Connect with us

Bishop McDevitt vs Pope John Paul II



Date Time League Season
September 5, 2015 1:00 pm Catholic League 2015



By Jeff Stover

UPPER PROVIDENCE  >> It showed the ability to come up big with its collective backs to the wall.

Now, Pope John Paul II has to work on reaping big results from the plays it makes.

Opening their 2015 season Saturday against Bishop McDevitt, the Golden Panthers kept pace with their guests from Wyncote for much of the afternoon. It wasn’t until the Lancers, getting the ball back with 1:02 left and PJP out of timeouts, ran out the final minute with a pair of quarterback “kneels” to deal the locals a 25-17 loss.

Vince DiLeo broke off a pair of big touchdown runs to bookend McDevitt’s point production, and Lancer quarterback Max Bryson had running and passing scores to his credit. Jaret Johns-Lupold was on both ends of aerial TDs PJP scored, but a Liam McCloskey field goal was the only other scoring it could muster.

“We were moving the ball, too,” head coach Rory Graver said. “It was a hard-fought game.”

McCloskey’s field goal, which covered 25 yards on PJP’s’ first possession of the second half, was set up by one of the special teams’ more inspired plays. McDevitt, facing a fourth-and-six situation from its 24, tried to punt the ball away. But Andrew Salvo blocked the kick by Bryson and A.J. Natale recovered the ball four yards from the end zone.

The play set PJP, ahead by a mere 14-13 margin, the opportunity to expand that lead considerably. But the Panthers gained only two yards on three running plays before calling on McCloskey to go for the “three.” The 17-13 lead his boot afforded the locals lasted just under seven minutes, the Lancers going ahead for keeps with Bryson’s 66-yard scoring pass to Dontae Mason.

“It all came back to finishing that drive,” Graver said. “We should have punched it in the end zone.”

McDevitt, by comparison, got all its scores off plays covering 25 yards and up.

DiLeo’s game-opening touchdown was a 44-yard scamper around left end at the 8:45 mark in the first quarter, and his game-capper went another 28 yards around the left side. Bryson (11-for-25, 143 yards) ripped off a 53-yard scoring run around left end with 8:51 left in the first half.

“We have kids who can make big plays,” McDevitt head coach Pat Manzi noted, “but we’re inconsistent. That’s what we’re trying to do, get consistency.”

PJP showed stalwart play on the defensive side, headed by Salvo and Al Dejewski each getting  1-1/2 sacks on the day. David DeBias had another sack, Ricky D’Aquilante made a jarring hit on a McDevitt receiver to break up a pass play, Kormos intercepted a Bryson pass in the home team’s end zone late in the first quarter,  and Natale batted another of Bryson’s passes for an incompletion.

“He stepped in at linebacker and played well,” Graver said of Natale. “He’s a freshman who was starting his first game.”

While senior quarterback Matt Duff had a 7-for-17 passing game, Johns-Lupold demonstrated more of PJP’s big-strike capability. Taking a pitch from Duff in the first quarter, Johns-Lupold uncorked a 40-yard toss to Dan Cirino (three receptions, 62 yards) that put the Panthers on the board at the 7:53 mark in the first quarter.

The duo hooked up in the second quarter on a 36-yard TD toss, which gave the locals a 14-13 lead following McCloskey’s conversion kick. Duff also headed the PJP ground game, covering 63 yards on 19 carries.

“Duff was the catalyst of our offense,” Graver noted, “and Johns-Lupold made a big play there.”

McDevitt’s ground game was fueled in large part by DiLeo, who ran 11 times for 157 yards, and Bryson, who had another 113 stripes on 16 totes. Bryson also contributed 11-for-25, 143-yard passing, his favorite target Mason (four catches, 111 yards).

“We knew it was going to be a dogfight,” Manzi said. “We made mistakes here and there, but we found a way to win.”

On the PJP side, Graver noted the three turnovers his team committed in the second half – two fumbles, one interception – hampered the club’s drive down the stretch. It now faces a big  task next week, going against Pottsgrove to open its Pioneer Athletic Conference schedule.

“That’s going to be a huge game for us,” Graver said. “We’ll be excited to compete against them. It will be a big challenge.”


McDevitt had a wide margin in penalties, getting whistled 10 times for 70 yards while the Panthers were tagged 30 yards on two calls. … Graver revealed PJP’s mindset for the coming season: “We’re playing it one play at a time. We want to make the most on each play.”



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Bishop McDevitt

Player Position Comp Att Yds TD Int. Rush Att. Rush Yds Rush TD Rec Rec Yds Rec. TD Sacks Def. Int XPM XPA FGM FGA Longest
Max BrysonQuarterback1125143111611310000000000
Amir LockhartRunning back0000083003200000000
Vince DiLeoRunning back000001115720000000000
Dontae MasonWide receiver00000000411110000000
Total 112514311353003711310000000

Pope John Paul II

Player Position Comp Att Yds TD Int. Rush Att. Rush Yds Rush TD Rec Rec Yds Rec. TD Sacks Def. Int XPM XPA FGM FGA Longest
Joey GiannoneRunning back, Defensive Back0000053401500000000
Ryan KormosWide receiver, Defensive Back0000000021700100000
Dan CirinoWide receiver, Defensive Back0000029046310000000
AJ DejewskiDefensive Line000000000002000000
David DebiasLinebacker000000000001000000
AJ NataleLinebacker000000000001000000
Andrew SalvoLinebacker0000081200002000000
Total 000001555078516100000


Pope John Paul II