BENSALEM – Trailing 28-0, Bensalem strung a pair of touchdowns together within three and a half minutes to start the fourth quarter in a key Suburban One National League battle with visiting Council Rock South Friday night at Owls Stadium.
Unfortunately for the Bensalem faithful, that was all the offense the Owls could muster as the surging Golden Hawks (3-4) walked away from Hulmeville Road with a 35-14 victory.
In the first half, Rock South used the squib kick to not only limit Bensalem’s return game, the Hawks controlled most of the first two quarters due to a pair of Owl fumbles on kickoffs.
After winning the coin toss, CR South elected to kick. Right away, it seemed like the right decision when Bensalem muffed the opening kick near midfield.
The Hawks needed just six plays to drive 48 yards down the field and put the first points on the board with senior Elias Mayo bull rushing 14 yards up the middle for the first of five CR South touchdowns on the night.
While the Owls answered with a 10-play drive, pushing the ball all the way to the Hawks’ 1 yard line on a dazzling 36-yard end-around by junior wide receiver Jared O’Connell, they fumbled the ball two plays later at the 2 yard line.
That’s where CR South took control. The Hawks put together a 22-play drive that spanned 98 yards of the gridiron, capped by yet another scoring run by Mayo, this one a 2-yard spurt between the right tackle and the right guard that put the visitors up 14-0 with 4:53 still to play in the half.
When the ensuing kick by CR South went out of bounds, Bensalem could have claimed the ball at their own 35 and they should have.
That’s because they muffed the ensuing penalty kick by the Hawks, giving CR South the ball back at the Owls’ 40 yard line. The only thing negating a third TD and a 21-point Bensalem deficit on a 23-yard apparent scoring run by junior Andrew Vera was a holding call on the visitors.
The Owls continued to shoot themselves in the foot in the second half, laying the ball on the carpet on their first play from scrimmage after forcing CR South to go 3-and-out on defense. Again, the home team gave the Hawks a short field with which to work after turning the ball over at their own 26 yard line.
It took South seven plays to punch the ball in but it did on a 3-yard TD pass from senior QB Christian Jabbar to Gallo, who was all alone in the right side of the end zone.
Up 21-0, the Hawks drove the ball all the way to the 12 yard line. But that’s where they turned it over for the second time in the game with 40 seconds left in the third quarter.
Penalties doomed Bensalem’s next possession and its ensuing punt was blocked by South sophomore Shemar Mills and returned for a touchdown by senior Shane Carter, putting the visitors on top, 28-0.
Four scores ahead, you might think the rout was on.
Assessed a penalty on the touchdown, Council Rock had to kick off from deep in their own end and the result was an Owls possession that began at the Hawks’ 48 yard line. A pass from Bensalem QB Drasaun Moore to junior Jared O’Connell netted 41 yards and Parrish put the ball in the end zone from there.
After a 3-and-out by South, O’Connell returned the ensuing punt by the Hawks to the 18 yard line and from there, the Owls needed only three plays to score, this time on a 23-yard TD pass from Moore to O’Connell.
Now, it’s a two-possession game and there’s still 11 minutes remaining on the fourth-quarter clock. Making matters worse, South was hit with a personal foul on its next possession, forcing a punt with 4:16 remaining.
Fortunately for the Hawks, Bensalem’s next drive went nowhere after a loss of yards on a run play and three incompletions. Taking over on downs at the Owls’ 25 yard line, South needed just four plays – a pair of runs by junior Chase Patterson and pair by Mayo to put this one on ice.
With the win, the Hawks push to 3-4 while Bensalem falls to 4-3 on the season.
Council Rock South 35, Bensalem 14
(Oct. 6 at Bensalem)
CRS — Elias Mayo 14 run (Andrew Witten Kick)
CRS — Mayo 2 run (Witten Kick)
CRS — Nick Gallo 3 pass from Christian Jabbar (Witten Kick)
CRS — Shane Carter 10 return blocked punt (Witten Kick)
B — Keith Parrish 5 run (Dawson Fontaine kick)
B — Jared O’Connell 23 pass from Drasaun Moore (Fontaine kick)
CRS — Chase Patterson 5 run (Witten Kick)