Neu­mann-goretti hands Cru­saders first loss

North Penn Life - - SPORTS - By Kev Hunter khunter@jour­nal­reg­is­

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

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