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Game 10 | November 6, 2009

Neshaminy 20 – Pennsbury 27

Overtime sees ‘Skins edged by Falcons


game 10 penns

Levittown: Its been eighty seasons since the 'Skins and Falcons first lined up in 1930. And reviewing the series revealed that before kickoff, seventy-seven games were in the books with the overall record all knotted up at 35-35-7! Wow - does this ever get old? Nah, it sure doesn't, not at all. Plus this evenings tangle at Falcon Field was anticipated to be another terrific match-up between the two Lower Bucks County next door neighbors. With both squads at 8-1, and the SOL-National Conference title on the line along with all-important District One playoff seeding, is there anything else that needs be said? Well, there might be one more thing bragging rights for another year were also up for grabs.

So as it's not necessary to write another word - except that the SRO crowd in Fairless Hills couldn't have had a more cooperative Mother Nature as she provided crisp air, no rain at all and just a bit of a breeze making for perfect football weather - let's get right to it.

With the Falcons winning the toss and electing to receive, they opened up that first series on their own 35. And although starting it off with a very nice clock eating drive, that effort eventually stalled and Pennsbury was forced to punt. Then on one that might have been better let go, Bryan Dean stepped up to make the return at the ten. With a Falcon right in on him, the ball came loose on the hit with Pennsbury recovering. Shortly thereafter it was the home team then up, 7-0. But looking to make up for it in a hurry, it was Dean who returned the following kickoff to the Orange and Black 34 where the Neshaminy offense took over. From there, and although they pushed it inside the ten, the Skins couldn't put it away and the 31-yard field goal attempt was botched when the snap went awry. And with that the ball went back to the Falcons at their 33.

Moving to the second period, Pennsbury had it down inside the five-yard line in what seemed like no time at all. But with the hitting on the field as crisp as the night air, a Pennsbury back lost the ball at the one where Neshaminy recovered. And then with back-to-back personal fouls against the Falcons, the Redmen were at the 31 after the penalties were added in. Not getting a first, though, Neshaminy was forced to punt with Pennsbury back in business on its own 38 after the exchange. And showing their stuff, Pennsbury moved it right back down the field helped by a nice quarterback draw for some big yardage. Punching in another one, the PAT was on the money too and it was Pennsbury out in front, 14-0 with just over five minutes left in the half.

After the kickoff, it was the Schmidtmen starting it off at their own 20 and looking to get something going. Looking good too, they had it out to the 35 in a hurry but that's where the Blue and Red offense came up a cropper yet again. Forced to punt, it was Brian Reice putting his toe into as it rolled to the Pennsbury 16 where the hosts took over with a few minutes left on the clock. With the two teams thinking the locker room was a good idea, it wasn't much longer before the gun sounded to signal the break with no further scoring.

Heading back out for the second-half, it was Neshaminy's opportunity to receive the kickoff. And the timing couldn't have been better as Langhorne needed to get on the stick and start making some noise. With Ricky Williams taking the grab, it was the 'Skins starting off on their own 25. But Pennsbury's defense said no dice and the Redmen punted; however, the Creek Kids caught a break when the Falcon return man fumbled with Neshaminy's Brian Rugghia covering it at mid-field. Capitalizing on the break, Dean had it at the Falcon's 36 in two plays. From there a pass to Williams and run by Corey Majors put it on the 18 in a hurry. Going to fourth down, it was Majors making the first down at the one-yard line with Dean ramming it in from there. With Ricky Domico putting the PAT down the middle, it tightened up to 14-7.

Following a nice kickoff return, the Falcons were set up at Neshaminy's 49. And with the Tribes defense stiffening, it went to fourth down at the 40 before the Falcons drew an offsides penalty on a jumpy Langhorne lineman for a first at the 'Skins 35. Then a nice Black and Orange pass had Pennsbury knocking at the door inside the ten. A few plays later they just slipped it in but with the PAT missing, the scoreboard read only 20-7.

On the ensuing kickoff a fantastic Redskin return saw the Pennsbury kicker save a score when Williams was finally forced out at the Pennsbury 30. Two plays later saw the fourth period roll around with Neshaminy stuck in low gear after a sack on Charlie Marterella left our guys at 3rd and 21. Then after changing sides, a Marterella throw to Frank Csaszar resulted in a pass interference call giving Neshaminy a first down at the Fairless Hills 26 yard line. What followed was a little of this and a little of that all topped off by a three-yard scoot by Dean which made it 20-13. Domico then finished it off with his toe as the score went to 20-14 with nine minutes on the clock.

After the short pooch kickoff, Pennsbury started that next possession at their own 35 but soon stalled at the 50. The punt that followed had Neshaminy pinned at the 15 but not for long as Brian Titus immediately found Williams all alone as he took it 85 yards for a score. Domicos PAT was short after a penalty moved the team back and the game was then locked up at 20-20 with 6:27 remaining. Kicking it away, a sloppy bit of ball handling almost saw the rock go to the 'Skins but a Falcon covered it at the twenty for a first and ten. And this time it was Neshaminy's defense saying no dice and after the Falcon punt, it was the 'Skins with the ball at their own 49 with 4:19 to go. Not being able to move it past the 45, though, Neshaminy kicked it this time and it was soon Pennsbury starting at their own twenty with 2:40 remaining after the Reice kick found the end zone.

That Falcon drive was also doomed to failure and after the punt it was Neshaminy with the ball once again at mid-field with just 1:06 on the clock. A nice hook-and-ladder saw Dean rumble to the 30 as Majors followed that up with a ten-yard punch to take it to the 18-yard stripe with 41 seconds still to go. But not able to cover the last few yards, a Domico 35-yard field goal attempt came up short as the game then went to overtime.

With Pennsbury winning the toss and starting it off on the ten-yard line, they earned their TD after two Neshaminy personal fouls helped the Falcon cause. As the PAT was true, it then went to 27-20 for the Fairless Hills crew. With Neshaminy next up at the ten, it quickly went to 4th and goal to go at the five as a Marterella pass was then knocked away to end the game.

But what a game it was as both Neshaminy and Pennsbury left it all on the field with the fans that had made the trek treated to a monster example of scholastic football at its finest. So right here and right now a salute to the Blue and Red and the Orange and Black for delivering the goods just as promised.

As to our boys, finishing the season at 8-2, they can now turn their focus to the second season: The playoffs. And even though tonight's ding wasnt the ending any of Neshaminy's loyal fans and followers wanted, next week will see our guys dressed in home team red as Round One of the District One championship series gets underway at Heartbreak Ridge. So let's all take a deep breath and shake this one off for just as one door closes, another always opens.

See you at the game!


Game 10

Photos courtesy of Jesse Garber

For more game photos go to Jesse Garber on Zenfolio



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