On the Trail
On Halloween in 1986, Bartram's Billy Dunfee starred in a win over West Philadelphia. The Dunfees were a prominent football/baseball family. Here is that story . . .
DUNFEE PUTS BARTRAM IN A WINNING POSITION
It was Halloween, but Billy Dunfee strutted onto West Philadelphia's football field wearing his usual uniform.
To create the proper mood for a Public West war, Dunfee should have exchanged his No. 35 maroon jersey for a black leather jacket. And his cleats for motorcycle boots. And his helmet for an eye patch.
If the Daily News ever decided to select the city's toughest, most ornery football player, Billy Dunfee would win, gnarled hands down.
Sure, the 6-foot, 180-pound John Bartram senior has been blessed with a reasonable amount of talent. But more than that, Dunfee knows how to look coldly into an opponent's eyes and make him flinch.
"If I had six Billy Dunfees and five tackling dummies, I could still win ballgames," said coach Tom Bazis.
Praise doesn't come much better than that.
Dunfee handled five tangible responsibilities - middle linebacker, fullback, quarterback, punter, kicker - as Bartram squeezed out a 6-0 victory over West Philly, thus maintaining its standing as the only team in the West with an unblemished record (4-0), although Ben Franklin - this Thursday's road opponent - is 3-0-2.
With 58 seconds remaining, Dunfee 's intangible responsibility was to harangue his defensive partners into realizing that, for their own good, it would be best to stop West.
A 21-yard completion from Solomon White to Sherman Northington gave the Speedboys, who had started on their 48 with 2:00 left, a spot on Bartram's 12. During a timeout called by Bartram, first Bazis, then Dunfee , who was involved in 14 tackles, took turns speaking and/or shouting.
Bazis said, "We're going to stop them. All we have to do is play defense the way we've set it up. All game, they haven't done anything that we didn't prepare for. "
It was then Dunfee 's turn.
"Believe me, I can really get the guys psyched up," he said, laughing. ''I said something like, 'Let's get down and dirty, guys. ' That's when we get down into our four-point stances. I was also talking about territory, how this was our end of the field and how we couldn't let West take any more of it away from us. "
As the fans - both those inside and those pressed along the fence on Spruce Street - whipped themselves into a frenzy, Sulaiman "Hit Man" Abdul-Hadi was stopped for no gain, then White threw three consecutive incompletions. Back David Newsome managed to deflect the last pass on the left side near the goal line at 0:24, preventing further heroics by Northington.
"I had complete faith in the defense," Bazis said. "It boiled down to mano o mano, as they say in Spanish. "
Hey, those kinds of situations are right up Billy Dunfee 's alley, which is undoubtedly dark and dingy but doesn't scare him in the least.
"I was supposed to blitz on the last play, but I told Jim Corsaro, 'You go, and I'll stay back,' " Dunfee said. "I went in the direction that I saw the quarterback's eyes going. I wanted to be in on the play. "
As long as 10 years ago, Billy Dunfee knew he would someday seek and destroy for Bartram. His brother, Tom, an absolute thug of a linebacker, made first team All-City in both 1976 and '77. In '76, the Maroon Wave stormed to the Public League championship, racking up nine shutouts in 12 games overall and scoring 36 points per game.
"I love football, and Tom did, too," Billy said. "Sometimes people talk about whether or not I'm as good as Tom, but I can't listen to that. I just have to go out and play.
"I can remember being at a couple of Tom's games and thinking, even then, that I'd like to follow in his footsteps. Teachers would ask me, 'Are you going to come to Bartram, too? ' I'd tell them, 'Don't worry, I'll be there. '
"My size isn't as good as Tom's (6-1, 210), but I might be equal in terms of meanness - we both like to stick - and instincts. "
As a fullback, Dunfee 's sole purpose is to block. Whenever he lines up at quarterback, it's no secret that the Maroon Wave intends to run the option. Billy was playing outside until several weeks ago, when an injury sidelined middle linebacker Darryl Vereen.
"It gets kind of rough in the middle, because I'm not that tall," Dunfee said. "But 'Baze' knows I can handle it. When you're put in a tough position, you have to play tough. I may not be in on every tackle, but I'm at least nearby. "
Late in the third quarter, Bartram took over on West's 40 because a snap for a punt sailed over Northington's head. Newsome ripped off a 9-yard gain, then junior Marty Buchanan hit split end Melvin Tate with a 31-yard TD pass.
Tate made a nice play, slamming on the brakes at the 7 to wait for the slightly underthrown pass, then maneuvering into the end zone.
Tom Dunfee , who briefly played baseball for Dodge City (Kan.) Community College, has maneuvered himself into such a position that he now owns two businesses, a delicatessen and a grocery store. Dan and John, the next oldest brothers, also attended Bartram, and in 1982 John was a third team Daily News All-Public infielder.
Billy last year was selected as a third team All-Public designated hitter and, of course, should improve upon that status come spring.
When he was pinned down, however, Billy Dunfee admitted that he'd rather hit bodies than baseballs.
Are you like me? Did you miss the days when Catholic League teams played a healthy amount of league games? Well, they've been back these last two seasons and, finally, we again have a regular season champ with at least seven wins. Conwell-Egan earned that mark in Catholic Blue play and 7-0 had not been achieved since 2007 (by West Catholic, also in Blue). Going back to the very beginning, 61 teams have won at least seven games while achieving perfection. Fourteen have won eight. The chronological breakdown is below on the left. The school breakdown is on the right. SJ Prep leads that pack with nine.
Kickers need love, too. And over the last three seasons, Penn Charter's guys have certainly earned it. Adam Kuper, Ryan Bradby, Terence Thompson and Ryan "Pooch" Holmes have combined for 149 points, thanks to 107 kicks and 14 field goals. Now for the really impressive fact: Their percentage on kicks is 97.3. Wait, there's more. Kuper's first kick of the 2016 season was blocked by Lansdale Catholic, so since then the guys are 107-for-109 (98.2). Wait, there's even more. When Thompson missed his lone attempt in the 2017 game vs. Malvern, he was filling in for Bradby, primarily a soccer player. ("TT" did hammer a field goal in that game, so that was cool.). Take away that miss and the "regular guys" are 107-for-108 (99.1) since Kuper's kick vs. LC was blocked. The miss was by Bradby in the 2017 opener vs. LC. Since Thompson's miss last year, the guys have nailed 49 consecutive PAT. Holmes, also a basketball star, has hit nine of those while thrice filling in for the busy-with-soccer Bradby. In '16, Bradby kicked the last PAT vs. Academy of the New Church. On the kicks, Gavin Zavorski does the snapping and Aaron Maione handles the holding. Thanks to assistant Fran Costello for that info.
UPDATE: 2018 game/season breakdown has been adjusted for Bradby/Holmes. Totals/percentages still the same. My apologies.
UPDATE: The 2018 season has been finalized. One of the conversion attempts vs. Episcopal was a two-pointer. Against GA, Bradby missed the fourth of his six kicks so the streak ended at 55.
|Penn Charter's Kicking Performances Over the Last Three Seasons|
|2016 . . . Opponent||Points||Name||PAT||FG||Points|
|Lansdale Catholic||35||Adam Kuper||3-4||3|
|Lawrenceville (NJ)||49||Adam Kuper||7-7||7|
|Academy New Church||35||Adam Kuper||4-4||4|
|(also ANC)||Ryan Bradby||1-1||1|
|Haverford School||20||Adam Kuper||2-2||2|
|SCH Academy||49||Adam Kuper||7-7||7|
|Germantown Academy||14||Adam Kuper||2-2||2|
|2017 . . . Opponent||Points||Name||PAT||FG||Points|
|Lansdale Catholic||20||Ryan Bradby||2-3||2|
|Lawrenceville (NJ)||20||Ryan Bradby||2-2||2||8|
|Haverford School||21||Ryan Bradby||1-1||2||7|
|SCH Academy||28||Ryan Bradby||4-4||4|
|Germantown Academy||26||Ryan Bradby||2-2||2||8|
|2018 . . . Opponent||Points||Name||PAT||FG||Points|
|Lansdale Catholic||35||Ryan Bradby||5-5||5|
|Upper Dublin||42||Ryan Bradby||6-6||6|
|Blair (NJ)||45||Ryan Bradby||6-6||1||9|
|Haverford School||41||Ryan Bradby||5-5||2||11|
|SCH Academy||35||Ryan Holmes||5-5||5|
|Germantown Academy||41||Ryan Bradby||5-6||5|
|Breakdown . . .||Adam Kuper||36-37||2||42|
As this season began, La Salle sr. Sean Daly was what I like to call a handyman. He notched 13 touches on rushes/catches in the Explorers' first two games, but then moved to quarterback after an injury sidelined junior Jack Machita. How have things gone? In seven games, Daly has racked up 1,234 yards of rushing/passing along with 14 TDs. Oh, and he also posted a receiving TD on a trick play. The yardage breakdown is 650 through the air and 584 on the ground and that kind of balanced performance for a La Salle QB is highly unusual. The school's QBs have often passed non-stop in this century and few have minded because lots of success has resulted. Now to the reason for this nugget: Daly rushed for three TDs in Friday night's 26-14 win over Roman and no La Salle QB had done that since Gabe Marabella in 2000 vs. Judge. He finished that season with 10 rushing scores and nine through the air. Sean's current breakdown is eight/six. From 2001 to now, just two other primary La Salle QBs have rushed for more three TDs in a season. Drew Loughery had eight in 2009 and Mike Lynch had six in 2003. Drew had two vs. Ridley and one apiece vs. six opponents. Mike also went the six-all-spread-out route. In 2010, with Matt Magarity unavailable, receiver Kevin Forster made four QB starts. He rushed for one TD vs. Bonner and two vs. Judge. In Friday night's game, La Salle's O-line starters were C Declan Tuffy, Gs Ronnie Ross and Kenny O'Kane, and Ts Ryan Wills and Leland Mersky. The TE was Grant Hughes. Thanks to offensive coordinator Joe Wade for those names. Joe also added these tidbits. Wills will be a D1 kid. Vs. Judge, Brian O'Grady subbed for Tuffy at center and Jake De Luca played center last week vs. Wood. Matt Zoglio also gets some playing time. Main fullback was Liam Tatlonghari. Receivers Luke Hardy and Kahlil Diarrah have blocked excellent on perimeter.
|TD Breakdown for La Salle's Primary QBs, 2000-18|
|2002||Joe F. Winning||0||6|
With 48 points last night in a win over Ryan, SJ Prep finalized its Catholic Red regular season points-per-game average at 52.6 and that's the No. 2 total for CL teams in this century. West Catholic's "Enjoy the Show" 2008 team averaged more than a TD more per game at 59.8. The list below shows all teams that have averaged at least 40 points. The division setups have varied through the years, of course, and the teams have played from three to seven games.
CL Averages of
at Least 40 Points
In Regular Season, 2000-2018
|*-one game remaining|
SOUTH JERSEY FOOTBALL
Kingsway 34, Eastern 21
Though a few plays succeeded in easy-peasy fashion, this was largely a LWRN for the Vikings. And those initials stand for Little Went Right Night. The offensive line has largely been terrific this season, allowing the ballcarriers to consistently rack up decent chunks of yardage and while also providing sr. QB Andrew Heck with adequate time to pick apart defenses and absorb very few hits. But tonight, the rushing game was limited to 35 yards on 25 carries and the passing game mostly had to settle for dinks and dunks, witness that Heck averaged roughly six yards per attempt (215 on 35). There was one legendary moment and for now I'll have to offer unofficial yardage numbers. Late in the first half, Eastern had the ball on Kingsway's 23 after a pass and tacked-on penalty. Heck whipped a left-side pass to sr. WR Chase Stafford and then Jermaine Donaldson was being mobbed in the end zone. Wait. Isn't Donaldosn the left tackle? Indeed. Doesn't he weigh 325 pounds? Indeed. (Well, that's one of his listed weights.) But he's also reasonably athletic, witness that he played basketball as a soph at Eastern and might do so again this season before heading to Temple and, yes, that was HIM on the back end of a classic, hook-and-lateral play. For now we'll list the breakdown as four yards for Chase and 19 for Jermaine (numbers have been confirmed). By rule, Jermaine receives credit for a receiving TD and, who knows, perhaps he's the heaviest Viking, ever, to score a TD? Or at least the heaviest to score a TD while not just flopping on a ball in an end zone. Very, very cool. (A few days after this game, Jermaine said his weight was down to 309). Eastern's other scores also came on pass plays -- an 18-yarder to sr. WR Dante Kiett and a 54-yarder to that very same guy. On the 18-yarder, 'Te came back for a catch toward the right sideline and then did a crafty spin to leave behind a defender. The 54-yarder was a right-side streak and he was wiiiiiiide open. That TD was posted with nine minutes remaining in the third quarter (at 8:52 p.m.) and the kick by sr. John Fulleylove created a tie at 21-21. It was very necessary, too, because Kingsway had gone ahead on just the third play of the third quarter after pouncing on a fumbled kickoff. Though you would have thought the good vibrations would have lasted . . . they didn't. Eastern did not gain at least 10 yards on any play thereafter while the Dragons got a 30-yard keeper from jr. QB Alex Odom to set up his own 8-yard TD and a 58-yard burst up the middle -- with a sweet, left-to-right cut mixed in -- by sr. handyman Semaj Bosket. The loss left Eastern at 6-2 at the end of the regular season with sandiwhc setbacks to start and finish. Playoff pairings will be announced later this weekend. Because of the gloom-and-doom weather forecast, I decided to keep stats and take pics of this tilt from the press box. The Kingsway folks were very nice and competent. There was no rain as the game began -- in case you're wondering, the school's in Mullica Hill, Gloucester County -- then drizzle appeared and gave way to medium and then somewhat hard down the stretch. The wind was a partial factor, but never outrageous. Kingsway honored MANY seniors before the game -- band, cheerleaders, players. The ceremony took days. Seemed like it, anyway (smile). For Eastern's defense, sr. LBs TJ Franden and Umar Davis did some nice dirty work and jr. Teddy Osei-Kyei had some impactful moments along the line.
C Jake LaRosa
G Rocco Tursi
G Ben Sperling
T Brandon Veit
T Jermaine Donaldson
*TE Jalen Egan
WR Dante Kiett
WR Jordan Casseus
WR Stevie Benson
WR Jordan Diaz
QB Andrew Heck
#RB TJ Franden
#RB Mike Suarez
*depending on formation
E Jalen Egan
E Ben Sperling
T Ryan Lombardi
LB Umar Davis
LB TJ Franden
LB Michael Wall
WLB Moe Howard
CB Dante Kiett
CB Kevin Lynch
FS Dominic Harris
SS Joe Del Palazzo
Their schools are roughly 10 minutes apart and their accomplishments are neighbors, too. Say hello to senior quarterbacks Jahlil Sanders (Ryan) and Shane Dooley (Judge) and, while you're at it, please offer sincere congrats. In two seasons as Ryan's starter, Sanders has contributed more than 3,000 yards of rushing/passing along with 32 touchdowns. Counting some brief, scattered appearances as a soph, Dooley has racked up 3,169 passing yards to break the school record of '88 grad Chris Fagan (3,045). The 80 passing yards from 2016 aren't even necessary, actually, because Dooley owns 3,089 in '17 and '18 combined. And then there's this: With just 146 more yards of rushing-passing, Dooley will reach 4,000 for his career. Both guys started out elsewhere. Sanders played as a soph at West Catholic, turning two carries into seven yards and one TD. He threw no passes, but did kick eight extra points. Dooley's first school was Wood and he lost seven yards on three total totes. He threw no passes. This season, Dooley has run or passed on 69.4 percent of Judge's plays while averaging 6.3 yards. That's up from 54.4 and 5.4.
|(*-West Catholic, Otherwise Ryan)|
|(*-Wood, Otherwise Judge|
|TOP PERFORMANCES IN MALVERN-HAVERFORD SCHOOL SERIES, 1986-2017|
|Chris Downs||MP||264||1996||Tommy Toal||HS||317||2015||Dox Aitken||HS||157||2015|
|Chris Downs||MP||191||1997||Ed Rush||HS||214||1990||Keyveat Postell||HS||139||2015|
|Michael Treston||MP||186||2001||Drew Gunther||MP||213||2017||Dan Whaley||HS||118||2017|
|Mike Ambrose||MP||173||1998||Frank DeFazio||HS||200||1996||Trevor Gallagher||HS||105||1996|
|Chris Layne||MP||169||2006||Alex Hornibrook||MP||199||2014||AJ Jones||HS||104||2009|
|Matt Schuh||HS||162||1996||Doug Borgerson||MP||178||1995||Kevin Pellegrini||MP||101||1989|
|O'Shaan Allison||MP||154||2017||Ed Rush||HS||173||1989||Dave O'Brien||MP||91||1995|
|Matt Nelson||HS||123||1992||Ed Garno||HS||166||1986||Dennis Connor||HS||90||1986|
|Jeff Caldwell||MP||122||1987||Luke Leslie||MP||161||1989||John Lieb||HS||90||1990|
|Jeff Browning||MP||122||1993||Bryan Savage||HS||156||2003||Andy Myatt||MP||84||1998|
|Phil Poquie||HS||122||2013||Andrew Mackrides||MP||84||2003|
Conwell-Egan (nee Bishop Egan) no longer has a chance to claim a Catholic League record . . . Not that it wanted to. When th Eagles last Saturday beat McDevitt, they clinched the Catholic Blue championship with one game remaining and ended a title drought going back to 1970. Believe it or not, three schools went even longer without earning a crown -- Neumann-Goretti (and predecessors), 60 years; North Catholic, 53 years (it closed in June 2010 with the streak still alive) and Roman Catholic, 52 years. The list below includes the 14 schools that are still around and the three that closed in '10. Kenrick/K-K never won a title in 43 CL seasons (not in CL from 1989-92) and Lansdale Catholic is still waiting after 11 seasons.
|Longest Gaps for CL Schools Between Titles|
|S. Catholic / Neumann / N-G||1954||2014||60|
|Egan / Conwell-Egan||1970||2018||48|
|Kenrick / Kenn.-Kenrick||#1963||@2009||43|
|Bonner / Bonner-Prendie||1961||1994||33|
|*-wait still active|
|#-first year in CL; did not win title|
|@-final season before closing in June 2010; did not win title|
What are the chances? After nine weeks, the top number for TD passes among Catholic/Inter-Ac guys is 17 . . . and four guys have reached it. That's double of the number of at-least-17ers in 2017. There were six and five, respectively, in 2016 and 2015. Check out Anthony Russo's total in 2015. And he hit that in just 12 games. No wonder he's now starting at Temple.
|Catholic/Inter-Ac QBs With at Least 17 TD Passes, 2015-18|
|Jahlil Sanders, Ryan||9||68-148||1102||45.9||122.4||17||2018|
|Russel Minor-Shaw, Carroll||8||59-113||995||52.2||124.4||17||2018|
|Drew Gunther, Malvern||8||97-178||1714||54.5||214.3||17||2018|
|Aaron Angelos, SCH Academy||8||85-147||1466||57.8||183.3||17||2018|
|Drew Gunther, Malvern||9||113-207||1667||54.6||185.2||18||2017|
|Shane Dooley, Judge||12||110-216||1610||50.9||134.2||18||2017|
|Marquez McCray, SJ Prep||14||149-260||2164||57.3||154.6||21||2016|
|Jack Colyar, Wood||14||111-208||1900||53.4||135.7||21||2016|
|Rob King, Judge||12||108-230||1796||47||149.7||20||2016|
|Da’Vion Kidd-Jackson, West Cath.||12||96-190||1541||50.5||128.4||19||2016|
|Tommy Toal, Hav, School||10||125-208||1775||60.1||177.5||18||2016|
|Mike Hnatkowsky, Penn Char.||9||112-196||1625||57.1||180.6||17||2016|
|Anthony Russo, Wood||12||134-200||2452||67||204.3||35||2015|
|Joshua Evans, West Cath.||15||147-266||2786||55.3||185.7||28||2015|
|Mike Hnatkowsky, Penn Char.||10||107-199||1771||53.8||177.1||23||2015|
|Tommy Toal, Hav. School||8||120-178||1630||67.4||203.8||18||2015|
|Kyle McCloskey, Germ. Acad.||10||116-246||1467||47.2||146.7||18||2015|
TEDBIT (Fueled by Huck)
Any time you hear a team has scored 69 points, the mind races. Oh, man. How many scrimmage yards did they rack up? SJ Prep dropped 69 points on Judge in a Catholic Red game Saturday night and, though decent, the scrimmage yardage total was hardly outrageous. As tabulated by Ed "Huck" Palmer, who watched the game film, the Hawks gained 381 yards on 41 scrimmage plays -- 266 on the ground, 115 through the air. That breakdown can be found here on the TEAM PAGE. Meanwhile, they collected 315 yards (and two of the 10 TDs) on just eight returns. That breakdown can be found right below. Right before halftime, Zach Bouggess made an interception at the Prep's 19 and gained four yards before taking a knee. Huck said he was pretty sure Bouggess, who apparently was under orders since the Hawks had already scored 56 points, could have uncorked a very lengthy return. Maybe even an 81-yarder for what would have been a third consecutive return TD. . . Oh, almost forgot. Through four Red games, as noticed by Huck, the Prep has not punted.
|SJ Prep's Returns vs. Judge|
Membership in a specific Penn Charter club is very small. In fact, Kyle Jones just doubled the number. In yesterday's 41-14 win over visiting Haverford School, Jones became just the second PC QB in 40 seasons (1979-2018) to have a hand/feet in five touchdowns. He ran for two and passed for three. He passed 8-for-12 for 138 yards and three scores and turned eight carries into 89 yards and two. Those numbers come courtesy of the legendary Thomas "Hockey Puck" McKenna, who now keeps stats at the Quakers' tilts. According to The Puckster, the scores happened in this order: 6-yard run, 7-yard pass to Aaron Maione, 55-yard pass to Maione, 9-yard run and 7-yard pass to Brendan Thomas. Mike "Neeko" Hnatkowsky, now starring at Muhlenberg, accomplished the feat three times and even went it one better, with six, in a 2015 game vs. Episcopal. Through seven games, Jones has produced 14 TDs -- eight via runs and six through the air. Chris Rahill, PC's offensive coordinator, had a four-TD performance in '98 vs. Haverford School, passing for one (his lone completion in just four attempts) and running for three (7-96). . . . Meanwhile, earlier this season, sr. RB Edward Saydee scored four TDs in three consecutive games. It's possible he was the FIRST Quaker to do so, and the program goes back to 1887. That feat only COULD have been accomplished in 1888 and/or 1891. Scoring breakdowns for all games in those years were not reported.
UPDATE: In this century for sure (and likely going way back), no other PC QB has rushed for as many as eight TDs.
|Penn Charter QBs Responsible for at Least Five TDs in a Game, 1979-2018|
|2015||Mike "Neeko" Hnatkowsky||EA||42||327||5||4||1||331||6|
|2014||Mike "Neeko" Hnatkowsky||SCH||51||324||2||15||3||339||5|
|2015||Mike "Neeko" Hnatkowsky||GA||45||390||4||76||1||466||5|
Since the mid-1990s, people tend to think of La Salle as an offense-first program. But going back, any success experienced by the Explorers was primarily traceable to stingy defense, Last night, La Salle yielded 31 points in a loss to Wood. This was the fourth time this season they'd given up at least 30. Since 1950, that has happened just four times -- also in 2016, 2014 and 1951. That '51 squad was scorched for at least 30 seven times.
(Or More) Yields of 30
Points by La Salle, 1950-2018
|at SJ Prep||L||12||49|
|Bergen Catholic (NJ)||L||34||42|
|Camden Catholic (NJ)||L||6||40|
SOUTH JERSEY FOOTBALL
Eastern Regional 13, Hammonton 12
Sometimes, one team loses more than the other team wins. That was basically what happened tonight as the Vikings posted a hairy road victory on Hammonton's Homecoming/Senior Night. Within the last 2:19, the Blue Devils were unable to convert a PAT when going for a tie (like many others, I expected them to try to seize the lead right there as a tribute to Doug "Brassy" Pederson) and a field goal when going for an almost-last-second win. The field goal attempt was pounded from 37 yards with 15.7 seconds remaining. The ball was low and never had a chance. A clock-stopping spike took place immediately beforehand and that followed a clutch TFL for six yards by sr. LB Umar Davis. The ballcarrier was impressive soph Jaiden Abrams. That last possession began at Eastern's 33. Hammonton ran six plays, not counting the spike, before facing fourth-and-12 from the 21. The most productive was a fourth down connection from jr. QB Ryan Barts to jr. handyman Caleb Nartey. That netted 11 yards and placed the ball at the 19. Abrams gained four, then lost six before the spike and missed FG. Compared with Eastern's other games, this one came off as a snoozefest. Back in the day, though, it would have been viewed as normal and even entertaining. But when just 25 total points are scored after thousands (slight exaggeration) have been racked up, well, it's just not the same. Or, as a female Eastern fan yelled at high volume early in the fourth quarter, "Look at the scoreboard! You gotta be kidding me!" On synthetic surfaces, Eastern's offense had been turfrific. But Hammonton's field is grass and dirt and the usual zing was absent. Eastern's TDs came on old-school plays -- a 63-yard dash straight up the middle by sr. FB (for rhat play) T.J. Franden (8-91) and a 2-yard pass from sr. QB Andrew Heck to jr. TE Michael Wall. Repeat: TDs by a fullback and tight end. Bet you never thought you'd see that this season. The play that produced Wall's TD did have some new-school freshness, however, because at least three receivers eased over to the right side. Heck could have thrown to others, but Wall was also open at about the right hash mark. The pass for two points did not come close to working and Eastern was up, 13-6, with 7:16 left. The teams then traded interceptions and the latter was made by sr. DB Christian Weissman off a deflection by Martey. The BDs drove 63 yards in 10 plays and Abrams did a heels-over-head spin into the end zone after getting tumbled on just a 1-yard run. That was the play that occurred with 2:19 left. The rest has been detailed. Heck finished 20-for-30 for 169 yards and just three completions netted more than 15 yards. Just that kind of night. Jr. RB Mike Suarez turned 18 carries into 67 yards. Sr. WR Chase Stafford had three snags for 48 yards with a long of 27 on a quick-hitting floater. Sr. Dominic Harris, back from a groin injury, blocked the PAT after Hammonton's first TD. Jr. DL Teddy Osei-Kyei, who missed some time with a shoulder ding, made some important defensive stops. Big-'un OT Jermaine Donaldson, a Temple commit, saw extended duty at DT. After Franden's TD, one of the Vikings yelled again and again, "We're doing what we do, man!" During a stretch when the offense was not moving too well, an assistant noted with the proper sarcasm, "We're doing a great job of blocking the safety . . . and the linebackers are making all the tackles." Very nice crowd on Hammonton's side. The prize in the 50-50 drawing was $236. Meanwhile, the drive down Route 30 was depressing. So many businesses no longer exist. Party venues, diners, supermarkets, ice cream stores, gas stations, farmer's markets, etc., etc., etc. Phew. The street between the school and Hammonton's football field is named "Road to Excellence." Gotta love it.
C Jake LaRosa
G Rocco Tursi
G Ben Sperling
T Brandon Veit
T Matt Chaves
*TE Jalen Egan
WR Dante Kiett
WR Jordan Casseus
WR Stevie Benson
WR Jordan Diaz
QB Andrew Heck
#RB TJ Franden
#RB Mike Suarez
*depending on formation
E Jalen Egan
E Ben Sperling
T Ryan Lombardi
LB Umar Davis
LB TJ Franden
LB Michael Wall
WLB Moe Howard
CB Dante Kiett
CB Kevin Lynch
FS Mike Suarez
SS Joe Del Palazzo
As previously mentioned, from 1999 through 2013, La Salle and Wood were located in different divisions and somehow never bothered to meet. Luckily, they decided to connect in '14 and '15 and they've been in the same division (Red) these last three seasons. The games in '14 and '15 were terrific and maybe tonight's -- set for 7 o'clock at Upper Dublin -- will also fill the entertainment bill. In 2014, La Salle overcame a 31-14 deficit to win, 35-31, as Kyle Shurmur (19-for-31, 274), now starring at Vanderbilt, and wideout Jimmy Herron (8-132), now a minor league outfielder, connected for four TDs. It was the Explorers' 13th consecutive win in the series. In 2015, Wood was the winner, 27-24, as Anthony Russo, now Temple's starter, passed for 248 yards. La Salle leads the series, 21-16-1. The tie, which occurred in '84, produced a 0-0 score. Wood's best run (8-1) took place from 1974-82. Four performances from last year's game, won by Wood, 31-17, can be found on the list below. The Vikings offered three of 'em.
Bob Long Sports will offer a live video broadcast of the game. Click here.
|Top Performances in La Salle-Wood Series, 1984-1998, 2014-17|
|Jarrett McClenton||Wood||293||2014||Kyle Shurmur||La S||274||2014||Jimmy Herron||La S||132||2014|
|Joe Catalano||Wood||193||1985||Anthony Russo||Wood||278||2015||Ryan Loughlin||Wood||121||2017|
|Nasir Peoples||Wood||168||2017||Danny Solecki||La S||236||2017||Tom Truitt||La S||116||1994|
|Tim Foster||La S||159||1994||Brett Gordon||La S||225||1997||Tom Dufner||Wood||106||1995|
|Frank Maier||Wood||145||1986||Jack Colyar||Wood||175||2017||Jeff Pietrak||La S||86||1997|
|Syaire Madden||La S||134||2015||Mike Becker||Wood||163||1997||Dan Rush||Wood||84||1993|
|Brian Smith||Wood||131||1994||Brett Gordon||La S||155||1995||Mike Mattia||La S||82||1995|
The game I've come to call the Duke-out of Delco -- O'Hara vs. Bonner-Prendergast -- will take place tomorrow night (7 at O'Hara) and, B-P will be out yo terminate a recent slide.
The Friars dropped regular season and playoff meetings in each of the last two seasons and the total scores were 113-19 (ouch). They'd fallen in 20 of the previous 23 meetings through the 2013 regular season, but then captured the '13 playoff by a score of 41-38, the '14 contest in the regular season by a score of 33-13 and the regular season meeting by a score of 20-0 in 2015. It was only the third shutout by Bonner/B-P vs. O'Hara and the first since 1969! The score that year was 30-0. The Friars also posted a blanking (14-0) in 1967. The O'Hara/B-P series began in 1965 and O'Hara owns a 43-21 advantage. In the games in '78 and '79, only five total points were scored! O'Hara won by 3-0, then by 2-0. The Lions also claimed a 2-0 victory in '75. In the teams' first 10 meetings, Bonner went 7-3. O'Hara swept six straight from 1975-80, then eight in a row from 1983-89 (one playoff mixed in). In three games vs. O'Hara, 2015 B-P grad Collin DiGalbo rang up 1,059 yards and 14 TDs! He passed 44-for-75 for 765 and nine while rushing 50 for 294 and five. Here are the top performances in rushing/passing/receiving from 1982-2017 and there were three qualifying performances in '17. O'Hara QB Luke Sprague (236) is still around.
|Top Performances in O'Hara/Bonner(B-P) Series, 1982-2017|
|Jeff Morelli||Bonn||238||1991||Collin DiGalbo||B-P||326||2013||Chris Hemmert||Bonn||155||1993|
|*-Kevin Jones||O'H||222||1998||Mike Mitros||Bonn||286||1994||Mike Ockimey||B-P||136||2013|
|Joe Hartley-Vittoria||B-P||206||2015||Collin DiGalbo||B-P||273||2014||Justin Santilla||O'H||132||2016|
|John Dempsey||O'H||192||2005||Mike Mitros||Bonn||243||1993||Joe Oquendo||B-P||127||2014|
|*-Kevin Jones||O'H||172||1998||Luke Sprague||O'H||236||2017||Chris Hooper||Bonn||125||2007|
|Max Ferguson||O'H||161||2014||Mike Mitros||Bonn||219||1994||Chris Hooper||Bonn||125||2007|
|Drew Schiller||Bonn||153||2003||Iggy Schmitt||Bonn||197||2007||*-Anthony Becht||Bonn||118||1994|
|Art Condodina||O'H||152||1984||Keith Cadden||O'H||189||1991||Justin Santilla||O'H||117||2017|
|J.T. Blyden||O'H||152||2013||Dashawn Darden||O'H||188||2011||Kyle Dawson||B-P||110||2013|
|Collin DiGalbo||B-P||143||2013||*Tom Savage||O'H||178||2007||Rich Toal||O'H||109||1985|
|*-played in NFL|
OCT. 17 (Evening)
When Cheltenham plays at Upper Moreland Friday night in a Suburban One Conference game, the sidelines will be packed with "Our Guys." Cheltenham coach Ryan Nase is a product of Father Judge while UM's CJ Szydlik spent his high school days at Frankford. CJ formerly guided Neumann-Goretti and one of his assistants, Joe McCourt, was the head man at Roman. Meanwhile, Cheltenham assistant Dan Concannon also was the boss at N-G. Here are some details for other assistants, courtesy of Ryan and CJ. Thanks, guys, and good luck!
Kyle Yeiter, played at Central
Mike Yeiter, played at Central
Matt Conroy, played at McDevitt
Chalie Szydlik, head coach at North Catholic and N-G
Dennis Regan, played at Roman
Mike O'Neil Jr., played at NC and assisted at Northeast
Joe Murphy, assisted at NC and N-G
Tom Hannan, played at NC, assisted at N-G and Judge
Al Rongione, played at Egan, assisted at NC, La Salle and C-E.
Floyd Shaffer, played at La Salle
The Barlee Brothers have enjoyed great careers as rushers for Episcopal Academy. Dee (Class of 2016) finished a shade short of 3,000 yards and DeeWil ('20) still has a shot to reach that number with four games remaining in his career. His current total is 2,464 and he's averaging 116 yards. Oh, baby. Could wind up being a close call. The Campbell Brothers, Rashad (3,200) and NFLer Ibrahim (3,810), combined for 7,010 yards at what was then Chestnut Hill Academy. And Rashad's total only includes his final two seasons because CHA was not part of Inter-Ac League football beforehand. Chris Downs, a '98 Malvern grad, rushed for 4,045 career yards. His older brother, Derrick, rushed for 1,854 combined yards in the '94 and '95 seasons. Totals for '93 are unavailable, but he was not a prominent statmaker in that season. He did rush for 76 yards in the final game for Carroll. Good luck to DeeWil down the stretch!
|Dee Barlee's Statistics|
|DeeWil Barlee's Statistics|
Hawthorne Duckett made his first appearance in the Inquirer during his freshman year at Central Bucks High School (now CB West). The story and photo had nothing to do with sports. Duckett was one of only five black students in his class and the story, accompanied by the photo you see here, was celebrating the fact he'd been voted class president. Later, Duckett made quite the splash in the football world. As a soph at CB in the fall of 1958, he rushed for two 99-yard touchdowns within a three-minute period. The date was Oct. 3 and that feat was accomplished in a 28-12 win over Springfield Montco. According to one report, the plays were sweeps around left end and occurred in the second quarter. He finished that game with 218 yards (or 219 or 200; reports varied) on just six carries. And get this: Duckett wasn't an outrageously speedy halfback. He was the fullback (though I'm guessing he was also reasonably fast - amile). Later in his career, he carried 26 times for 239 yards and four TDs in a 25-18 win over Quakertown. CB's yardage total for that game was 247. According to numerous stories that were written through the years, Duckett's full name was Hawthorne Nathaniel Duckett Jr. and he went by Nat. He lettered in multiple sports at CB and played in the Big 33 football all-star game in the spring of 1961. One of his teammates on that Pennsylvania squad was quarterback Joe Namath (Beaver Falls). Duckett played college football at Syracuse. Later he wound up living in Santa Cruz, California, and died on September 3, 1984, after suffering a heart attack while pitching in a softball game.
This isn't the most riveting nugget. But the quirky stuff always captivates me, so here we go. Over the last five seasons, SJ Prep has scored exactly 49 points 10 times. D'Andre Swift, now at Georgia, was a headliner in six of those games. OK, I'm ready for your question . . . How many times had the Prep scored 49 points in the 64 seasons from 1950 through 2013? Just twice -- vs. La Salle in 2002 and McDevitt in 2011.
|SJ Prep's 49-Point Outbursts, 2014-18|
|2014||Malvern||D'Andre Swift / Jack Clements||12|
|2015||La Salle||D'Andre Swift||18|
|Roman||D'Andre Swift / Terrence Greene||12|
|2016||Oaks Christian (CA)||D'Andre Swift||24|
|2017||Roman||Eight guys with . . .||6|
|2018||La Salle||Kolbe Burrell / Marvin Harrison||12|
Everybody gets a trophy . . . You've heard that phrase in these modern times. And here's an offshoot. It's likely already time to give Malvern the Inter-Ac trophy. Yes, only one league tilt has been played this season. But the Friars won it (51-17 over Penn Charter) and that triumph raised their overall record to 7-0. This is season No. 69 for Malvern as an I-A football participant. This is the ninth time the Friars have stormed to a 7-0 overall start. They finished perfect in I-A play in the first eight (35-0) and lost just two times overall -- to Valley Forge MA in 2005 and St. Joseph's Prep in 2007. Below are the results and the teams' first team All-Inter-Ac selections.
|*/I-A||1972 (Outright)||Result||MP||Opp||First Team All-Inter-Ac||Pos.|
|Valley Forge MA||W||36||7||Mike Riordan||T|
|*||Penn Charter||W||12||0||Wally Shields||RB|
|*||Germantown Academy||W||13||10||Bob Carey||DE|
|*||Haverford School||W||33||0||Dan Riordan||DT|
|*||Chestnut Hill||+W||2||0||Joe Rosati||DB|
|1974 (Outright)||Result||MP||Opp||First Team All-Inter-Ac||Pos.|
|Peddie (NJ)||W||41||13||Pat Sheridan||G|
|Lawrenceville (NJ)||W||30||7||Steve Donnelly||B|
|*||Germantown Academy||W||34||8||Jim DellaFranco||B|
|*||Penn Charter||W||6||0||Sam Dolente||DE|
|*||Haverford School||W||27||14||Mark Kolmer||LB|
|SJ Prep||W||27||12||Bill Corbett||LB|
|1980 (Outright)||Result||MP||Opp||First Team All-Inter-Ac||Pos.|
|St. Mark's (DE)||W||36||20||David Orr||RB|
|*||Germantown Academy||W||25||7||Kevin Bradley||DE|
|*||Penn Charter||W||29||6||Brian Wall||LB|
|*||Haverford School||W||35||0||Barkley Sample||DB|
|1995 (Outright)||Result||MP||Opp||First Team All-Inter-Ac||Pos.|
|Valley Forge MA||W||18||8||John Heavens||L|
|W. Chester Henderson||W||12||0||Steve Galczenski||L|
|Loyola (MD)||W||19||8||Dave O'Brien||Rec|
|*||Germantown Academy||W||48||14||Derrick Downs||RB|
|*||Penn Charter||W||27||13||Toby Booker||RB|
|*||Haverford School||W||48||12||Mike Pinto||DL|
|Owen J. Roberts||W||40||12||Doug Borgerson||DB|
|2001 (Outright)||Result||MP||Opp||First Team All-Inter-Ac||Pos.|
|SJ Prep||W||21||10||Jeff Carroll||L|
|W. Chester Henderson||W||14||9||Stefan Niemczyk||L|
|W. Chester East||W||41||9||Mike Treston||RB|
|*||Penn Charter||W||24||0||Brendan Carney||K|
|*||Haverford School||W||35||19||Michael Meehan||DL|
|*||Germantown Academy||W||44||7||Shawn Quinn||DL|
|2005 (Outright)||Result||MP||Opp||First Team All-Inter-Ac||Pos.|
|W. Chester Henderson||W||28||27||Trey Womack||Rec|
|Downingtown East||W||23||20||Jimmie Cotton||RB|
|Peddie (NJ)||W||31||14||Tom Hagan||RB|
|Salesianum (DE)||W||48||21||Paul Ostick||DL|
|*||Haverford School||W||42||0||Mark Miller||DL|
|*||Germantown Academy||W||42||0||Steve Layne||LB|
|*||Penn Charter||W||44||24||Ian Mitchell||DB|
|Valley Forge MA||L||23||40|
|2007 (Outright)||Result||MP||Opp||First Team All-Inter-Ac||Pos.|
|La Salle||W||21||14||Nick Busillo||L|
|W. Chester Henderson||W||27||26||Joe Price||Rec|
|McDonogh (MD)||W||46||7||Ryan Nassib||QB|
|Salesianum (DE)||W||38||0||Neil Willis||RB|
|*||Haverford School||W||41||0||Joe Coffey||LB|
|*||Germantown Academy||W||10||7||Billy Conners||DB|
|2008 (Outright)||Result||MP||Opp||First Team All-Inter-Ac||Pos.|
|La Salle||W||47||21||Bobby Panchisin||L|
|W. Chester Henderson||W||42||0||Mike McCorkle||L|
|McDonogh (MD)||W||34||15||Matt Devlin||L|
|Salesianum (DE)||W||42||0||Joe Price||Rec|