Frankford Outlast Defending Champ Washington
Philadelphia, Pa., Damion Samuels stepped up big time and scored three touchdowns as the Frankford Pioneers outlasted the George Washington Eagles, 25-14 in a crucial Philadelphia Public League Gold division contest Friday at Frankford field. The Pioneers quick start and Samuels back breaking kick return were too much for Washington to recover from.
Washington came into the game with a 5-0 record and also as the defending Public league champion by virtue of their victory over Frankford last year while the Pioneers were riding a two game conference winning streak. If this game was any indication, it appears that these two foes will be at it again come late November.
Frankford went right to work after an Eagle three and out and scored on 5 plays and two Washington penalties culminating with Samuels 28 yard touchdown scamper. On Washington’s next possession Jahlil Harris recovered a fumble by Donald Smith on the Eagle 32. Frankford wasted little time scoring again four plays later. Quarterback Tim DiGiorgio connected with Wydell Compton for a 20 yard completion followed by Samuels second touchdown run, this one from five yards out.
Washington immediately got back on track on their next drive scoring in seven plays with Smith scoring from one yard out. Eagle quarterback Dave Gavrilov completed passes of 2 and 30 yards in the drive generating three first downs and gaining the momentum back that they appeared to be losing.
The defending Pub champs wasted three golden opportunities in the second quarter. Recovering the football on the ensuing kickoff on the Frankford 3, the Eagles could not punch the ball into the end zone and lost the ball on downs. Later in the quarter Gavrilov was intercepted twice on the Pioneer 9 and their own 35.
If Samuels had intentions on being this game’s star he punctuated it with a sizzling 94 yard kick return to begin the second half as Frankford looked to take control of this game. But as witnessed many times in this rivalry, a 12 point advantage is about as good as the world coming to an end tomorrow. The Eagles then began to rely on the push of their massive offensive line going 11 plays and 72 yards ending with Marquis Edwards four yard touchdown and putting them in position to pull this one out.
DiGeorgio then punctuated the Pioneer victory in their next possession connecting with Compton on an 18 yard completion then bulling in from three yards out to complete the scoring.
No doubt, the keys in this game were four Washington turnovers (2 picks, two lost fumbles) and Samuels kick return. DiGeorgio, for his part will be hard for opposing defenses to control because of his running ability and quick release. Both teams figure to meet again in the Gold final.
Frankford (AAAA, 5-2) is now 3-0 in conference play and visit Central next week. Washington (AAAA, 5-1) suffered its first loss and will entertain Fels.
Notes: Washington’s Justin Moody, Dawayne Young and Deya Mhiesen (all three average 280 pounds) were major contributors to both offensive and defensive lines and providing the majority of the tackles. Moody was courted by the University of Tennessee this week. At 6’4, the left handed DiGeorgio looks to have a future at the next level.
Scoring By Quarter
F- Damion Samuels – 28 run- (PAT- Kenny Appiott)
F- Samuels- 5 run- (PAT- Blocked)
W- Donald Smith- 1 run- (PAT- Jake Wright)
F- Samuels- 94 kick return- (2 Pt Conv- no good)
W- Marquis Edwards- 4 run (PAT- Wright)
F- Tim DiGiorgio – 3 run- (2 Pt Conv.- no good)
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