Julian Is Jubilant as Lions Get New Den
For the September 9th Bucks County Herald
After a sixty plus year absence, New Hope-Solebury finally christened their own home football field on Friday night.
And thanks to Julian Kaminoff, they may already need to re-sod it.
The NH-S junior running back ran wild, scoring six touchdowns in four different ways to spark a 42-0 Lions’ rout of the George School on Friday night. Kaminoff racked up 315 total yards in just over one half of play.
History was made the instant NH-S kicked off; Kaminoff’s half dozen TDs gave the standing room only crowd fireworks before the Borough’s Friday night display started just minutes after the game’s finale.
The Cougars had no answer for Kaminoff’s speed in the open nor New Hope-Solebury’s dominance of both lines of scrimmage. In the first half, the Lions outgained the visitors 312 yards to 47.
Kaminoff paced the Lions with 94 yards on a half-dozen carries; senior captain Dominic Lanzetta added 89 yards on six carries while sophomore Tyler Nangle rushed for 48 yards. Lanzetta’s change of pace will be difficult for opponents to stop.
“It’s been experience. I know when to make cuts and I have good field vision, which is hard to develop. I can turn on the jets too!” Lanzetta reminded. “I may be little but I keep my feet driving and going.”
With the ball at the Lions’ 37, Kaminoff caught a screen from junior quarterback Marco Maltese and took it 62 3/4ths yards. Kaminoff then plunged in from the inch line to make it 6-0 halfway through the first quarter.
Maltese and Lanzetta each broke off a 25+ yard run- Lanzetta on an inside counter and Maltese on an option keeper- to highlight the next two Lion drives. Their dirty work let Kaminoff take it to the house two more times and put the Lions up 20-0.
Junior Chris Warden, a former soccer player, had drawn attention because his booming kickoffs pinned the Cougars deep.
But as a defensive lineman, the pressure Warden and his mates put on the Cougars forced George School to get just 13 yards passing on 11 first half attempts.
“I think it was our two a day practices,” Warden credited. “We worked our butts off in those practices. (Line) Coach (John) Calpin is a great coach and we just worked hard all summer all of us. It definitely paid off.”
NH-S forced a punt midway through the second quarter, which Kaminoff took 63 yards for a touchdown. Kaminoff then added a reverse direction 61 yard scoring run when the Lions did get the ball back. NH-S took a 35-0 lead into halftime.
And in case you forgot his performance during intermission, Kaminoff returned the second half opening kickoff 78 yards to put NH-S up 42-0 and cap the scoring.
Last year, the Lions struggled during an 0-9 season as NH-S revived varsity football after an over 60 year absence. All nine games were played on the road.
Yet there were signs of, well, new hope in New Hope. Three losses were by four points or less. Kaminoff averaged over 5 yards per carry and was en route to a 1,000 yard season before an injury abruptly ended it.
“I wanted to prove top everyone around here that New Hope is a legit football team and we have spirit. I rehabbed a lot and worked hard in the offseason,” Kaminoff declared. “The outcome showed.”
Although NH-S had their highest offensive output of 2009 against George School, they still lost last year’s match by 22. Friday showed evidence that the 2010 Lions are going to be very different.
“The whole mindset of the team has changed from last year. Last year people were shouting and pointing fingers at each other. This year it is completely team (focused),” Kaminoff observed. “No one is making excuses, everyone has each other’s back, everyone is getting to each play.”
“The kids we have now really, really worked hard in the offseason. They decided to dedicate themselves and it showed at our mini-camp and summer camp,” noted head coach Jim DiTulio. “We had great team chemistry, which we didn’t have last year. They’re willing to learn and that is driving everyone.
“They all had a bitter taste in their mouth after our last defeat November 5th at Jenkintown. That’s a long time to think about it.”
Bicentennial League teams went 15-4 last year at home. Think NH-S wasn’t eager to level the playing field?
“Obviously when you put 42 points up it is going to generate excitement for our fans and community. This was awesome. It’s hard to put into words,” DiTulio offered.
Lanzetta concluded, “It didn’t really hit me how crazy this game was until I heard my friends chant ‘DOM Lan-ZET-ta!’ and I thought ‘Wow! We have a home game!’ We’ve been fired up all week. The night before I was up and couldn’t sleep. I had a fire that built in my heart and I couldn’t wait.
This is the eighth year that Lanzetta has played organized football yet Friday night was the first time he heard these words as a prepster: Welcome Home.
George School had an even more heartwarming return than New Hope-Solebury. In May, head football coach John Gleeson, who doubles as the baseball coach, was beaned by an errant foul ball during a baseball practice. He was knocked unconscious and went into cardiac arrest. Four George School athletes or trainers, including two football players, performed CPR and likely saved his life. Those four were honored were honored by the Philadelphia Phillies in a pre-game ceremony on July 24th. Seeing Gleeson return to the sidelines was a notable moment.
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