Rested Pa­tri­ots prove too much for Pan­thers.

Niedziel­ski, GA heat up against Chel­tehnam

The Review - - Front Page - By Den­nis C. Way dway@21st-cen­tu­ry­

It’s a new season, but Ger­man­town Acad­emy’s first in three sea­sons with­out Kyle-McCloskey un­der cen­ter.

McCloskey, now a fresh­man at Villanova, was on the side­lines Satur­day af­ter­noon when the Pa­tri­ots hosted Chel­tenham, but only be­cause he is sick and un­able to play for the Wild­cats.

But McCloskey got a good look at his re­place­ment, Colton Niedziel­ski, and came away im­pressed.

The 6-foot-5 se­nior was not the star of the show when the Pa­tri­ots topped the Pan­thers, 14-3, but he was solid.

And at this stage, that’s all Pa­tri­ots head coach Matt Dence is look­ing for.

The 6-foot-5 se­nior went 8-for16 for 101 yards and one you-had-to-see-it-to-be­lieve-it touch­down as the host Pa­tri­ots (2-1) kept the Pan­thers (0-5) win­less.

“I thought Colton did some re­ally good things to­day,” Dence said after GA won for the sec­ond time in three starts. “He made some good throws on third and fourth downs that kept drives going.

“We’re ex­pect­ing a lot from Colton, but we’re not going to rush him.”

Niedziel­ski got the Pa­tri­ots rolling on GA’s first posses­sion, driv­ing the team from its own 8-yard line to an early touch­down.

The key play on the drive was a 48-yard pass play to Mike Reilly, al­though sopho­more run­ning back Trae Vance’s 41 yards on the ground didn’t hurt ei­ther.

“It’s a big re­spon­si­bil­ity,” Niedziel­ski said, “but I think I’m hold­ing up well.

“We strug­gled to ex­e­cute here and there, and there were places where we could have­made a bet­ter play. We’re hop­ing to seemore con­sis­tent ex­e­cu­tion from ev­ery­body.”

The lead shrunk to 7-3 when Pan­thers kicker Justin Grady nailed a 24-yard field goal 26 sec­onds be­fore half­time.

But Chel­tenham would not score again, as the Pa­tri­ots con­trolled the ball for the bulk of the sec­ond half.

Then when Niedziel­ski had his mo­ment not to be be­lieved, it was ob­vi­ous it was GA’s day.

In the final four min­utes of the third quar­ter and the ball at the Chel­tenham 3-yard line, the GA quar­ter­back stum­bled as he re­ceived the snap from cen­ter, but still had the abil­ity to toss a touch­down pass to Mike Reilly to give the home team the put-it-away score.

The Pan­thers huffed and puffed, but ul­ti­mately wound up run­ning only 16 plays in the sec­ond half.

“We’re still a team that when a good thing hap­pens, we’re look­ing for a flag,” said Pan­thers firstyear head coach Ryan Nase. “I’m ex­tremely happy with our ef­fort to­day. I felt we might have trou­ble play­ing in the heat, but the guys held up well.

“And the things that went wrong are fix­able.”

GA held the ball for the game’s final 6:41, then cel­e­brated a well-earned tri­umph.

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