Ghosts bounce back, tops CB East
Coaches sons have a simple way of looking at the game. It’s usually black and white, good and bad, right and wrong. They cut through all of the static and rarely worry about being politically correct.
So when Abington’s Gage Gormley, the son of Jenkintown coach Phil Gormley, was asked about the difference between last week’s loss to Plymouth Whitemarsh and Friday’s game against Central Bucks East, he got right to the point.
“Last week, I’m not going to sugar-coat it, we got our (bleeps) kicked,” he said, not using the word bleeps. “PW came out and they were ready to play and we weren’t. I guess this is just a nice response.” A really nice response. The Ghosts limited Central Bucks East to just 41 yards on the ground and eased to a 21-6 victory in their home opener at Schwartzman Stadium on Friday.
Abington coach Tim Sorber was specific about the improvement.
“It was the defense,” he said, “absolutely the defense. I think the kids were upset and we got embarrassed last week.
“One big help was at the linebacker position. We got Jimmy Heiler back, he was injured on the second play of the (Samuel) Fels game, and that helps. He’s a leader out there, he’s our most experienced player on defense and he makes plays. I think the kids feed off of him.”
The Ghosts allowed just the 41 yards on the ground and another 132 in the air – 79 of those coming on CB East’s lone scoring drive late in the third quarter.
“I thought our d-line played a phenomenal game, the made a lot of plays in the backfield,” Sorber said.
“And I thought our outside backers – Josh Jones and Christian Werner, did a nice job of keeping everything inside which we didn’t do last week.
“It was a great team effort as far as the defense. Take away that one pass (a 49yard Zach Nelsen-to-Chris Burian play that led to the lone score) and I think we did a great job of playing defense.”
B u t d o n ’t t a k e a n y t h i n g away from t h e o ff e n s e . W h i l e m a y b e i t ’s n o t t h e high-powered unit that has been an Abington staple in recent seasons, it came through when needed.
Junior back Craig Reynolds had 90 yards on 23 carries and a pair of touchdown runs, while Collins completed five passes for 111 yards, including an eight-yard scoring toss to Trey Guaglionona to give Abington the lead early in the second quarter.
“We g o t s o m e b i g t h i r d down plays to keep some drives going,” Sorber said. “I thought Reynolds carried the load and made some nice runs on third downs. And Gage Gormley and Dylan Collins came up big when we needed them.”
Gormley caught two big passes from Collins, including a 46-yarder on a thirdand-15 play that set up the clinching touchdown early in the fourth quarter, the possession after CB East had scored.
“We had man coverage and Gage beat the kid and Dylan threw a good ball,” Sorber said. “And then we scored, that was the clincher.”
“A lot of times their dback would look back and that’s when I’d get separation,” Gormley said. “Collins just throws the ball and I catch them. It’s just pitch and catch.”
Reynolds, whose dad Eric is on the staff at William Tennent, also knows how to spread the love. He spread the credit around for his key runs.
“That’s the O-line,” he said. “The wide receivers, the tight ends, the fullback, it’s easy t o run t hrough holes like that with the guys up front. We kept attacking them, kept going at them.”
And a week after getting thrashed, the Ghosts bounced back.
“We prepared for it and worked hard,” Reynolds said. “It was the little things, every rep getting better. We came out fired up, came out with the intensity and worked hard for it.”
It’s as simple as that.
Academy New Church’s Shane McCurdy breaks away from Springfield’s Malik Ball during Friday’s non-league action.