There may have been overcast Friday night, but that did not slow down the Lions of New Hope-Solebury. They came into their homecoming game 6-1 before this battle against the Springfield Township Spartans. The Spartans, who are having a rocky season, came into this game 2-4. They knew this was going to be an uphill battle.
The Spartans fought diligently all game, but no matter how much they drove, they could not seem to punch the ball in to add points to the board.
Throughout the game you could hear the announcer say “Jesse Capriotti” after almost every play. The Lions’ senior running back was well engaged on both sides of the ball. Already exceeding the single-season rushing record in September, Jesse was not afraid to just let loose and show his team and his school what he could do.
In the first quarter, Jesse ran for a 40-yard touchdown with 7:34 left to play. The Spartans tried to retaliate by moving the ball down the field; however, their hopes were destroyed by the Lions when they recovered a fumble on their 10-yard line. Shortly after that, senior quarterback Nick Garritano fired a long one down the field to Capriotti for a 43-yard reception, putting the lions on the 1-yard line. Rather than handing the ball to Capriotti, the Lions ran a full back blast right up the middle to Morgan Shadle to give the Lions a 13-0 lead with under a minute left in the first. The Lions could not convert the extra point, so the quarter ended with the Lions up 13-0 over the Spartans.
Springfield was not going to go quietly and had a great drive beginning the second quarter. Unfortunately, their drive was stopped once again after the Spartans had a muffed snap and the Lions pounced on it, taking over on the Spartans’ 22-yard line. Later in the quarter, the Lions executed a perfect fake pass-handoff to Morgan Shadle, who ran 10 yards to put NHS up 19-0. If that wasn’t enough, the punt team came out and tricked the Spartans again. The Lions ran a fake punt and Nick Garritano completed a pass to Capriotti, giving the Lions the 21-0 lead over the Spartans.
During halftime, they revealed the names of the members of the homecoming court, as well as the 8th grade players moving on to join the ranks of the high school Lions. It was a wonderful ceremony, but then the second half started.
With 10:46 left in the third quarter, NHS ran a play action play with Nick Garritano rolling out to his right. He faked out the entire defense and ran for almost 60 yards to increase the Lion’s lead again. With the good extra point, the Lions were up 28-0. Once again, the Spartan’s tried to come back, but the Lions wouldn’t have it. Charles Bray broke through the Spartan’s line to make a wicked sack. The Lions would strike again with 5:35 left in the third with an 8-yard run by Capriotti, resulting in another touchdown.
Starting the fourth quarter up 35-0, NHS knew they had nothing to lose, but they would not let up and the Spartans did not want to quit. However, when the Lions got the ball back, with 10:52 in the fourth, Capriotti ran for an 85-yard touchdown. The game was out of the Spartan’s reach, but yet, they did not quit. Later in the fourth, John Mangan and Tom Raupp beat down the line and sacked the quarterback for a 12-yard loss. Finally, with 2:46 left to play, Joey Capriottie took a handoff from Phillip Weinseimer to pound in a 25-yard touchdown, securing the Lions victory.
The final score was New Hope-Solebury Lions 49, Springfield Township (Montco) 0. Next Saturday, NHS will face off against Lower Moreland at 1 p.m., whereas the Spartans will face Morrisville on Friday, October 20 at 7 p.m.
Highlights from the game