Capriotti Runs Wild- Again- in NHS Rout
To Run in the October 19th Bucks County Herald
Jesse Capriotti re-writes the record books every time he totes the football.
Senior Capriotti already holds the Lions’ career and single season rushing marks. His 283 yards and three touchdowns on just 11 carries helped NH-S (7-1) gash Springfield Montco (2-5) 49-0 on Friday night at the Lions’ Homecoming.
Capriotti recorded his sixth 200-yard game this season. He stands at 1,730 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2017.
“I love the game. Every time I have the ball, I’m aiming to score a touchdown,” said Capriotti, who mixes great speed with a refusal to be tackled.
Capriotti’s 40-yard touchdown sweep on the Lions’ fourth offensive play gave the hosts a 7-0 lead. The Spartans then marched to the NHS-7, when Lion cornerback Pat Tangradi pounced on a first-and-goal fumble.
“We have a different mentality when we get into the Red Zone: that no one gets in,” Tangradi offered. “I think the whole team thinks that and when we get together and get pressure, we’re hard to stop.”
New Hope roared 90 yards in six plays. Morgan Shadle muscled in from the 2 and put NH-S up 13-0 late in the first quarter.
Springfield had success between the 20s; the Spartans racked up 148 total first half yards. “They had some weird routes- some stop and gos- but I thought we did pretty well overall,” said Lion defensive back John Flavin, who killed a drive with an interception. “They had a lot of turnovers in the red zone but we kept them out of the end zone.”
“They came out throwing,” added Tangradi, who made several tackles defending the Spartans’ pass heavy offense. “We worked on open field tackling in practice so I was ready for it when it came. (Defensive coordinator) Coach Goodman said they would throw the little screen and to just sit on it, wait and get the open field tackle.
“I saw a lot of slants and we covered that pretty well,” Tangradi concluded. “We had a lot of pressure from our linebackers, which helped a lot.”
Max Ader recovered another Springfield fumble deep in Lion territory; Capriotti ripped off consecutive 30-yard runs. Shadle capped the 5 play, 79 yard drive with a 10 yard touchdown run on a Statue of Liberty play. Nick Garritano’s conversion pass to Capriotti put the game at 21-0 with 1:40 remaining.
“Joe Goodman does a great job of adjusting on the fly. We gave up a lot of short passes- rocket screens and things like that,” noted New Hope coach Jim DiTulio. “I give (Springfield) credit too. They played hard and they fought. They scouted us well and knew everything we were running.”
The Lions needed just their first six second half plays to score three touchdowns. Garritano’s 57-yard bootleg, Capriotti’s six-yard run and a Capriotti 84-yard counter all found pay dirt. Joey Capriotti’s 26-yard touchdown with 1:46 left ended the scoring.
Shadle had 35 yards on five touches while the Lion “D” racked up nine tackles for loss. Springfield quarterback Max Perry completed 15 of 30 passes for 157 yards, but the Lions yielded just 60 run yards on 30 Spartan carries.
The Lions close by traveling to Lower Moreland and hosting Morrisville, both Bicentennial League games. They’ll be favored to run the BAL table just like they did last season.
“It’s the same thing every game,” Capriotti said. “Everyone is playing really well. The holes are wide open due to the O line.”
Ironically, football might not even be Jesse Capriotti’s best sport. He is a nationally recognized rugby wing. “I think both sports help me with each one. They complement each other,” Capriotti pointed out.
Just as New Hope’s running and passing game complement each other. Shadle, Garritano and all other New Hope rushers not named “Jesse” average six yards a carry. Garritano and backup quarterback Phil Weinseimer are closing in on 1,000 yards passing; Flavin’s 15 catches pace New Hope-Solebury.
“(Jesse) is a special back but we’re a cohesive unit and it all starts with the guys up front. We work really hard in the off season to make sure we have all of our blocking assignments on the inside and outside run game,” DiTulio explained. “They know how to pick up blitzes and more importantly, Jesse and our other backs know how to be patient. Then when he hits that burst, it’s pretty special.”
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