John (R) with family.
John Knebels, aka "Knebs", enjoyed a 30-year run as a sports columnist for the Catholic Standard and Times archdiocesan newspaper that closed in June of 2012. He is a proud graduate of Cardinal Dougherty High School, Temple University, and Cabrini College. An adjunct college instructor and high school teacher, Knebs still contributes to various local newspapers and www.catholicphilly.com. He is writing a book about his high school alma mater. He's moonlighting here as an occasional reporter on what he labeled "the most prolific high school website in the nation." John can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don Bosco (N.J.) 35, SJ Prep 7
Halted 2:33 Before Halftime by Lightning; Not Resumed
Some bits and pieces . . .
*Defense: Jake Strain and Joe DuMond had strong games, though they were always tackling players in the secondary.
*Bosco scored 21 in first and 14 in second ... They had five possessions and scored five TDs from respective distances of 5 (following a fumbled snap on the third play of the game), 83, 18 (following a blocked punt), 62, and 20 yards (following an incomplete pass by the punter on a designed play; he fumbled the snap and threw a pass that was blocked).
*Down 21-0, the Prep scored on the first play of the second quarter and here is how that drive unfolded: With 1:07 left in the first, they took over at the 20-yard line. D'Andre Swift ran 5 yards to the 25 and then 58 yards to the Bosco 17. Olamide Zaccheaus ran three yards to the 14 and then a 4-yard pass to Dillon DeIuliis got it down to the 10 as the clock ran out. On the first play of the second quarter, Benny Walls scored on a 10-yard run on which he followed the blocking of the left side of the line and dove into the end zone.
*Bosco responded with a six-play, 62-yard drive to make it 28-7. After another TD made it 35-7, Prep took the ball from its own 17 and six plays later was about to punt on a fourth and four from its 36 when lightning struck.
*There was 2:33 left on the clock before halftime. The delay was somewhere between 30 and 60 minutes.
*I spoke with a game official who said that they were willing to play the game as long as the teams wanted. When the game was called off, I was told by an anonymous Prep official that the Prep had asked Bosco if they could finish the game tomorrow and that their coach said okay. However, a member of Bosco's administration opted not to.
Olney 32, KIPP DuBois 6
In what was a picture-perfect Saturday morning, Erik Andrews came to play. So did his Olney High School teammates.
After a sluggish first quarter resulted in seven plays from scrimmage for a whopping 14 total yards, the host Trojans responded with two quick touchdowns in the second quarter and two more in the third. In fact, Olney scored on four of five possessions before calling off the proverbial dogs late in the third quarter.
Along the way, Andrews seemed to be everywhere. More on that a bit later.
After Olney quarterback Kadir Chisholm opened the scoring on a one-yard TD and two-point conversion run with 3:39 remaining in the first half, a historic occurrence ignited Kipp’s heretofore quiet sideline.
On the ensuing kickoff by strong-footed Fernan Alfaro – a soccer player who had just joined the squad less than a week earlier – KIPP senior Kyree Ruffin fielded the ball at the 23, sped past two would-be tacklers, broke through another attempt, and darted the rest of the way down the left sideline for a 77-yard touchdown.
As Ruffin reached the end zone with 3:20 left in the half, KIPP’s players and coaches were particularly excited because KIPP, a College Academy school in West Philly with a reported population of 520 students, was playing its first-ever varsity football game and, thus, had scored its first-ever touchdown. Although KIPP’s conversion run failed, Olney’s lead shrunk to 8-6.
Olney’s next drive stalled at the KIPP 32, and Chisholm had been injured on a fourth-down, incomplete pass. KIPP then took the field in hopes of some last-second heroics before halftime. It didn’t work out that way. A pass by Luis Reyes was intercepted by Andrews, who motored 51 yards to the KIPP 8-yard line with two seconds left.
Taking over at QB, Andrews busted loose for an eight-yard scoring run and added a two-point conversion, so the Trojans’ lead was at 16-6.
With Chisholm back at the helm in the third quarter, the Trojans began to dominate. They marched 60 yards on eight plays, culminated by a 15-yard strike from Chisholm to Andrews and a two-point run by Chisholm to make it 24-6. Less than seven minutes later, Olney took over at the KIPP 24 thanks to a 28-yard punt return by Elvin Feliciano. A series of runs led to a two-yard scoring plunge by Sultan Johns (eight carries for 53 yards; two catches for 28) and another conversion run by Chisholm (4 of 8 for 54 yards; eight carries for 21 yards). With a 32-6 lead, Olney coach Mike Andolina tried his best to run out the clock, but KIPP kept fighting for its first offensive score. KIPP may have indeed scored, but several well-thrown, fourth-quarter passes by QB Domair Harris were dropped. KIPP reached the Olney five in the final seconds, but a sack by Kiosvanni Cruz on second and goal proved to be the final play of the game.
Andrews, whose all-around numbers (6 carries for 28 yards and a touchdown; two catches for 26 yards and a touchdown; one interception) belied his standout performance, appeared humble after his career-best outing.
“Last year, I was all about me as an individual, but I’m not like that anymore,” Andrews said. “My coaches talked to me about this being a team game, and that’s how I approach football now.”
Andrews said the Trojans did not take their opponent lightly.
“This year is different,” Andrews said. “Everybody has their heart in it. We don’t look past anybody. We couldn’t wait to play. We’ve worked so hard.”
Asked if he was disappointed that he was unable to bring his first career interception the distance, Andrews shook his head.
“I’m not gonna lie,” he laughed. “I was winded. I wanted it bad, but I just ran out of gas.”