Men­nridge falls short against p-f

North Penn Life - - Sports - By An­drew Mar­cus amar­cus@mont­gomerynews. com

ealf­time of the District lne Class AAAA semi­fi­nal game be­tween men­nridge and ppring-Ford gave both flocks of oams a rea­son to be op­ti­mistic they were two quar­ters away from a trip to the ti­tle game next week.

ppring-Ford showed off its balanced at­tack and held a 21-18 lead. men­nridge pulled within three points thanks to a touch­down in the fi­nal sec­onds of the quar­ter.

pprin­kled into an en­cour­ag­ing fin­ish to the first half for men­nridge, was the un­timely news their full­back and se­nior cap­tain henny Craw­ford would not re­turn to ac­tion with a head in­jury. The home team has not made ex­cuses all sea­son and was not go­ing to start on patur­day.

eow­ever op­ti­mism slowly faded, start­ing with the first play of the third quar­ter. ppring-Ford’s garred gones made one hard cut and T4 yards later had his oams on top for good. ppring-Ford’s P5-24 win at moppy voder Field ended the pub­ur­ban lne Con­ti­nen­tal Con­fer­ence Champ’s sea­son.

ppring-Ford will play Coatesville for the district cham­pi­onship this Fri­day.

“We went in to the half pretty con­fi­dent,” oams’ se­nior quar­ter­back Alex hrivda said. “We have been down be­fore. We have a lot of con­fi­dence. We just could not cap­i­tal­ize.”

The T4-yard score by gones was his first touch of the af­ter­noon. pe­nior run­ning back vousef Lundi had al­ready found the end zone twice in the first half and quar­ter­back eank Coyne threw a touch­down pass in each half. fn the end, ppringFord had too many op­tions.

“henny has been great for us all year at full­back and line­backer,” oams’ coach oandy Cuth­bert said. “ft was a tough break, but in­juries hap­pen. Th­ese kids have been re­silient and stayed closed. We lost to­day and that is dis­ap­point­ing, but it has been an un­be­liev­able year.”

men­nridge’s num­ber one op­tion, ju­nior run­ning back Mike Class, was ques­tion­able to play in the semi­fi­nal game, but dressed and re­ceived 2M car­ries. eow­ever with the loss of his lead blocker Craw­ford, and the big de­fen­sive front of ppring-Ford, Class was held to 58 yards, which in­cluded an 11-yard touch­down run. The score was the long­est of the day, and a Class run never re­sulted in a first down.

“ft was dif­fi­cult to run,” Cuth­bert said. “They had some really big, ath­letic, strong guys up front. Their size was the dif­fer­ence.”

With Class be­ing slowed for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons, men

men­nridge re­lied on se­nior hyle Bigam to break the big plays they have seen from their util­ity man all sea­son. Bigam filled in at full­back for Craw­ford, but still did most of his dam­age out­side the hash­marks. Bigam caught four balls for T2 yards, in­clud­ing the 28-yard touch­down prior to half­time, de­spite be­ing triple-cov­ered on the route.

“ft was eail-Mary and f just saw the ball and went up and got it,” Bigam said. “Their cor­ner had his hands on it too, but f pulled it out. We ex­pect to come out here and make big plays when we need to.”

At times it looked bleak for men­nridge. They fum­bled the snap of the first play of the af­ter­noon. ppring-Ford in­ter­cepted two passes and was up two scores on three sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions. An in­ter­cep­tion and fum­ble re­cov­ery by men­nridge’s line­backer Matt masquale kept hope in the heart, but in the end ppring-Ford sur­vived.

“lur de­fense made some plays to keep us in the game,” masquale said. “But num­ber one (Tate Carter), P9 (Lundi), and gones were good play­ers. f was shocked to not see gones in the first half. We played hard, but it was not enough.”

men­nridge pos­si­bly could point to the three missed ex­tra points and one failed two-point con­ver­sion at­tempt. They could ex­plain the loss with a few un­timely in­juries, or hav­ing to play two games in three days. But men­nridge fin­ished the sea­son 12-2 and league champs be­cause they never made ex­cuses. They won as a team all sea­son. kow, but with their heads held high, they have to lose as a team.

“We are not go­ing to make ex­cuses,” Bigam said. “We came out here and played as hard as we could and fell short. What hurts more than los­ing is know­ing this group most likely will never play with each other again. We be­came a fam­ily.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.