Norristown can’t muster comeback in loss to Truman

By Dennis C. Way
@DwaySports on Twitter
WEST NORRITON >> Norristown High’s football team has made a habit of rallying from seemingly impossible deficits at home this season.
For reference, look no further than the team’s win over Council Rock North and its loss to Council Rock South.
But Saturday afternoon, there was no rally.
At least, not a successful one.
The Eagles got behind visiting Truman by nine points early in the fourth quarter, but the best they could muster was one more touchdown.
The result was a 28-25 Tigers win that left more than a couple of Eagles fans wanting more.
“They made more plays than we did,” said Eagles head coach Jason Powel after the frustrating setback, “and they made them at the right times.
“We didn’t practice well all week, and that usually carries over into the game.”
Like most of Norristown’s comebacks, this one began with the Eagles playing less-than-inspired football in the early going.
After an Eagles three-and-out on the game’s opening series, the Tigers went 61 yards on seven plays to take the lead as Maurice Jackson slammed into the end zone from a yard out to give the visitors the lead.
Norristown took advantage of a major Tigers miscue to get the game tied, when a punt snap sailed over the head of Freeman and rolled into the end zone.
Freeman managed to get the ball out of the end zone, but was corralled at the Truman 1-yard line.
Norristown quarterback Desmond Gorski flipped a 1-yard TD pass to Khalif Sinclair, and the contest was deadlocked.
It stayed that way until later in the quarter, when the Tigers made the mistake of punting the ball to Sinclair.
The dynamic senior fielded the ball near the sidelines at his own 31, then seemed to run through the entire Tigers special-teams squad en route to a 69-yard score.
The Eagles were up, 13-7, but the lead wouldn’t last long.
Six snaps later, the Tigers took the lead when Lucas Gray sprinted 22 yards to put the Tigers back on top, 14-13, with exactly 1:00 left in the half.
On their first series of the second half, the Eagles reclaimed the lead when Gorski found Sinclair open in the middle of the field. And Sinclair, again, zig, zagged and dazzled his way into the end zone.
Norristown was in front, again, but it wouldn’t last.
After a later Eagles drive stalled at their own 32, their special teams gave up a big return to Truman’s Darius DeLeon, who ran the ball all the way back to the Norristown 13-yard line.
Three plays later, Freeman tossed a 10-yard scoring pass to Justin Fant, and the Tigers were in front to stay.
The visitors added an insurance score when Quinten Mulbah scored from the 15 just one play after Jackson’s 64-yard burst.
And the Eagles seemingly had the Tigers just where they wanted them.
But this time, the magic just wasn’t there.
Norristown got the proximity score on a Gorski-to-Sinclair 31-yard touchdown with 4:18 left in the fourth quarter.
But this time, the Tigers were able to run out the clock.
“We talked about that all week,” said Truman head coach Jon Craig. “We saw that last drive last week, and we stressed that we didn’t want the ball in their hands.”
The Tigers secured the ball, and the victory, and the Eagles were denied another comeback win.
“We felt we could get yards through the air,” Powel said, “but we didn’t execute. We had some young guys in there and when you have young guys, sometimes they make young mistakes.
“But our guys keep playing, that’s for sure.”

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