Todd Tranausky is
a student at Conwell-Egan with an interest in writing. He hung out with me one day in
summer 2001 to see what a sports writer does, so of course he still doesn't know (smile).
Please give him your support.
Harry S Truman 12, Conwell-Egan 7
With the Governor in attendance and all the hype surrounding this years Mayor's Bowl it would have been natural for the teams to come out fired up. C-E had an uneventful opening drive that lacked any visable spark. The Tigers of Harry Truman were overly anxious on their opening drive as they opened with two straight procedure penalties. Once they calmed down they proceeded down the field on what appeared to be a promising drive until a costly fumble that was recovered by Rob Biernat to give the Eagles another chance. The Eagles would go three and out on that drive and Truman would make them pay by scoring on a 37-yard run with 3:47 to play in the opening period. Then it was C-Es turn to commit a procedure penalty to open a drive that stalled at the Truman 47. C-Es punt attempt turned into a Chinese fire drill with the Tigers taking over possession at the C-E 24. They were unable to convert this golden opportunity into points as the Egan defense held and Truman turned the ball over on downs at the C-E 10. C-E was forced to punt after advancing the ball to their own 22. They would get the ball back three plays later when Rob Biernat, who had yet another stellar game, intercepted a pass around mid field and took it all the way back to the Truman 20. Derrick Savage completed a 19-yard pass to Chris Schaefer and Steve Slaton ran it in from one yard out to put C-E on the board with 5:13 to play in the half. Matt Fischers extra point gave the Eagles a 7-6 lead. Truman came right back, spearheaded by a 25 yard run, to take a 12-7 lead with 2:24 left before halftime. The Tigers two-point conversion failed. After an unsuccessful C-E drive, Truman regained possession right before halftime but after an incomplete pass and an intentional grounding call, Dan Acevedo recorded another interception for the Eagles who took an knee before time expired. Truman started the second half with a three and out but a roughing the kicker penalty gave the tigers new life and they marched all the way to the C-E 20 before turning the ball over on downs. C-E moved the ball all of 14 yards on their next drive. Truman fumbled the ball on the third play of their next drive and Dan Acevedo recovered it for the Eagles. Egans opening drive of the fourth quarter took them all the way to Trumans 8 before giving the ball up on downs. Trumans next drive chewed up a substantial amount of the fourth quarter clock and was led by runs of 28, 17, and 10 yards. The drive, that started at their own 8, ended when they turned the ball over on downs at the C-E 27. C-Es next drive was aided by a Truman personal foul that advanced the ball into Truman territory where the drive would eventually die. Truman would go three and out, giving the Eagles one more chance before time expired. They were unable to score.
CATHOLIC BLUE SEMIFINAL
Carroll 21, Conwell-Egan 14
A highly impassioned C-E squad wasnt able to overcome a 40 yard punt return late in the fourth quarter for an opportunity to play West on Saturday night. After a three and out on Carrolls initial drive, C-E drove to the Carroll 41 before being forced to punt. After a forty yard punt that C-E downed at the Carroll 1, Carroll managed to drive to the C-E 38 before Ryan Stewart fumbled and Rob Biernat recovered it for the Eagles. C-E was unable to make Carroll pay and C-E was forced to punt. Carroll failed to come back and make C-E pay for their missed opportunity even though James Roderick ran for 21 on the drive. Egan went three and out on their next possession and Carroll would make C-E pay this time. Carrolls second play of the drive turned into a 54 yard touchdown run by Roderick with 5:42 left in the first half. C-E would come right back with a touchdown drive of their own, powered by the running of sophomore sensation Steve Slaton. Slaton gained 53 yards on one run on the drive and 60 yards overall on the drive. Slaton himself capped the drive with a one yard touchdown run that tied the game at 7 with 2:56 left before halftime. Carroll would come up short on a fourth down try that would give the ball back to C-E before halftime. Derrick Savage completed a 14 yard pass to Anthony Caranci to start a drive that proceeded all the way to the 1 before stalling. It appeared as though Derrick Savage had broken the plane of the goaline on a keeper but the referee decided that he was short and the decision was made to attempt a field goal which missed the mark. C-E came out and controlled the ball for the first eight minutes of the second half that was spearheaded by the running of Slaton and Smith. Slaton eventually capped the drive with 4:07 to play in the third with a six yard touchdown run. Carroll led a well orchestrated drive of their own that was short circuited when Pat Brochet was intercepted deep in C-E territory at the end of the third quarter. CE was again unable to capitalize on the turnover as they went three and out. Carroll put together another well orchestrated drive that culminated with a seven yard run by Roderick that tied the game at 14 all. The Eagles were forced to punt after another three and out offensive series and that is where the game turned. Stewart hauled in the punt at the C-E 40 and ran all the back across midfield before turning it all the way back for a touchdown with 1:36 remaining in the game. C-E was unable to mount a serious challenge after that and their season died right then and there.
CATHOLIC BLUE PLAYOFF
Conwell-Egan 13, Kennedy-Kenrick 10 (OT)
The Eagles, who were heavily favored, narrowly avoided a stunning upset by a spirited Kennedy-Kenrick team that had something to prove. Kenricks first possession of the game went three and out, leading to a very extensive fifteen play drive by Conwell-Egan that ended with Matt Fischer missing a 30 yard field goal. The drive was catapulted along by the running of Steve Slaton and Mike Smith. K-K had another blasť drive that was almost entirely driven by the running of Brian Gillin. Rob Biernat, arguably C-Es best defensive payer, recovered a Tyler Johnson fumble that served to snuff out a promising Kenrick drive. Egan had another sustained drive that reached the K-K 9 before Tom Sztubinski intercepted Derrick Savage and prevented a C-E touchdown. With 25.9 seconds remaining in the half, Dan Helhowski kicked a 31 yard field goal to give K-K a 3-0 lead going into the locker room. The third quarter started with another promising C-E drive turning to dust when Dan Connor intercepts C-E quarterback Derrick Savage. It was Savages second interception of the game. K-K would fail to capitalize on the turnover however because three plays later, Dan Acevedo would intercept Rick McMinn and give C-E good field position for its next drive. C-E would make good on this drive and tie the score at three on Matt Fischers 21 yard field goal with 3:08 to go in the third quarter. C-E PA announcer and history teacher Rich Papirio mistakenly called it a ten yard field goal. Good thing he doesnt teach math!! J The teams would trade unsuccessful drives, until Brian Gillin fumbled and Dan Quinn recovered it and returned it 73 yards to give C-E a 10-3 after Fischers extra point with 10:10 remaining in the game. At that point the game looked secure for C-E. However, K-K would come back when Rick McMinn hooked up with Dan McCabe for a 71 yard touchdown pass to tie the game with 9: 06 to play in the fourth. The teams would go quietly into the night except for a 34 yard completion from Derrick Savage to Steve Slaton as time expired in overtime. In overtime C-E failed to advance the ball much except for a K-K off-sides penalty which helped to set up a 20 yard field goal by Matt Fischer. On K-Ks possession, which was hurt by a false start penalty, and a five yard completion from McMinn to McCabe, Dan Helhowski missed a 26 yard field goal that would have forced a second OT.
St. John Neumann 26, Conwell-Egan 20
C-E started the game with a decent drive that was highlighted by a 14 yard run by Steve Slaton. The drive stalled at the Neumann 36 and C-E was forced to punt the ball. Jonathan Bradys first pass of the evening was picked off by Dan Acevedo on Neumanns first offensive play. Egan would make the Patriots pay by executing a fiver play drive that culminated with a 19 yard touchdown run by Slaton to give C-E a 7-0 lead with 7:38 to play in the first. Neumanns next drive netted 24 yards but was hurt by costly motion and holding penalties. The teams traded unsuccessful drives from here until the very end of the half when C-E would put another touchdown on the board. This one came on a 24 yard completion from Derrick Savage to Dan Acevedo with 6.8 seconds left in the half. C-E missed the point after. Neumann opened the third quarter with a scoring drive of its own. This drive was highlighted by the running of Jimmy Porreca and Richard McMickens. Porreca capped it with a 10 yard run to bring Neumann within 7 with 9:35 to play in the third. Egan answered right back with a 77 yard kickoff return by Marty OHara and just like that C-E had reinstated a 13 point lead. Neumann would answer right back and you could almost feel this one slipping away. This drive was motivated by a combination of the run and the pass keeping the C-E defense off balance. Jack Hatty hauled in a 19 yard reception from Jonathan Brady and Porreca had a 34 yard run that served to spearhead the drive for Neumann. Porreca capped it with a 16 yard touchdown run with 4:30 to go in the third. Brady fumbled on the first play of the fourth quarter at the C-E 2 and Vince Magnum recovered for the Eagles. Egan failed to move the ball substantially and was forced to punt. Neumann would score again, this time on a 17 yard run by Jimmy Porreca with 6:26 to play in the game. Neumann was now within two. C-E followed with a sustained drive that stalled at the Neumann 26. Both Slaton and Mike Smith had good carries on that drive. Neumann would march down the field on the strong arm of Jonathan Brady and would score on a 10 yard run by Billy Canady with 1:52 to play. Egan would have only one play for positive yardage on its final drive and that was a 14 yard completion by Derrick Savage to Dan Acevedo. C-E would turn the ball over on downs and Neumann would run the clock out by taking knees. C-E will play Kennedy-Kenrick in the first round of the Catholic League Playoffs at Plymouth Whitemarsh.
Conwell-Egan 24, Kennedy-Kenrick 6
Conwell-Egan started the scoring early on a rainy night in Conshohocken. Chris Schaefer scored on a 36-yard run with forty-five seconds into the game. That was set up by a 25 yard run by Steve Slaton on C-Es first play from scrimmage. K-K went three and out on their next drive. C-Es next drive was spurred primarily by the running of Steve Slaton. Derrick Savage completed a 17-yard pass to Dan Quinn for C-Es next touchdown with 5:47 left in the first quarter. K-K again went three and out. Egan had another well put together drive that stalled on the Kenrick 3 yard line. The big plays of the drive were 16 yard run by Mike Smith, a 31 yard run by Slaton, and a 23 yard completion by Derrick Savage. The biggest play may have been Kenricks goal line stand that forced C-E to lose the ball on downs. K-Ks next drive was its most substantive to this point, getting out to their 32 before stalling. The punt was partially blocked and C-E recovered at the K-K 18. C-E, however, failed to score and gave the ball to K-K on downs at their own 9 yard line. K-K managed to get out to the 34 before the drive again stalled. This time they got the punt away and put together another fine goal line stand, holding C-E to only three points. Matt Fischer kicked a 21 yard field goal with twenty-three seconds left in the half. The teams traded ineffective drives to start the second half. Kenrick had a very successful drive on its next possession that was short-circuited by a fumble by Rick McMinn that was recovered for C-E by Evan Snydman. C-E moved the ball four yards before a Derrick Savage interception gave the ball back to Kenrick. K-K capitalized on it when Rick McMinn threw a 32 yard strike to Dan McCabe to start the fourth quarter. The teams traded three and outs before Egan put together a very impressive drive highlighted by three impressive passes by Derrick Savage. Savage connected with Dan Quinn twice for twenty-three and eleven yards, respectively. Savage capped the drive with a thirteen yard pass to Dan Acevedo with 3:17 left in the game to seal the C-E victory. Finally this week, since this was the final regular season road game of the year, I must extend my thanks to senior cheerleader Chris McHale and the rest of the Screamin Eagles cheerleaders, with whom I have ridden the bus to all the road games this year. You certainly made all those bus rides very enjoyable.
Archbishop Carroll 28, Conwell-Egan 21
The Eagles' first falter of the season had plenty of fault to go around, from the officials to two late interceptions, to the defense not being able to stop the Carroll offensive. While the Egan defense didnt play very well as a unit, Rob Biernat shined with 14 tackles including several behind the line of scrimmage for losses. The defense was unable to guard against several very effective and efficient Carroll running plays led by their skill position players. The Eagles had a lot of trouble moving the football offensively in the first half as they failed to put points on the board in the first half for only the second time this season. When the Eagles did get on the board with 4:14 left in the third quarter, it was on a five yard run by sophomore sensation Steve Slaton, now fully recovered from an earlier ankle injury. Carroll extended their lead to 21-7 when they scored a touchdown on their next possession. Egan started the fourth with a touchdown of their own as the do-it-all sophomore became a quarterback as he connected with Dan Quinn around the goal line before the ball was jarred loose and the ball was recovered and taken in from two yards out by Dan Acevedo. After senior quarterback Derrick Savage threw interceptions on the next two C-E possessions With 2:39 left, Savage connected with Quinn to cap the scoring in this one. C-E tried an onside kick after that but Carroll recovered and any C-E hope for an undefeated season ended right there.
Conwell-Egan 13, West Catholic 6 (OT)
In what was by far the Eagles most daunting test this season, they past with flying colors. The game was played in what one athletic trainer termed wind swept drizzle until the middle of the fourth quarter. The game was scoreless at halftime despite the fact that both teams had multiple scoring chances. The teams combined to miss three field goals in the first half, one by C-E and two by West. The weather contributed to a number of fumbles by both teams. Wests only points came early in the third quarter on a 22-yard run by halfback Robert Ramsey. Steve Slaton saw only limited action after again aggravating his ankle injury. He finished with only 64 yards. Senior Quarterback Derrick Savage came up big in what was arguably his biggest game during his four year C-E career. He responded to the Ramsey touchdown by throwing a number of big completions the rest of the way, including a 17-yard touchdown pass to Dan Acevedo with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter. The biggest throw Savage would have on this night would be on the first play from scrimmage in the overtime. He hit Anthony Caranci for a 10-yard strike to put C-E up for good. Savage finished up with 110 yards on 7 completions, out of 14 attempted.
Conwell-Egan 21, McDevitt 10
With Steve Slaton on the bench, still troubled by an ankle sprain, the defense was going to be pivotal and it was. The Egan defense forced eight turnovers, including three interceptions by Dan Quinn. After a three and out on their first drive, Quinn got his first interception of the evening on McDevitts third play from scrimmage. CEC gave it right back when quarterback Derrick Savage and Chris Schaefer bobbled a handoff and the McDevitt defense recovered. They made it count with a field goal six plays later to take a 3-0 lead with 4:46 to go in the first half. After a six play drive stalled for Egan on their own 48 and they punted the ball, Evan Snydman forced a fumble on the return and Schafer recovered it for the Eagles. Schaefer would cap the drive two plays later with a 9-yard touchdown run and Egan took a 7-3 lead with 1:13 to play in the first quarter. After two incomplete passes, McDevitts quarterback fumbled on the fifth play of the drive and Matt Brazil recovered. Nine plays later, the Screaming Eagles found the end zone again as Mike Smith ran in from two years out with 7:03 to play in the first half. McDevitt drove to the Egan 10 on their next drive but missed a field goal. The third quarter was more of the stifling Egan defense after Brian Hrynczyszyn recovered a fumble on McDevitts first play from scrimmage in the second half. That would be costly for McDevitt as on the next play from scrimmage Jeff McClenton ran 35 yards to another Egan touchdown. McDevitt would be the victim of another interception on their next drive as Brazil picked off the pass this time. Egan failed to capitalize on the turnover, however. On its next drive, McDevitt drove 64 yards the last 35 of which was a touchdown strike to pull within 21-10. Neither team was able to put much together offensively in the fourth quarter but the Eagles did have three interceptions, two by Quinn and one by Dan Acevedo. What was most remarkable about this game, however, was that CEC was able to hold on to a lead while not gaining a first down in the entire second half.
Conwell-Egan 48, Cardinal Dougherty 13
With Governor Schweiker in attendance, his alma mater looked strong. On Egans opening drive, Steve Slaton singlehandedly carried the Eagles 75 yards on 3 plays for the first points of the evening less than two minutes in. Slaton would have an early exit from this game with a twisted ankle after amassing 178 yards on 7 carries. Doughertys first series ended after one play from scrimmage when Dan Acevedo pulled in an interception. Egan Quarterback Derrick Savage completed a 20-yard strike to the aforementioned Acevedo for 20 yards before handing over to the running game for the rest of the drive. The drive was consummated five plays later when Mike Smith bowled his way into the end zone from one yard out with 7:40 to play in the opening period. Doughertys next drive was not much better then its first as they gained only three yards before the Egan defense picked off another pass, this one by Darrin Lorady. After a 15-yard run by Chris Schaefer, Slaton took it the remaining 40 for the touchdown and less then seven minutes into the game Egan had a 21-0 lead. Doughertys longest drive of the first quarter stalled at their own 44 after Dominic Jefferson broke a 20-yard run. When Egan got the ball back, it took only two plays for them to again find their way to the end zone. Slaton broke a 57-yard touchdown run to put Egan ahead 28-0 with 39.9 seconds to go in the opening period. Dougherty would not go quietly, though. On their next play from scrimmage, Jefferson scored on a 72-yard touchdown run to put Dougherty on the board with 20.9 to go in the first quarter. CECs longest drive of the half took place as the second quarter commenced. The three-headed running attack of Slaton, Schaefer, and Smith accounted for all of the offensive yardage on the drive, although they were aided by two key Dougherty penalties. Schaefer would eventually score on a 10-yard run after Egan took more then seven minutes off the second quarter clock. After an uneventful Dougherty drive, Egan once again drive for another touchdown. Smith was the catalyst on this drive breaking a 29-yard run on the second play of the drive and then scoring from 2 yards out with 1:41 to go in the half. Dougherty came out of halftime with an almost eight minute drive that Dan Luig finished with a 15-yard touchdown run to bring Dougherty to 42-13. Brendan McCauleys extra point was no good. Dougherty would regain possession as the fourth quarter began but would lose it on a fumble by the quarterback four plays into the drive. Dustin Burghardt and Kyle Paige led the way on the ground on Egans last possession of the game that Burghardt consummated with a four-yard touchdown run with 5:02 to play. Matt Fischers extra point was no good. Dougherty tried to mount a challenge on their last possession but failed to convert a fourth down at the end.
Conwell-Egan 19, Wood 10
Egan met its first real test as it opened its Catholic League Blue season against Archbishop Wood. Wood opened the game with a seven minute drive against the Egan defense but Wood failed to capitalize when Tom Laurich missed a 47-yard field goal with 4:57 left in the opening quarter. CEC went three and out on their first offensive series, which included only their seventh pass attempt of the season on the first play from scrimmage. After the teams traded unproductive series, Egan punted the ball from deep in its own zone and Wood took possession at the Egan 20. Bobby Prieto scored on a 20-yard run on the first play of the drive. Twenty seconds later, on the next play from scrimmage Steve Slaton broke an 87-yard touchdown run, and the game was tied at 7 with 10:01 to play before halftime. Slaton would finish with 235 yards on 23 carries. Egans next drive appeared to stall at their own 38 when a roughing the kicker penalty extended the CEC drive that would consummate with a 24 yard field goal with 37.2 left in the half. Egan would get the ball back once more after Ryan Papandrea intercepted a Dane Mangin pass at midfield and returned it to Woods 9 yard line. CEC failed to capitalize on it. Egan opened the third quarter with another touchdown that Slaton scored from 43 yards out with 9:20 to go in the third. Matt Fischers point after was blocked by the swarming Wood defense. Slaton may have scored the touchdown but it was the running of Mike Smith and Chris Schafer that really shouldered the load for Egan on that drive. Woods best drive of the game came at the end of the third quarter that consummated with a 28-yard Laurich field goal with 11:49 to play. Egan came right back with a strong drive that was led by Slaton and Schafer. Fischer would miss a 35 yard field goal but would make a 31-yarder with 1:14 left to seal the Egan victory. Any doubt that Wood might mount a drive was erased when Rob Biernat intercepted a Mangin pass on the next play from scrimmage.
Conwell-Egan 34, North Catholic 14
The Eagles won by a wide margin for the second week in a row. Steve Slaton was the story once again for the Eagles as he ran for 262 yards and four touchdowns. Brian Mitchell, Norths QB, was harassed throughout the game by the unrelenting Eagles defense, led by the pass rush of Mike Smith. Mitchell completed 13 of 47 passes with two interceptions. Mitchell, however, was forced to shoulder a large part of the Falcons offense after North lost two running backs to injuries. Mitchell was involved in every North offensive play of the second half. North matched Egans defense prowess by forcing several Egan fumbles including two by Slaton. Dan Quinn was the recipient of one of Mitchells two interceptions and returned it 40 yards for the fifth Egan touchdown. There was a delay of several minutes with 6:09 to go in the opening period when North running back Shane McNamara was taken off the field on a stretcher and transported to a local hospital. (He was diagnosed with a "burner.") The hard hitting that was present in this game was thought to contribute to the number of injuries that were experienced by both sides.
Conwell-Egan 35, Bristol 0
CEC steamrolled Bristol in the Eagles season opener. Steve Slaton led the way for the Eagles with 239 yards on the ground, even though he didnt play for the entire fourth quarter. The school record for rushing yards in a game is 296, which was set by Slaton last year against Cardinal Dougherty. Slaton and the Eagles set the tone for this game on their first play from scrimmage when the aforementioned Slaton broke a 68-yard touchdown run. Later in the first quarter, the Eagles executed an 8 play drive that began at their own 32 yard line. The drive was helped by a 15 yard penalty against the Warriors for a late hit as the Eagles drove past mid-field. The drive was capped with 5:45 remaining in the opening period on a 22 yard rushing touchdown by someone not named Slaton. The Eagles played a very sloppy second quarter with several fumbles but managed to keep the shut out intact. Slaton scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, rushing for 13 and 29 yards, respectively on those carries. Egan led 28-0 at halftime and Slaton had already amassed 210 yards. Slaton would gain 29 yards and a touchdown on his only two touches of the second half.
In the fourth quarter against Egans second string, Bristol mounted a drive until Egan brought its first team defense back as Bristol crept closer to the goal line. The shutout was preserved when Dan Acevedo intercepted a pass in the end zone with one minute and 45 seconds remaining in the game.