Neumann-goretti hands Crusaders first loss
Drastically outnumbered in a crowd of white jerseys, arms grabbing for him and his jersey nearly pulled all the way down to the ground, Kevin Sabo somehow came out of all this running full speed.
Off he went to a 40-yard touchdown run that seemingly was going to bring Lansdale Catholic even with visiting Neumann Goretti.
“That’s called ‘ not being denied,’” Crusaders coach Tom Kirk said. “If you had to describe Kevin Sabo, it was that run. He would not be denied. Pretty special.”
With the LC crowd roaring, Sabo’s remarkable run brought the Crusaders within 21-20 with just 2 minutes, 15 seconds left to play in this Philadelphia Catholic League contest at Wissahickon High School Saturday night.
But on the ensuing extrapoint attempt, the player who had accounted for almost all of the Saints’ points on this evening prevented LC from getting its most important one of the night. Six-foot-six Jamal Custis got up into the air and blocked the kick, leaving the Crusaders one point behind.
LC got the ball back with less than a minute to play, but an incompletion from the Goretti 39 ended the contest. The Crusaders (41) WRRN WKHLr firsW ORss RI the season but came ever so FORsH WR D fiIWK FRNsHFuWLvH win.
“We were getting excited toward the end. It’s too bad wH FDPH RuW flDW LN WKH firsW half,” Sabo said. “That’s what really killed us, but we battled and played a heck of a game. We’ve blown out a couple teams so far, but now we know we can come back and play in tight games as well.”
A 0-0 tie at halftime quickly gave way to a scoring frenzy in the third and fourth quarters.
Custis hauled in a pretty 17-yard touchdown throw from quarterback Raymond Lenhart, back shoulder, to put the Saints (3-2) up 7-0 RN WKHLr firsW GrLvH DIWHr WKH break. LC then got a 33-yard kickoff return from Mike Iacono to set up a 46-yard scoring strike from Pat Duggan to a wide open James Ward, making things even at 7-7.
“They took away our run for the most part and we had to try to throw the ball,” Kirk said. “I think it just took us a little while to make some adjustments at halftime, which we did, and the quarterback made some nice throws and the kids made some nice catches.”
Goretti again went ahead on the first play of the fourth quarter, as Custis caught his second touchdown pass from Lenhart — this one much shorter than the other but in a more tense moment. On fourth- and- goal from the one, Lenhart found Custis to give the Saints a 14- 7 lead.
Custis wasn’t done. On the next play from scrimmage, he intercepted Duggan to give Goretti the ball at the LC 40. The Saints immediately took advantage, as workhorse Sihimare Morgan ( 36 carries for 149 yards) broke away for his longest run of the night, a 40- yard burst, to give Goretti a 21- 7 lead with 11: 27 to play.
Down by two TDs early in the fourth, the Crusaders put together a 10- play, 60- yard drive that culminated with Ward crashing in from the two to bring LC within 21- 14 with 8: 25 to play.
Two possessions later, Sabo refused to go down, and almost brought LC all the way back.
“I just kept the legs going,” the senior said. “I didn’t even think I was gonna score, but I just kept running. I saw some green and took off.” Neumann Goretti Lansdale Catholic Scoring NG-Jamal Custis 17 pass from Raymond Lenhart (Michael Beck kick), 7:02 LC-James Ward 46 pass from Pat Duggan (Mike Esterle kick), 6:25 NG-Custis 1 pass from Lenhart kick), 11:53 NG-Sihimare Morgan 40 run (Beck kick), 11:27 LC-Ward 2 run (Esterle kick), 8:25 LC-Kevin Sabo 40 run (kick blocked), 2:15 NG LC 13 12
2 2 2-10 3-15 159 161 122 88 281 249 10-17-2-0 6-20-1-2 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 7 14 - 21 7 13 - 20
(Beck First Downs Punts Penalties Rushing yards Passing yards Total yards Passing Fumbles lost Turnovers RUSHING Neumann Goretti: Raymond Lenart 4-(-3); Danny Murray 2-6; Sihimare Morgan 36-149, TD; Jamal Custis 3-13 Lansdale Catholic: James Ward 8-49, TD; Kevin Sabo 7-55, TD; Mike Iacono 7-44; Joe Schmid 5-18; Pat Duggan 4-(-5) PASSING Neumann Goretti: Lenhart 10-17-122-2-0 Lansdale Catholic: Duggan 6-20-88-1-2 RECEIVING Neumann Goretti: Custis 7-85, 2 TD; Eric Holt 3-37 Lansdale Catholic: Ward 2-34, TD; Joe Pinzka 1-9; Iacono 1-26; Sabo 1-14; Schmid 1-5