Turnovers cripple Colonials in loss to Ghosts
WHITEMARSH — If history is any indication of how Plymouth Whitemarsh begins the scholastic football season year in and year out, the Colonials have a serious case of déjà vu.
Following a 23-8 loss to the hands of Abington on Friday night at Plymouth Whitemarsh High, the Colonials tasted defeat for the second time this season in just as many games.
Rewind back a year ago and PW found itself in the same 0-2 hole, before ripping off the next eight games on its way to a third consecutive Suburban One League American Conference title.
So, should the Colonials be worried?
“We were in this spot last year, so we’re going to take a game at a time and know that we can come back,” PW head coach Dan Chang said.
The downward spiral for the Colonials started right from the get-go. After winning the coin toss and deferring the ball to the visiting team, the Ghosts thanked PW with a 43-yard kickoff return all the way down to the 27.
On the first play from scrimmage, Abington’s Juawine Sowell broke the game open with an 18-yard run, before scoring two plays later on a 5-yard dash for six, with just 38 ticks coming off the game clock.
When the Plymouth Whitemarsh offense took the field on the Abington kickoff, it found itself hitting a wall. First, the Colonials would go three and out, only able to move the ball six yards. But the worst was yet to come.
After Colonial defense held the Ghosts in check, the offense coughed the ball up when PW’s quarterback Noah Allanoff saw an attempted pass slip right out of his hand and onto the turf – the first of five turnovers surrendered by the Colonials.
“We obviously killed ourselves with the turnovers,” Chang said. “I don’t know even know how many we had, I lost count.
“You can’t beat a quality team like Abington turning the ball over.”
The defense for the Colonials
put their own stamp on the game when Nafeese Nasir picked off Abington’s David Kretschman, but to no avail when Allanoff fumbled the exchange from center – two turnovers in two drives.
PW just couldn’t find its rhythm on offense despite the defensive unit’s best efforts to keep the team in the game. And matters might have gotten even worse when Allanoff exited the game with an injury and made way for sophomore Anthony Mirabile.
Abington would break through again via another score by Sowell from four yards out with halftime imminent, and the Ghosts were cruising.
The second half was a lot of the same for a PW team trying to shake off the rust. But after a deep punt trapped the Colonials inside their 5-yard line, the offense got careless with the football once again.
Mirable scrambled around the end zone on a third and long, until he ran out of time and real estate and was sacked for a safety and a 16-0 deficit.
The lone bright spot for the Colonials came in the final quarter of play when Mirable connected with receiver James Rodgers, who found his way behind the last line of defense on a 60-yard bomb followed by a two-point conversion.
“We got to be ready to go every play,” Chang said of the late rally. “We can’t wait for that spark to get us going. We got to play with that energy every time.”