Abington can’t climb CR South
ABINGTON » Council Rock South avoided the speed of Abington quarterback Tamir Berthau.
In the end, the stick-it running style of South’s Chase Patterson sealed the team’s low-scoring 14-10 victory.
“We want to maintain our game of pound it and put it in the endzone ultimately,” Patterson said.
The running back used his build to run out the clock while maintaining the game. He pushed the ball into enemy territory as the contest winded to a close.
Patterson scored the goahead touchdown from the five-yard-line with over 11 minutes left in the game. The running back’s strength resulted in runs down the middle of the field that inevitably produced the win.
Patterson scored South’s first touchdown about halfway through the third quarter and avoided the upset while a Berthau-led drive materialized into nothing as the game ended.
“Whenever we did a deep route, the D-line would get past our offensive line fast so running was the only thing that we could do to try to beat them,” Berthau said. “So and it didn’t work out.”
The quick-paced game went both ways. Abington used several runs including quarterback keepers to lead at halftime. In the second quarter, Abington’s onside kick into the opponent’s territory created a fourthand-short conversion and the team’s only touchdown of the game as time expired before halftime.
A scoreless first quarter marked by hurry-up offenses led to a more productive second quarter for Abington, which notched a long field goal to start the score 3-0.
Prior to the only firsthalf touchdown, Abington received a questionable call. A dart into the corner of the endzone resulted in a missed opportunity for the team. The crowd rejected the verdict.
“It was a game we should’ve won,” Abington’s Keith Hudoka said. “We had everything rolling for us in the first half.”
Berthau said his team poorly executed. The quarterback almost beat Council Rock South at its own game — running the ball.
Abington held the momentum in the second quarter but lost it when South started riding its most productive player that night. Berthau possessed that role for the opponent.
“You come up on him,” Hudoka said. “He’ll throw a dot of a pass, and if they give him enough room, he’s off to the races, and it’s hard to stop him.” HORSHAM » Abington’s big names may be in the attack, but the Galloping Ghosts aren’t going anywhere without their defense.
Thursday night, the Ghosts back line was put to the test by a game and determined Hatboro-Horsham side as the two top teams in the SOL American met at Hatters Stadium. There wasn’t much time to think, and a horde of pressure coming but Abington was able to stand resolute when it most needed to.
Abington’s back line held its ground and the Ghosts scrapped out a 3-2 win to take sole possession of first in the conference.
“Our confidence comes from the defense, in a way,” Abington senior center back Arianna Mancini said. “When our defense isn’t strong, it affects the entire team. When we have numbers come back and help us, it boosts everybody else up.”
With an attack spearheaded by Cam Lexow, Casey Touey and Kailey Horton, Ghosts coach Rick Tompkins isn’t worried about his team generating chances or putting away opportunities. His focus at the start of recent seasons has been on the back and if the group can put itself together well enough to contend in the conference.
The past couple years in the SOL National, facing unrelenting firepower almost every night, the Ghosts weren’t able to find common ground defensively. Moving over to the American seems to have helped, because while every team is going to play hard and fight for 80 minutes, Abington’s defenders have been able to learn by playing.
Abington’s back line also includes Riley Crabtree, Emily Friel and freshman Caroline Hughes
“We’re definitely more comfortable together,” Mancini said. “At first, it was like a JV kind of style, a lot of kick-and-run, but now the passing is better and more efficient. Being center defense, you have to hold the line and Coach Rick is always telling me to be the one to direct them.
“We can work on being more technical with the passing. We’re able to practice moving off each other and get more used to it.”
Abington struck in the first five minutes when Horton played an early ball in to Lexow and the Virginiabound senior did the rest. Lexow touched past a defender then uncorked a wicked shot that found the back of the net.
While the Ghosts got a good showing out of pretty much everyone on the field, it was easy to say the same about the Hatters. If there’s one trait that’s defined the side thus far, it’s toughness. Hatboro-Horsham doesn’t give up the ball easy and it will challenge for every opportunity in front of it.
It also means a lot to the players, who left the field dejected despite giving Abington all it could handle for 80 minutes. For first year head coach Kelsey Daley, it wasn’t what she wanted to see.
“I told them every single girl on that field played their heart out and nobody should put their head down after this game,” Daley said. “It was a great game, we ended up one goal short. I was proud of every single one of them and they should be proud of themselves.”
The Hatters put so much pressure on Abington that with about 12 minutes left in a one-goal game, Tompkins had Lexow drop in next to Mancini at center Goals: A – Cam Lexow (Kailey Horton), Abby Bautista, Casey Touey; HH – Sophia Liott (Maggie O’Neill), Mads Falcione (Cam Hughes). Shots: A – 9, HH – 5. Saves: A – Ashley Hopper 1, Liv Oliphant 2; HH – Martine Royds 6