winning its fourth in a row, scored on the fourth play from scrimmage Saturday, as running back Ryan Quigley burst through a hole, broke a tackle, bounced off another, and sprinted away for a 43-yard score and a 7-0 Crusader lead.
“We did our job. We came down here and took care of business,” said Quigley, who was magic anytime he touched the ball, rushing nine times for 86 yards and a score and catching two passes for 100 yards and two more scores. “Playoff-mode — that’s all we’re focused on.”
The Crusaders were stout on defense, not allowing a first down in the opening quarter, which allowed the offense to get right back on the field.
After a second three-and-out by the Saints (1-8 overall, 0-4 PCL AA), the Crusaders were four plays and in, as Basilii lofted a 49-yard touchdown pass to Quigley down the left sideline, a throw that Quigley described simply as “beautiful.”
“Our backs were getting deep,” Basilii said. “They were running and getting past their d-backs, and I was putting it out there for them.”
LC had a more methodical march on its third possession but it ended just the same, as the Crusaders again reached the end zone, this time on a four-yard run by Tim Swierzewski, making it 21-0 early in the second.
The Saints, PCL AA Champs just a year ago but decimated by graduation, did drive to the LC 33 on their third possession of the day, but a turnover on downs gave the ball back to Lansdale Catholic.
Basilii closed out the half with back-to-back bombs, throwing a deep crossing pattern to Marlen Fenstermacher for a 67-yard score and a 51-yard scoring strike that he dropped right into the hands of Quigley to make it 35-0 and enforce the mercy rule by halftime.
“(The Saints) were really crowding it up in (the box) and we had to be able to throw the ball,” Crusaders coach Tom Kirk said. “Our offensive line did a terrific job because we were sending guys deep and you have to be able to give the quarterback time to throw.
“So our offensive line, from a pass-blocking standpoint, did terrific.”
With the running clock in affect, the Saints did reach the scoreboard in the third quarter, an 11-yard run by Khalil Roane making it 35-6.
Roane did some nice running for the Saints, gaining 107 yards on 16 carries. His longest of the day was a 61-yarder, with Quigley chasing him down and making a touchdown-saving tackle.
That play set up Roane’s 11-yard TD, and then LC capped the scoring with a two-yard rush by Jake Doheny.

Follow Kev Hunter on Twitter @khunter10


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