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    Payin' the Bills
   Bill Wettstein, who has done some writing for community papers in the Northwest Philly area, has joined the fold to cover an occasional game. We appreciate his efforts.
   Bill may be reached at
wwettstein@yahoo.com


NOV. 28
THANKSGIVING RIVALRY
Roman Catholic 41, Roxborough 12
   As a tribute to their limited preparation, the Roman Catholic Cahillites posted a 22-point "three-phase" third quarter that propelled the them over a spirited Roxborough Indians team in the 31st annual Thanksgiving Day game at a frozen Westerman Field.  A strong holiday crowd withstood frigid conditions to also see an impressive individual rushing effort by RB Dante Bryant, who finished the game with 182 yards and both of the Indians' touchdowns.  In the end however, Bryant couldn't match a Cahillite rushing attack that generated 313 yards from eight different runners, led by a 159-yard performance from Johnny Ortiz.
  A defensive struggle began the action, with each team refusing to give up the game's first score.  After being forced to punt on their opening series, Roman LB Joe Millie recovered a fumble at the Roxborough 38, only to watch Indian LB Brandon Sutton (7 tackles) recover a botched handoff exchange three plays into Roman's second series.   The middle of the Cahillite defense stiffened and, following a quarterback sack by LB Sean Matthews (4 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 sack), the Indians could only muster three yards and gave possession back to Roman.
  From the 19, Roman used their third series to unveil the power-running of RB Rob Deery.    On his first attempt of the game, he bulled through an excellent running lane and arm tackles for 34 yards until Indians LB Anthony Harris (5 tackles) prevented a sure touchdown when he caught Deery from behind.  Deery wouldn't be denied however, and he capped a near perfect 81-yard clinic on power running with a seven-yard touchdown run to give the Cahillites a 6-0 lead.
  Roman DB Mike Gavin made things tougher for Roxborough when he snuffed out an attempted reverse on the ensuing kickoff, leaving them to start from their 16-yard line.  The Cahillite defense then began to close the outside running lanes, prevented each of the Indians' three running backs from netting a single offensive yard and set up the type of punt return that can quickly shift momentum.  Roman WR/K John Pendergast came close when he took the punt from his own 43 and ended up just 25 yards from the Roxborough goal line.  Following an Ortiz 20-yard run, Roxborough-native RB Andy Amaro used his first chance of the game to deliver a touchdown from five yards out, doubling the Cahillite advantage.
  Indians DB/KR Tyree Wyche, who filled in admirably as starting quarterback for the game, took the ensuing kickoff, went though a small crease on the left side and raced 51 yards to match the Roman punt return.  On their first play of the series though, an errant lateral from Wyche to Bryant was knocked down by Bryant, but in the scramble over the free ball, Roman came up with it and ended Roxborough's first real scoring chance of the game.  Consecutive tackles for losses by LB Kyle Earls (8 tackles) then forced Roman to punt, but Roxborough mishandled the return and gave possession right back to Roman.  Determined to get the Indians offense back on the field, Earls forced and recovered a fumble on Roman's first play from scrimmage.  A tackle for a loss on fourth-and-three by Roman DL Kevin Cahill (4 tackles) and an interception by Roxborough CB Andrew Stridiron, (team leader in INT's) prevented further scoring before halftime.
  Playing inspired football to begin the second half, Roxborough used a third down pass to move near midfield, where Bryant then slid through a brief opening on the left side, turned on an exceptional display of acceleration and bolted 53 yards to cut the Roman lead in half.   The Cahillites countered decisively when Ortiz followed a 12-yard run to within a yard of where Bryant's touchdown run began.  Using a massive hole formed between the left guard and tackle, Ortiz broke into the secondary, made his moves, dashed into end zone and scored on the conversion to give Roman a 20-6 lead.
  A test of will would dictate what would be Roxborough's last chance to stay close.  By varying their snap count, the Indians forced a pair of offside penalties to move them into Roman territory, but consecutive false-start penalties of their own, took Roxborough out of a third-and-one situation.  Roman DL/OL John Odom seemed to wrestle the game, along with spirit, from Roxborough with the subsequent third down tackle for a loss. Cahill then came up big again when he blocked the ensuing Roxborough punt, picked up the loose ball and set Deery up with another seven-yard touchdown run to put the game out of reach.  As a final compliment to their coach, Ortiz (tied team lead for INT's) and DB Tim Breslin each intercepted Roxborough passes, which were turned into touchdown runs by Pete Cupo and Ortiz.  On the third play of a six play final scoring drive for Roman, Ortiz ran 28 yards and became one of seven Catholic League players to run for over 1000 yards for the 2002 season.
  The Roman offensive line of Guinter, Grimmie, Suplick, Sugden and DeMalto had much to do with the difference in this game and would be a welcomed sight for a Roxborough team, who through no fault of their own have lacked such talent this season.  However, Roman's vivid demonstration of sound fundamentals and an unwavering work ethic at all three phases of the game went a long way towards determining the outcome of a crucial third quarter and the game.
Cahillites Charron Fisher led the team with 8 tackles.

NOV. 21
NON-LEAGUE
Roxborough 26, Southern 6
Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all time thing. You don't win once in a while, you don't do things right once in a while--you do them right all the time. Winning is habit.  Unfortunately, so is losing.
-Vince Lombardi

  Behind season high rushing performances by Brandon Sutton and Dante Bryant, the Roxborough Indians prevailed over the Southern High Rams in a contest that featured two of the most frequently defeated teams this season.  In addition to breaking an eight-game losing streak--the longest in recent history--the victory will prevent the Indians from ending the season in a possible tie for Public League's worst overall record regardless of the result in the upcoming Thanksgiving game against Roman Catholic.
  Bryant's return to action, after spending the last two games on the injured list, had an immediate impact on the Indians first offensive series.  Averaging five yards per attempt, his fifth one gave the Indians a first and goal at the three where, on the next play, RB Kyle Earls ran through the middle of the Southern line to post his first career touchdown and an Indians 6-0 lead.  Southern began their first series with a 21-yard run by RB/QB Mark Lee, but the Roxborough defense grabbed control four plays later when LB Andrew Hicks recovered an errant center/quarterback exchange near midfield.   Using an effective assortment of pitches and screen passes, Indians head coach Cliff Hubbard called on Sutton from 17 yards out and he delivered around right end to double the advantage.
Although they stopped Southern on the ensuing series, Roxborough's offense lost some discipline and yardage, forcing them to punt from deep in their own territory. The Roxborough special teams failed to pick up the tempo and Southern's sole offensive threat of the day, Mark Lee, took the punt, tricked the special teams into the middle of the field and then raced 48 yards down the right sideline to slice the Roxborough lead in half.  Sutton recovered a Southern fumble with less than a minute before halftime to avoid further damage.
The Rams opened the second half with a "four-down territory" approach and succeeded twice as RB Darrell Horton ran for 10 yards on a fourth and one and, Lee passed to WR Steven Rudd on a fourth and three to move the Rams 23 yards away from a tie game.   A sack by Indians DE William Tolson on the next third down play created fourth down too far for Southern to convert.  The Indians offense then put together a 13-play drive, which was highlighted by a 26-yard pass run from QB Karon Hill to Sutton and ended with a 6-yard touchdown run by Bryant, who finished the afternoon with 102 yards rushing.
Any chances of a Southern comeback were halted by the defensive effort of Roxborough LB Ed Fairfax when he forced, and promptly recovered, a Rams fumble during the next series.  A couple of plays later, Sutton used his seventh rushing attempt to run around the left end for 35 yards and complete the scoring with his second touchdown, raising his lofty yards per attempt average to 13 for the afternoon.
Roxborough C/LB Terrell Ford represented his recent "All Public League Team" honor well with a crushing hit on the second half kickoff and a pair of late-game tackles for losses.   An interception by Indians DB Andrew Stridiron ended the final scoring threat for Southern.

NOV. 14
PUBLIC LEAGUE
King 32, Roxborough 16

  After getting manhandled by playoff-bound teams lately, Roxborough went through warm-ups this week more confident, but were eventually out-dueled by a King squad that made up for the difference in size and strength to that of a Frankford or Central with simple teamwork and execution.  Paced by the fine play of the offensive line that turned quarterback sneaks into four-yard rugby scrums, the Cougars piled up 228 total rushing yards and gave senior RB Kenneth Barnes all the confidence he needed for a three touchdown/198 all-purpose-yard game.  Barnes' first three-touchdown game (which may earn him his first-ever tedsilary.com "player of the week" honor) seemed to set the tone for an afternoon of first-timers.
  For the first time in weeks, Roxborough had some early momentum when WR/DB Jamal Womack took his first career interception 50 yards for his first touchdown.  Barnes then grabbed the ensuing kickoff and showed how quickly momentum can change as he dashed through the Indians special teams untouched for an 81-yarder to even the score. After that, everything seemed to be an uphill battle for the Indians as dropped passes plagued them repeatedly.  The Cougars followed up Barnes' return with an 11-play drive that ended with senior RB Roland Penn getting his first career touchdown that wouldn't have happened had QB Dion Whittington's 23-yard scoring run the play before not been negated by penalty.  More importantly though, his "this is my first touchdown" declaration, spared me the time of having to look it up--thanks and congrats!!
  Excellent concentration by Indians RB Jared Davenport produced his first career touchdown pass and the first 100-yard passing game for QB Karon Hill (7-15-125), who showed that, given more than a millisecond to setup and throw, he can move the Indians offense through the air.  Had a few more of his earlier passes been caught, the final score probably would've favored them more.
  Despite falling on a pair of late-game fumbles, any last second Roxborough heroics were put to rest when King DE Quinn Peterson recorded consecutive blind-side sacks, causing 14 yards in losses and the clock to expire.  King DT Kyle Patillo also added a pair of sacks earlier in game, one a drive stopper.

NOV. 8
PUBLIC LEAGUE
Germantown 45, Olney 0
   With the playoffs now out of reach for Germantown, some of the seniors and underclassmen that had seen limited action prior to the last week's tough defeat against Central were given an opportunity to put up some numbers.  Any chances of a letdown from last week were erased as the Bears posted their highest single game point total of 2002, and added a defensive effort that held Olney to 130 yards of total offense, including 12 plays that resulted in a loss of yardage or no gain.  Junior RB Marcus Walton (9-100) seemed especially ready and rambled 40 yards on the second play of the game--a strong overall showing for a player who was brought up from the JV roster earlier in the season.  Despite his size (5'6" 145), he's quickly learning how to make people miss and, with the return of Omar McDonnaugh next season, gives head coach Mike Hawkins an excellent combination of power and speed in 2003.    Likewise, senior RB Taurean Filmore gained 13 of his 38 rushing yards in scoring the first two touchdowns and added a five-yard reception from QB Ryan Graves (3-4, 57 yards) for the fourth touchdown.  Perhaps the biggest thrill of the afternoon went to young Don Williford.  When a blocked Olney punt went straight up in the air, the sophomore snatched the ball up, broke a couple of tackles, managed to stay inbounds with an Olney defender pulling at his jersey and scored the first touchdown of his short high school career--many happy returns Don !!   G-town Senior RB Anthony Smith almost added to the scoring with an exciting 45-yard punt return, but a penalty brought the ball back.  Senior RB David Roberson, who had a first quarter interception, hit pay dirt six plays later to complete the G-town scoring.
  One of the few bright spots for Olney was the play of RB Platini Michel, who after a tough start to the game, accounted for just over half of the Olney offensive output with 40 yards rushing and a nice 27-yard catch out-jumping his defender.  He also added an interception on defense.

 

 

 


   With the playoffs now out of reach for Germantown, some of the seniors and underclassmen that had seen limited action prior to the last week's tough defeat against Central were given an opportunity to put up some numbers.  Any chances of a letdown from last week were erased as the Bears posted their highest single game point total of 2002, and added a defensive effort that held Olney to 130 yards of total offense, including 12 plays that resulted in a loss of yardage or no gain.  Junior RB Marcus Walton (9-100) seemed especially ready and rambled 40 yards on the second play of the game--a strong overall showing for a player who was brought up from the JV roster earlier in the season.  Despite his size (5'6" 145), he's quickly learning how to make people miss and, with the return of Omar McDonnaugh next season, gives head coach Mike Hawkins an excellent combination of power and speed in 2003.    Likewise, senior RB Taurean Filmore gained 13 of his 38 rushing yards in scoring the first two touchdowns and added a five-yard reception from QB Ryan Graves (3-4, 57 yards) for the fourth touchdown.  Perhaps the biggest thrill of the afternoon went to young RB Don Williford.  When a blocked Olney punt went straight up in the air, the sophomore snatched the ball up, broke a couple of tackles, managed to stay inbounds with an Olney defender pulling at his jersey and scored the first touchdown of his short high school career--many happy returns Don !!   G-town Senior RB Anthony Smith almost added to the scoring with an exciting 45-yard punt return, but a penalty brought the ball back.  Senior RB David Roberson, who had a first quarter interception, hit pay dirt six plays later to complete the G-town scoring.
  One of the few bright spots for Olney was the play of RB Platini Michel, who after a tough start to the game, accounted for just over half of the Olney offensive output with 40 yards rushing and a nice 27-yard catch out-jumping his defender.  He also added an interception on defense.