Defense rules day for the Lancers
ERDENHEIM >> “It’s a great day to be a Lancer” was the refrain as members of the Bishop McDevitt football team took a knee in huddled celebration, just outside the south end zone.
Thanks to a stifling defensive effort, Neumann-Goretti never entered that end zone — or the other — and wasn’t permitted to do much in between as the Lancers recorded a 26-0 shutout of their rival on a sunny afternoon at Springfield Montco.
“We wanted this one bad. Last year, they embarrassed us,” defensive end Tyrone Fowler said of the Saints’ 42-7 victory in 2017. “This one was really personal. We had to show up. We had to.”
Fowler showed up right away, scooping up a fumble by Goretti quarterback Rausheen Lively and returning it 42 yards for a score. The game was just 1 minute and 44 seconds old, and the Lancers had themselves a 7-0 lead.
Bishop McDevitt, raising its overall record to 5-1 and its Philadelphia Catholic League Blue Division mark to 3-0, built a 20-0 lead in the first quarter, putting the Saints (1-2, 1-2 PCL Blue) in too big a hole to overcome.
“We had this one circled since last year,” said Fowler, who helped the Lancers crash the pocket all afternoon. “Our coaches made adjustments for us for this one to get us in good positions, and we just went on from there.”
Lively was flushed from the pocket on the third play from scrimmage, enveloped by the McDevitt pressure, and the ball was jarred loose. Fowler scooped it up and raced down the sideline.
“That’s something we joke about all the time,” the 6-foot-3, 220-pound junior said of scoring a TD. “I was just excited. I was like ‘I really just scored.’”
The Lancers were on their way. “That set the tone. And it set it high too,” Fowler said. “As soon as we got that touchdown, everybody was confident.”
The Lancers gained 182 yards
on the ground, including 127 and a pair of touchdowns by Jon Luke Peaker, and also got 105 yards through the air from quarterback Jovon Hinton.
McDevitt extended its lead to 20-0 in the first quarter on touchdown runs by Peaker (19 yds) and Hinton (one yard), and then blew it open to 26-0 in the third quarter on Peaker’s second score (three yards).
Tysheem Johnson did some productive running for the Saints, gaining 57 yards on three carries, but the visitors were held to under 200 yards of offense.
“We feed off of them,” coach Mike Watkins said of his defense. “The way that we play on defense really sets the tone.
“It’s always been that way here.”
Getting it done up front and in the back end, the Lancers also got a pair of interceptions by Joachim McElroy. It was a great day to be a Lancer and is quickly developing into a great year.
“It feels good (to be 5-1),” Watkins said. “I tell these guys after the wins, ‘enjoy it.’ We don’t wanna turn the page yet. They gotta enjoy it. They gotta embrace what this feels like. And we’ll get to work on Monday, but they have to take time to celebrate what they’ve achieved.”
Tyrone Fowler returned a fumble 42 yards for a touchdown in Saturday’s 26-0 Bishop McDevitt victory over Neumann-Goretti.