LC’S offense sputters against Bonner
The Lansdale Catholic defense came up with three IRuUWK-GRwn sWDnGs Ln WKH fiUsW half on Saturday, but it was the Monsignor Bonner defense that produced the game’s biggest play just before halftime.
With just four seconds remaining, LC was ahead 3-0 and looking to connect on a deep pass down the left sideline. Mike Ockimey intercepted Pat Duggan’s throw in the secondary, found some running room, and cut toward the opposite sideline.
With the cheers from the Bonner crowd intensifying, Ockimey got a key block and was on his way to the end zone, putting the Friars ahead 6-3 on the 85-yard return.
“I just got excited,” Ockimey said. “I saw the ball go up in the air, I went and got it, and took it to the house.”
“It gave us a ton of momentum going into the locker room,” Friars coach dreg Bernhardt said of the play. “It was a phenomenal play by Mike and some kids made some key blocks. It was a big-time play.”
In the second half, the Friars returned another turnover for a score — this time on special teams — and Ockimey continued to stand out on defense as well as offense to lead Bonner to a 28-9 victory in the Philadelphia Catholic League Class AAA opener for both teams.
The Friars were able to get the win despite missing their starting quarterback, Jim Haley. Colin Didalbo was under center for Bonner and led a pair of scoring drives in the second half.
“Colin was very good today,” said Ockimey EWRL DB). “He showed he had an arm. It was good that he got to step up today.”
On a third-and-goal from the 10, Didalbo connected with Ockimey for the touchdown to put Bonner ahead for good, 139, with 10:20 to play.
“It’s a different ballgame when our leader EJim Haley) isn’t in there, but I thought Colin played well,” Bernhardt said. “He was a little shaky at the start, but he came on. The drive where we went ahead, there were some big-time throws that he made.”
On a second-and-15, Didalbo hit Christian Summers for a gain of 16. Later, on a second-and-30, the sophomore found Ockimey for a gain of 20 and then on third-and-10 hit Mario SaintFleur for 17 more yards.
Then, Didalbo’s most impressive throw came on fourth-and-12 at the LC 44. Just as he was hit by an onrushing lineman, Didalbo used his size and strength to remain upright and deliver a perfect strike to Ockimey to keep the drive alive.
“I’m proud of their effort and glad they were able to gut it out,” Bernhardt said of his team.
Ockimey intercepted Duggan on the Crusaders’ next series, and then when Bonner’s ensuing possession ended with a punt, Mike Shanahan recovered a fumble by LC return man James Ward and raced away to a 32-yard return and a 19-9 Bonner lead. Ockimey caught the two-point conversion pass from Didalbo to extend the margin to 21-9 with 6:37 to play.
A two-yard touchdown run by Didalbo capped the scoring with less than a minute left.
The Crusaders defense dominated early, as Bonner E2-3, 1-0 PCL) was stopped on fourth down three separate times and forced to punt on another series. But even when LC forced a takeaway at the Friars’ 15, the Crusaders were only able to come away with Mike Esterle’s 33-yard fiHOG JRDO, wKLFK fluWWHUHG just inside the upright to give the Crusaders a 3-0 lead on a blustery day at Upper Darby Memorial Field.
“We just have to take advantage of opportunities on the offensive side,” LC coach Tom Kirk said. “We’re just not doing that. 7KH GHIHnsH SODyHG WHUULfiF again today, but we’re just not scoring enough points.”
The Crusaders E4-2, 0-1 PCL) did regain the lead on a fiYH-yDUG Uun Ey .HYLn 6DER midway through the third, making it 9-6, but the Friars went ahead for good on Ockimey’s 10-yard touchdown reception early in the fourth, his second score of the day along with the long return he KDG WR FDS WKH fiUsW KDOI.
“vou’ve got to play every play,” Kirk said of the interception and score. “Certainly, you don’t think something like that is going to happen. vou just have to play every play because you don’t know what’s going to happen. That Eplay) was disappointing, but you’ve got to move on from it.”
Lansdale Catholic’s James Ward is brought down by Bonner defender Michael Roman during Saturday’s Philadelphia Catholic League action.