Turnovers crip­ple Colo­nials in loss to Ghosts

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - SPORTS - By DANIEL CAR­VALHO

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.”

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