East Football Pulls Away from H-H
For the September 30th Bucks County Herald
Football, really, is a pretty simple game.
Folks can talk B gaps, three-techniques and zone read options. But if a team outmuscles their opponent, like the C.B. East Patriots (2-2, 1-0) did in their Friday home 42-20 win over the Hatboro-Horsham Hatters (2-2, 0-1), that team will usually win.
After they take their mulligan.
East fumbled and lost the ball on the game’s first play. H-H fullback Dom DeFazio plowed in for an 8-yard touchdown run four plays later.
But East tied it at 7 with a 10 play scoring drive of their own. Quarterback Josh Bernard crossed the goal line on a five yard bootleg. The drive was keyed by the junior signal caller hitting senior WR Scott Shields for a 17 yard pass on third and long.
“I think we ran the same exact play (to open the second drive) just to show them,” noted Bernard. “We got back into what we needed to do and drove the ball down the field.”
Echoed senior linebacker and wide receiver Eric Brink, “We buckled down, we wanted to focus on what we were doing and get at them again. That (first play) wasn’t our game plan.”
After forcing a Hatter three-and-out, East senior RB Sean Reilly gave the Patriots the lead for good with a two-yard touchdown plunge on fourth and goal. Bernard, who had a stellar game by completing five-of-six pass attempts for 121 yards, set up the score on a 39 yard pass to Brink.
“He did a really nice job tonight,” East coach John Donnelly commended his quarterback. “Guys made great catches. We threw when we needed to but we really wanted to establish the run game.”
Senior tailback Connor Bednarzyk, who led East with 72 yards rushing, added a 19 yard touchdown run three plays later after it was H-H’s turn to lose a fumbled snap.
The Hatters answered with a 63 yard scoring drive; senior Nick Dovidio raced 25 yards to the end zone on a counter one play after senior quarterback Matt Hollenback converted a fourth-and-one on a sneak.
Counterpart Bernard showed explosiveness with his arm in the first half; it was now time to show it with his feet. Halfway through the third, he raced 60 yards on a beautiful quarterback option keeper.
“That was a new play for this week,” Bernard described. “We had a great week in practice. We repped it over and over. The line blocked perfectly like they were supposed to. They opened it up and there was wide open space. I just took it.”
“We’ve been asking all year ‘Where is that 4.5 speed?’,” Donnelly commented. “He showed it tonight.”
H-H answered the bell, with a Hollenback touchdown plunge capping a nine play drive late in the third quarter. The missed PAT gave East a 28-20 lead.
Now it was the Patriots’ turn to answer the bell, which Reilly did with his second two-yard touchdown run of the night. After East senior Ryan Pater intercepted a pass, Bernard connected with Brandon Sparks on a 35 yard bomb. Bednarzyk burrowed in for a two-yard touchdown run, and the game’s final score, three plays later.
The Hatters were coming off of a short week and emotional win- a double overtime game at Council Rock North that was postponed to Monday due to lightning.
“We got to see them live on Monday which was good,” Donnelly noted. “Nothing beats that for scouting. That was advantageous for sure.”
The Hatters’ wing-T relies on misdirection. While Dovidio and running back Casey Saverio both went over 75 yards, the East defense yielded just 61 yards on H-H’s 16 pass attempts.
“We had a couple of new adjustments and a couple of new line ups on defense,” offered Brink. “Offensively, we added some new running plays but we basically did our normal game plan.”
“We’ve got a lot of guys who compliment each other pretty well. We’re moving some guys around to different positions,” Donnelly offered. “(RB Sean) Trymbiski is a guy who can make plays in space. He is a pretty dynamic runner. Sean Reilly is a downhill runner. Connor has a nice wiggle. Josh obviously showed he can run. We can spread it around.”
Bednarzyk leads the team with 194 yards on the ground; Reilly debuted at running back against powerhouse Neshaminy last week and averaged a respectable 4.5 yards on 16 carries.
East won their opener 13-7 on the road in overtime, when Bernard hit Shields on a 10 yard touchdown pass. The Patriots held a favored Abington squad to just seven first downs and 145 total yards.
They then ran into a buzzsaw of C.R. South and Neshaminy, both of whom are undefeated and have won their game by an average margin of three touchdowns. But the Patriots played tough, trailing just 16-7 at Neshaminy late in the 3rd quarter.
“I don’t think the score indicated that last week but we really made some strides and it carried over to this week,” Donnelly observed. Donnelly is in his first year at East after seven seasons at Quakertown.
That change is evident in an improving East program that went 3-7 in 2009. “It’s completely different from last year. Coach Donnelly has come in and really turned the whole program around,” said Bernard. “We couldn’t ask for a better coach.
“Our guys have been working since January to pick the offense up and they’ve done a great job of it. We’re starting to execute now.”
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