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Byrd Takes Flight As Falcons Roll Crusaders

Written by: on Tuesday, October 6th, 2009. Follow Willie McGonigle on Twitter.


PHILADELPHIA: After rushing for over 1000 yards last season as a junior North Catholic Eugene Byrd wanted to his senior year to be even better, but when Byrd sprained his right ankle in the Falcons 21-13 lost to Chestnut Hill in week 1 his hopes were put on hold. After missing the Falcons next two games, a 17-0 victory over Archbishop Ryan and a 23-6 lost to Cardinal O’Hara Byrd made his return to the Falcon line up in a limited role in last week 22-0 lost to Glen Mills. On Saturday night Byrd was back in full force and made the most of it as he rushed for 176 yards on 22 carries including 119 yards on just 9 carries in the second half as he help the Falcons erase a 12-6 halftime deficit to down the visiting Lansdale Catholic Crusaders at Northeast Charlie Martin Stadium. “I told myself last year that I was definitely going to turn it up this season.” Byrd would add, “ The performance came natural.”

After Steve Day sacked Falcon’s Quarterback Anthony Reid for a three-yard lost on a fourth and five at the Crusaders 39 yard line the Crusaders drove right down the field on four plays when Devon Barrett powered his way through the Falcons defense for a 36 yard touchdown giving the Crusaders the 6-0 lead with 8:12 left in the first quarter.

The Crusaders would tack on to their lead on their second play of the second quarter when Andrew Mandato would sneak his way in from a yard out giving the Crusaders the 12-0 lead.

The Falcons would capitalize Mike Bradley fumble, as on seventh play following the fumble the Falcons would go airborne, as Reid would hook up with Stephan Singleton for a 31 yard touchdown cutting the Crusader lead to 12-6 after the opening twenty-four minutes.

On the opening drive of the second half the Crusaders again appeared to be poised to take tact on to their lead driving down to the Falcon four yard line before Mandato fumbled the ball and the Falcons came up with the ball at their own 5 yard line. Following a four yard run to start the drive Byrd would find a hole in the Crusader defense and off to the races he went as he raced 91 yards to tie things up at 12. After the game Byrd gave credit to his offensive line made up of Micale Allen,Ray Reusher, Kerry Shields, Mike Makor and Matt Reidy saying “saying it feels good to be behind my line.” When asked about Byrd Falcon Head Coach Chalie Szydlik called Byrd “ the leader of the offense,” he would add that “he (Byrd) can do a lot of things for us, he helps us go that’s a senior out there so he been through the war zone.”

On the ensuing drive, the Crusaders would again turn the ball when Mandato was intercepted by Stephen Rooney who would return it to the Crusader 17. On the next play, Byrd would give the Falcons the 18-12 lead.

The Falcons would tact on to their lead with 13-yard touchdown pass from Reid to Julian Huggins. Reid would follow that with up a two-yard run giving the Falcons the 33-12 lead.

Tyler Smith would bring the Crusaders closer with his one-yard touchdown plunge with less than a minute remaining in the contest.

Up next for the Falcons 2-3 overall and 1-0 in the Philadelphia Catholic League AAA division is a non-league date with the Patriots of Archbishop Carroll while the Crusaders (0-5,0-1) will look to get in the win column when they host the Conwell Egan Eagles.

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One Response to “Byrd Takes Flight As Falcons Roll Crusaders”

  1. BigDawg says:


    Good story. It was good seeing you twice this weekend. Keep up the good work. Just one correction. Byrd had 24 carries for 193 yards.