CB West stays unbeaten with South win
To run in the September 19thBucks County Herald
CB West senior Jack Fallon had the energy to lead the Bucks in Friday’s post-game celebration.
If he were too gassed to do so, no one would have blamed him.
Fallon rushed for 261 yards and four touchdowns on 25 carries as CB West (4-0) topped intra-district rival CB South 42-28 in both teams’ SOL Continental opener.
“It all started with the O-line,” Fallon said. “They did their steps and their job. That made the run game work all night.”
“We were all doing our job,” echoed defensive end Tyler Fasti. “That’s what we had to do win. We executed and that’s why we came out on top tonight.”
It was the first time since 2013 that the Bucks beat the Titans (2-2), and the first time since 2010 that West won in Warrington.
“Trying to commit to executing every single play with max energy and max effort,” is how West coach Rob Rowan explained the hot start.
Fallon made his impact on just the third play of the game, with a diving interception at the CBS-40. One play later, Buck quarterback Jack Neri raced 40 yards for a touchdown to put West up 7-0.
“It was a great call by our coaches but more importantly, it was a fantastic job from our O-line,” Neri credited. “All I had to do was run straight.”
South answered with Carter Hallgren hitting Colin Crabtree on a three-yard fourth down touchdown pass. Jason Christianson’s kickoff return to the CBW-22 set up the short field.
Fallon touchdown runs of 38 and 41 yards gave West a 21-6 lead. Yet South seemed to take momentum into halftime. Hallgren found Sean Smith on a 12-yard scoring crossing route with 2:26 left. After forcing a quick West three-and-out, Cole Andrewlevich spun and weaved 41 yards on a touchdown reception, making South’s halftime deficit just 21-20.
Long runs plagued South in the first half. An inability to get off the field hurt South in the second half. West opened the third quarter with a 16-play drive, that included four third or fourth down conversions. The drive ended on Fallon’s seven-yard touchdown run.
“Once we got into the red zone, we smelled the end zone,” Fallon described. “We punched it in. We had heart tonight.”
“In the locker room at the half, we realized we were hitting ourselves in the foot,” Neri offered. “We wanted to come out and execute well. That meant executing on third down.”
After Fasti tripped up Hallgren for a third down sack, the Titan offense went three-and-out. “We made sure we contained the quarterback,” Fasti described. “We all stayed in our lanes. We kept it in front of us.”
Once again, West marched, converting three third or fourth downs and ending the drive with Nick Tumolo’s eight-yard touchdown rush. West ran 29 of the first 32 second half plays.
“I give West credit all of the credit in the world,” South coach Tom Hetrick said. “We had the ball for about 30 seconds in the third quarter. It’s a well coached team. They run their system well. (Fallon) is a great running back.”
“That third quarter really resembled the type of desire that our guys play with,” Rowan said. “We didn’t finish the first half well. A lot of teams would allow that to carry over. Our guys didn’t. We came out in the third quarter and put a drive together that set the tone for the second half.”
Christianson scampered 28 yards for a score to cut the West lead to 35-28. “They were pinning their ears back and coming after us,” Hetrick described. “If you can break that first level and get the ball in space- while (West) is carrying people deep – you have to find the space where they’re not and take advantage of that.”
Yet Fallon answered one play later with a 60 yard touchdown burst that produced the final score.
Neri ran for 100 yards on 18 carries; Tumolo added 40 yards on nine lugs. “We take our shots when the shots are there but we keep the sticks moving,” Rowan said. “We believe in physical football. That’s our philosophy.”
Hallgren completed 23 of his 34 passes for 274 yards. Christianson picked up 102 yards on ten touches; Smith caught seven balls for 55 yards. “There aren’t too many things you can do to stop (Smith) without redesigning a defense. We were able to put him in position to make plays,” Hetrick noted. “We just didn’t make enough of them.”
South travels to Bensalem on Friday; West hosts William Tennent.
“It feels great!” Fallon exclaimed. “But we have to go 1-0 every week.” As opponents study film of Fallon and Neri, it becomes clear that CB West knows Jack.
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