Lansdale Catholic falls to Wood
Inspired play on both sides of the ball nearly brought Lansdale Catholic all the way back from an early fourtouchdown deficit, as the Crusaders fell 28-14 to Archbishop Wood in a Philadelphia Catholic League Class AAA contest at William Tennent High School Saturday.
“(Part of the reason for the comeback) was that their teammate (Tyler Viers, RB/DL) got hurt, and thank God he’s OK,” LC coach Tom Kirk said. “Kids respond in a different way when they see one of their teammates is shaken up. We said we were going to play that second half for Tyler.”
Viers was injured on one of the final defensive plays of the first half, and, in a tense moment, was motionless on the turf for several moments. The senior was taken off on a stretcher, but was seen moving both his arms and legs. The injury was believed to be not too serious afterwards.
“I heard that he may have just been dinged a bit,” Kirk said. “I don’t want to say he was totally ‘fine,’ — you have to be especially cautious when somebody says they have some neck pain, but he was squeezing my hand and moving all his extremities, so we knew he was OK.”
LC (4-3 overall and 0-2 in the PCL) battled on, and got to within 28-14 when Pat Duggan scooped up a fumble by Wood running back Jarrett McClenton and raced 15 yards for the score.
“I was on my man, and the line and linebackers went in there and popped the ball out,” Duggan said. “It was just sitting there. I just ran over and picked it up.”
Duggan’s other score was trickier, and it came on the Crusaders’ final offensive series of the first half.
The quarterback hung in against the Wood pressure and threw a pretty 52-yard strike to wide receiver Michael Jester down the right sideline to get the Crusaders their first points of the contest. Jester had gotten behind his man, and as both players went up for the ball, the throw had been placed over the outstretched hands of the defender, and Jester made the catch and raced the final 25 yards for the score.
“I honestly, didn’t see it. I was on the ground,” Duggan said smiling. “The line gave me enough time and they gave me enough time most of the night. Mike just went up and got it. That was all Mike.”
“That was a big play,” Kirk said. “That’s Mike’s first touchdown, and he’s done a phenomenal job for us blocking. He doesn’t always get the credit he deserves, and I’m thrilled for the kid, I really am.”
The Crusaders’ offense was able to move the ball pretty consistently in the second half, and both James Ward (11 carries for 53 yards) and Kevin Sabo (9/58) did some productive running. LC’s last chance to cut the deficit to seven points came late in the fourth quarter, as the drive stopped around midfield.
The Vikings (5-2, 2-0) dominated early, taking the lead on an 86-yard punt return for a score by Anthony Roakes, and then rushing touchdowns by Josh Messina (37 yards), McClenton (29 yards) and Andrew Guckin (one yard) boosted the lead to 28-0.
The Crusaders shut out the Vikings in the second half, however, forcing three turnovers.
“We probably were a little bit too aggressive in the first half,” Kirk said. “A lot of their big plays were us being in position but not making the tackles, not wrapping, not being used to the speed of Wood. But then we became more disciplined.”