Welk’s Big Night Sparks South Football to Win
By Don Leypoldt
To Run in the 10.8 Bucks County Herald
C.B. South DB Matt Welk might make for a great film critic after graduation.
“We’ve been practicing (C.B. West’s) plays all week,” noted the senior. “We’ve been scouting them and watching film. All of the plays, I was just reading the quarterback and playing downhill.”
It paid off. “The plays” were the three interceptions he snagged in leading his Titans to a 17-7 road win against C.B. West.
South scored first with a six play, 39 yard drive late in the second quarter. Quarterback Matt Johns (8 for 15, 97 yards) ran for nine on a keeper and then completed three straight passes to the CBW-20. Josh Williams (66 touches, 44 yards), who caught two of those passes, booted a 37 yard field goal as time expired to give the Titans a 3-0 halftime lead.
It might have been worse had West not posted their own 3-0 in the first half. Three times in the first two quarters, the Titans moved the ball inside the West 29…twice even reaching the CBW-3. All three times, the Bucks stopped there.
South fumbled the pitch out on a fourth and goal at the one in the game’s opening drive. On their next series, linebacker Liam Houck hurried Johns and his fourth down pass over the middle fell incomplete.
While West’s defense was effective, Titan junior Bobby DiPasquale finally broke a 42 yard run on a quarterback draw, taking it to the CBW-3. But on third and goal, Buck LB Tyler Maconaghy sacked DiPasquale. The Bucks pushed and blocked Williams’ first field goal attempt.
“We really just dug deep,” explained Houck. “It was a bend but don’t break attitude. They moved the ball on us but we got tough inside the 20.”
“Our defense has had problems in the first four weeks of giving up the big play and for the most part, we controlled that tonight,” observed West coach Brian Hensel. “Unfortunately for us, we didn’t capitalize on that from the offensive side of the ball. We’ve got to come back and drive the field and we just didn’t do it tonight.
“I’ve got to credit the defense at C.B. South. They were charged up, ready to go and their kids played sky-high.”
Despite the tight score, South ran 35 plays to West’s 12 and outgained their hosts 175 to 27 in the first half.
West quarterback Ward Udinski passed 20 times in the last two quarters after airing it out just three times in the first. He would probably want to have back one third quarter deep ball that Welk picked off at the W-8 and returned to the W-22.
A Chris Ebertz sweep picked up 25 yards. South then marched 52 yards via five plays and two West penalties; Jon Eisemann (10 carries, 42 yards) knifed in from the one to give the Titans a 10-0 lead.
Johns connected with Dan Brown (8 touches, 81 yards) on a 36 yard long pass that put South up 17-0 lead midway through the fourth quarter. West rallied; Udinski (13 for 23, 121 yards) hit six of eight passes on their 50 yard drive, capping it with a four yard toss to Robert Reynolds in the right flat for a touchdown.
Both C.B. West (1-4, 0-2) and C.B. South (1-4, 1-1) struggled out of the gate. Yet both programs have shown signs of turning a corner.
West opened with a Gigli-bad blow out opening loss. But since then, they notched a win against William Tennent, were tied at the half against an athletic Wissahickon team and lost by just six to Souderton.
The Bucks have a very balanced offense- coming into the South game, their rushing and passing yards on the season were virtually equal. Six different Bucks have caught four passes while five different Bucks have at least 20 carries.
The Titans committed eight turnovers in their first three games. But against North Penn on 9/25, quarterback Johns managed an offense that committed only one turnover. The Knights won 27-7; but seeing as North Penn beat the defending state champs by 32 earlier this year, the result is respectable.
The 2009 Titans do not have a Mike Doty or Eric Reynolds standout- two Titan offensive skill players given Division 1 scholarships. But like West, they have balance and an offense which shares the wealth.
South entered Friday’s game averaging over 120 yards per game both on the ground and through the air. Eisemann leads the Titans rushing attack with 245 yards while Josh Williams’ 18 grabs are tops on the team.
“We do have a good group of skill guys. A lot of them play on defense too so I don’t want to wear anybody down,” offered C.B. South coach Bart Szarko. “I don’t think we have anybody who you would call a go to guy on offense. So we are trying to get the ball to different guys. Hopefully it makes it a little bit more difficult for people to prepare against us.”
Both coaches too witnessed glimpses of the future. Two sophomores- the 6’3” Johns and West running back Jake Poeske (9 catches, 86 yards) – turned in distinguished performances.
“He’s a special kind of kid,” Szarko starts on Johns. “He has intangibles, not just the physical skills. He’s come from a long winning background. He’s got that personality where he carries himself that way and that uplifts everybody in the huddle.
”Certainly Bobby (DiPasquale) does some things for us to. He brings an athletic dimension in that he is able to run and create plays that way. I’ve been happy with what both guys have been able to do with us.”
Hensel had equal accolades for Poeske. “Jake is a kid who is really coming along well for us. We’re proud of the efforts that he is putting forth. He impressed us so much (on the scout team) that we kept moving him up.
“That is something you hang your hat on as you try to build a program, a sophomore who is doing a great job on the offensive side of the ball.”
Extra Point: The paradox of rivalry games is that they can unite a community as strongly as they can divide their fans. The Dunn family is an example.
The C.B. West Stars and Stripes Club has adopted 1st Lt. Tim Dunn as their honorary soldier for this school year. During the game, the Club collected donations to encourage and support our overseas troops. Please contact Marialyce Keane (firstname.lastname@example.org) to contribute.
Tim and his younger brother Kevin played football at both West and West Point. Their youngest brother Tom suited up for South and currently plays rugby for Army.
Tim currently serves in Iraq; Kevin is slated to join him in January while Tom will likely be assigned to the Middle East after his graduation and officer training.
While the Dunns will likely needle each other over the outcome of Friday’s game, at the end of the day every one us can soundly support the three brothers’ current team.
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