PIAA AA First Round Game November 18, 2017: Neumann-Goretti 44 - Schuylkill Haven 7
In a game that lasted close to three hours played at the South Philadelphia Supersite, the Neumann-Goretti Saints bested the Schuylkill Haven Hurricanes 44-7 on Saturday, November 18 to improve to 11-0. If Neumann-Goretti is serious about making a Class AA Championship run, they must play a more disciplined game against the District 4 powerhouse Southern Columbia Tigers, their next opponent. The Tigers, who are 13-0, are ranked 17th overall in the State of Pennsylvania and 517th nationally by Max Prep. The Saints are ranked 30th and 846th.
In Saturday’s contest, the boys from South Philly registered 19 penalties for 201 yards while Schuylkill Haven notched 11 for 115. The more disturbing issue was that ten of NG’s infractions were of the personal foul variety, with six being unsportsmanlike. That will not be acceptable if they wish to advance to the Semi-Finals.
Neumann-Goretti’s Chris Wells took the opening kickoff 87 yards for the first score of the game. The Saints’ 2-point conversion failed and NG took the early 6-0 lead in a game which they would never trail in.
On SH’s third play from scrimmage, Tysheem Johnson picked off a pass from Josh Kalyan and gave the Saints good field position. Saints running back Leddie Brown then added six more points for NG with a 7-yard prance into the end zone with 8:52 remaining in the first quarter. Eighteen seconds later it was 12-7 after Schuylkill Haven’s Kobe Brish went old-school with a 74-yard burst right up the middle.
Brown, who carried 16 times for 164 yards, increased the lead to 18-7 on a powerful 17-yard run to pay turf. Brown would close the first half by scoring again on a 6-yard run at the 3:08 mark of the second stanza. The Saints failed on all four of their first half 2-point conversions and entered their locker room leading 24-7.
Wells made early noise to start the second half, racing 50 yards with the pigskin for his second TD with 10:11 still remaining in the third quarter. The Saints finally converted their only PAT when Jaron Macon caught a pass from quarterback Rausheen Lively, making the score 32-7. Less than five minutes later, it was Lively’s turn to dance, scooting 13 yards for a touchdown and giving NG a 38-7 advantage. Wells ended the evening’s scoring with a late fourth quarter 63-yard sprint for six more points.
Wells rushed nine times for 114 yards while Lively passed 9-15-98. The Saints numbered 416 total offensive yards while holding the Hurricanes to 153. Brish racked up most of the yards for the Hurricanes, rushing 27 times for 117 yards.
The NG defense was paced by defensive end Christian Barmore, who made three tackles for losses, including a huge one in his own territory in the second quarter which forced SH to turn the ball over on downs. Late in the second quarter the Saints’ defensive line made bigger stops, including one on the last play of the half at the NG 1-yard line as Kalyan tried to sneak into the end zone. Barmore, 6’6” 292 lbs, originally was headed to Temple, but word has spread that he may enter a SEC institution. Others on the Saints defensive side of the ball include defensive end Kharon Lloyd, inside linebacker William Lawrence, 6’7” 322 lbs defensive tackle Naeem Feggans and 6’7” 340 lbs defensive tackle Justin Johnson, who is expected to play offensive guard in college at the University of Oregon.
The Neumann-Goretti Saints vs. Southern Columbia Tigers contest is scheduled for this Friday, November 24 at 7 p.m. at Lehighton, PA.
Highlights Provided By Sean Kelly