Bonner-Prendie’s defense great again in shutting down Lansdale Catholic

UPPER DARBY – Ibrahima Diallo dropped back into coverage, sat at the base of the route and knew.

The Bonner-Prendergast cornerback was prepared, recognizing that if Lansdale Catholic’s Josh Jackson ran his route a certain way, he’d bounce it to the sideline and await the throw. With his read, Diallo knew he could stop it. All that remained was to see if he could turn it into a big play for the Friars.

Thirty yards later, as Diallo high-stepped across the goal line with a pick six, he had produced not just the punctuating score in a 34-0 Catholic League win, but one that epitomized the Friars’ defensive effort.

When they’re good, the Bonner-Prendie defense can shut down teams, allowing just seven points in three games, all wins. When they’re great, they do what Diallo did, producing game-changing plays.

“We preach that a lot,” Diallo said. “Coach Jack (Muldoon), he preaches that a lot. We’re on task with everything, on point with everything. … We all make plays.”

Friday, the Friars did the defensive dirty work. They limited Lansdale Catholic (0-2) to 145 yards of offense and seven first downs. They scored via Diallo and added a special teams touchdown to open the scoring when Scott Bernhard-Kyle blocked a punt, Mason Peterson returning it 22 yards.

Diallo wasn’t alone on his play, with LC quarterback LJ Phillips hit on the release by Nasiim Rhodes-Nelson. Rhodes-Nelson and Armon Mapp came up with sacks on LC’s most promising drive, a 14-play march in the second quarter that got to the 10 before turning it over on downs. Defensive end David Washington was in the backfield all day with 4.5 tackles for loss.

The playmakers on defense complement an array of them on the offensive side of the ball. With LC’s defense shading toward tight end James Welde, who was targeted just three times and had two catches (on consecutive snaps) for 24 yards, Ayden Garnes made them pay. He and quarterback Kyle Lazer hooked up for a pair of touchdowns in the first half. Lazer hit him on a quick slant on third-and-8 from the 11, then tossed a fade from 20 yards out with 21 seconds left until the half that Garnes skied to haul in.

“This week, we knew that they were going to try to double Welde, but we know I can do things, too,” Garnes said. “So we took the shot, and that’s why I got two touchdowns. We’ve been practicing it all week. I knew I was able to do the things I’m doing.”

Bonner-Prendie had barely 30 offensive snaps but tallied 258 yards. Peterson (eight carries, 77 yards) and Derrick Jackson (three for 64) had healthy days, Jackson busting a 50-yard TD in the third. Lazer was 6-for-12 for 65 yards. When the defense provided short fields, they capitalized.

“We put ourselves in that situation last week, too, and we played out of it,” said LC linebacker Andrew Fredrickson, who had two tackles for loss. “We played a good team today, and we didn’t execute the game plan in any way. We fought hard in the beginning, came out in the second half a little strong but died right off and from there, it was downhill.”

Phillips was 9-for-12 for 76 yards. He only found 6-8 tight end Jimmy Casey three times for 34 yards. The Crusaders rushed 30 times for just 71 yards.

That’s what Bonner’s aggressive front can do. And that’s even before show-stopping plays like Diallo’s.

“That’s the good part about us,” Garnes said. “There’s so much you’ve got to worry about. You can’t just worry about one person. You’ve got to worry about a team full of people.”

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