Imhotep Charter 52, Martin Luther King High 0
Happy Thanksgiving Day
This game was played with snow on the field and as the score easily indicates this game was not close. On the game’s second play from scrimmage Imhotep’s impressive junior halfback Mike Waters galloped 45 yards for a touchdown. Waters would then score two more touchdowns in the 1st quarter and the Panthers converted all three of those conversions so they led 24-0 after the 1st period. In the second quarter Imhotep would add to their lead with two beautiful touchdown passing plays. First, Imhotep’s underrated quarterback Andre Dreuitt-Parks hooked up with senior wide receiver Khalif Clemons on a seventy-four yard touchdown play in the snow. Then Dreuitt-Parks found junior tight end Naseir “Pop” Upshur for a sixty yard scoring play. Upshur showed great balance and agility as he ran into the end zone ahead of pursuing King defenders. In the 3rd quarter DJ Moore scored on a 58 yard touchdown play. Moore became the Public League’s All-Time leader in Career Receiving Yardage. (Ironically, he broke the record of MLK’s Delane Hart who reached his milestone against Imhotep last year in the inaugural Thanksgiving Day match-up between these two schools.) Waters also added his fourth touchdown of the day, Waters rushed 6 times for 131 yards. Dreuitt-Parks who concluded his career in this contest was 6-8 for 229 yards and 3 touchdowns. Sophomore Amin Black had some tackles early and JohnCarlo Valentin had a crowd pleasing twenty-seven yard sack. The Panthers had six interceptions; two each by Zaihr Wright and Brandon Reyes, and one apiece for Shaquille Jones and Shaka Toney. Martin Luther King High did not play well. Imhotep totally destroyed them. Senior linebacker Keith Morrison was a player who involved himself on defense as he had 6 tackles.
Sidenotes- When I got here I was told by Jake “The Voice” Schwartz that Comcast would not be broadcasting the game. I was disappointed with that because I just learned how to use a DVR. I’m old school -- tapes and VCR work best for me… Last season King was victorious 32-30, however Imhotep could only play their starters a half because they had a State Tournament game in two days. Imhotep wanted revenge and they made a statement in this game… At 9:35 am the field was totally unplayable, coaches from both teams did the shoveling of snow of the lines to make the game playable. Big thanks to those coaches.
PUBLIC LEAGUE AAA SEMIFINAL
Imhotep Charter 52, Overbrook High 6
The Panthers of Imhotep defeated the Panthers of Overbrook. Both teams share the same mascot and they shared the football field tonight. Imhotep was victorious and despite a quality effort from Overbrook, they were in control from the opening kickoff. Junior tailback Tyliek Raynor carried eight times for 170 yards and excited the crowd with a 66-yard touchdown run in the 1st quarter. Senior wide receiver DJ Moore (Maryland) had three touchdowns; one coming on a punt return the other two were pass receptions. Moore’s second touchdown reception made him the Public League’s all-time leader in pass receptions for touchdowns with 29; Del-Val's Brad Wilson bagged 28 from 2008-10. Senior quarterback Andre Dreuitt-Parks was 5-for-7 passing with two touchdowns for 132 yards. Junior Jordan McCray had an interception and a key fumble recovery when Overbrook was driving in the 1st quarter. Qwamere Wright-Downing was disruptive on defense for Imhotep. Imhotep led 28-6 after the 1st quarter and 52-6 at the half. That being said Overbrook had their moments. Junior Niykolis Rodriguez had a 36-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Clifford Brinkley. Brinkley has good size for a receiver at 6’2 195, so with hard work he could develop into a major player in Public League 3A. The Overbrook Panthers have only nine seniors on their roster with many of their key players being juniors and sophomores, so there is potential for future success.
Sidenotes- Excellent national anthem by Imhotep cheerleader Alicia Gordon… They were a lot of penalties so the 1st quarter took 42 minutes to be played … Imhotep’s Mike Waters ran for a touchdown and three conversions … A lot of people were stunned when word of Neumann-Goretti’s toppling of West Catholic came to Benjamin Johnston Memorial Stadium. My response is, never be surprised when it comes to high school sports.
PUBLIC LEAGUE AA SEMI
Delaware Valley Charter 52, Strawberry Mansion High 0
This one was all Delaware Valley Charter. The Warriors exploded to a 38-0 lead with 5:04 remaining in the 1st quarter. Delaware Valley recovered the ball twice on kickoffs to Mansion and scored two touchdowns before Mansion had even had an offensive possession. In fact, they scored their second touchdown with 11:07 remaining in the 1st quarter. The Warriors were led by senior star tailback Nasir Bonner, who had three touchdowns on the day and showed some serious speed on a sixty-eight yard run. Also shining for the Warriors was senior linebacker Davik Miller, who set the tone early with some loud tackles and scored a touchdown on a thirteen yard fumble return. Quarterbacks Shayne Smith and Andrew Thomas-Sumpter had their moments as well. Smith ran for two touchdowns and completed a conversion pass, while going two for two passing for sixty-one yards. Thomas-Sumpter completed his only pass attempt a thirty-eight yard connection to Shaheed Brown for a touchdown. Strawberry Mansion struggled all game long and was not able to muster a first down. However one bright spot for the Knights was the hardnosed play of Jyquan Owens, who competed non-stop. Owens, the quarterback, bounced up after being tackled and each time encouraged his teammates to keep competing. Owens even registered a memorable hard hit tackle on the game’s final play of the game while playing linebacker. Everyone who was witness to the game (it was not attended by many) respected Owens’ performance.
Sidenotes- The mercy-rule clock was running from the 1st quarter when DVC got to 38 points, and the coaches agreed to play seven minute quarters from the second quarter onward.
PUBLIC AAAA QUARTERFINAL
Martin Luther King High 28, Frankford High 20
This was a playoff matchup with last season’s AAAA Public League Champions (Frankford) taking on last season’s AAA Public League Champions (Martin Luther King High). Frankford struck first with quarterback Naim Franklin connecting on a sixty-three yard pass play with George Cooper to put the Pioneers up 7-0 in the early stages of the 2nd quarter. The Cougars were able to respond a couple minutes before halftime with junior halfback Paul Sanchez scoring a touchdown from one yard out to get MLK within one at 7-6. Sanchez had an impressive day on the ground for the Cougars. On the first possession of the second half, MLK marched down the field and scored a touchdown. On the scoring play sophomore quarterback Nasir Boykin found senior receiver Mark McCray on a twenty yard pass play. MLK would score again at the beginning of the 4th quarter with Sanchez making an inspired twenty yard touchdown run. After Boykin ran in the conversion play, MLK led 22-7 with 11:06 remaining in the game. Frankford showed their mettle. In a little less than a minute they scored a touchdown as Franklin found Devontae Lee on a thirty-one pass play for a touchdown. Then they recovered an onsides kick and marched to another score with Franklin finding Lee again, this time from thirty-nine yards out. After the extra point, the score is 22-20 MLK with 7:21 remaining. King would have another scoring drive which was capped by Boykin, who would score from three yards out with 4:36 remaining. After Frankford thwarted the conversion pass play, the Cougars led 28-20. Frankford would drive all the way to the King two yard line! They got to the two yard line with forty-seven seconds remaining. The Pioneers committed a false start. Then the Pioneers had an incomplete pass that brought up 4th down with only thirty-six seconds remaining. On 4th down, Franklin was intercepted by Edward Marshall III and King took over at the two and had a kneel-down to conclude the game. Sanchez carried 23 times for 202 yards and was a workhorse for the Cougars. Devontae Lee had 5 receptions for 93 yards and an interception; he is an excellent two-way player.
Sidenotes- King cheerleader Noelani Hawkins did an excellent job on the National Anthem…Not a big crowd, I know that it was Halloween but MLK-Frankford should have a bigger turnout… Great job by the King cheerleaders… MLK now has victories over Northeast, George Washington and Frankford… MLK moves on to play Simon Gratz, a 24-8 winner over Northeast High. Particulars TBA.
PUBLIC AAAA INDEPENDENCE
Martin Luther King 28, George Washington 14
This one was circled in red on the schedule by many observers of Public League Football. The game was surely worthy of that attention. The Cougars struck first in the second quarter when senior linebacker Jayni Harris intercepted a George Washington pass and sprinted 28 yards for a touchdown. Harris would be heard from many times during this contest. The Cougars led this one by only 6-0 at the half as defense dominated the first two quarters of action. On the first possession of the 2nd half, MLK’s talented sophomore quarterback Nasir Boykin found Harris on a passing play and sixty-seven yards later the Cougars were up 12-0. The Eagles showed their mettle on the ensuing possession they drove sixty-seven yards in eight plays capped by a seven yard touchdown scamper from senior tailback Qadir Cobbs (17 carries for 157 yards). The Eagles were not done on their next possession they drove promptly down the field at the end of the third quarter aided by a fifty-four yard run by Cobbs. On the second play of the 4th quarter, fullback Shawn Henderson plowed into the end zone from the four yard line. Following the extra point from junior kicker Chris Schlegel, George Washington led, 14-12. On the ensuing kickoff, Mooktar Larke excited the MLK sideline with a thirty-six yard kickoff return. On the next play from scrimmage, Boykin found senior receiver Dominque McNeil over the middle and McNeil broke some tackles and bolted into the end zone from forty-eight yards out. The play was really exciting as it elevated the King crowd. The Cougars added another score when Boykin scored on a bootleg. Washington threatened late for a score but an excellent interception was made by junior Paul Sanchez. Boykin was 13-15 passing for 177 yards, 2 touchdowns passing and 1 touchdown running. The sophomore passed Joseph Walker passing yardage total last year of 1,698 yards. He currently has 1,837 yards passing. Harris was a menace on defense and had two catches for 83 yards. Harris is currently being viewed by FCS schools and it is not hard to see why as he is a great athlete at 6’2 191. King clinched the number two seed from the Independence Division in the Public League 4A playoffs with Washington receiving the 3rd seed.
Sidenotes- Washington's Shareef Miller, a transfer from Frankford, is a problem at 6’5 230 and freakishly athletic. One sideline reporter said, "He reminds me of Jevon Kearse." . . . King is loaded with athletes and on Cobbs’ 54 yard run he was denied a touchdown from Edward Marshall III, an impressive junior. Marshall sprinted over fifty yards running past teammates to drag down Cobbs. It drew oohs and aahs from spectators… In the playoffs, King has two mean defensive linemen who have to be dealt with in Dawayne Young (transfer from Washington) and Andrew Jackson both are impressive…. Hard to imagine only two years ago MLK was 1-10 and now they are not only competing in 4A, they have victories over Northeast and George Washington, two storied programs.