EAST ROCKHILL — When a team faces as much adversity as Neshaminy did Friday night against Pennridge, it has to find a way to balance out. The road team did exactly that, with multiple huge pass plays up the seam.
“We prepared well,” sophomore wide receiver Oleh Manzyk said. “We watched a lot of film on (Pennridge) and saw the seam was vulnerable…Mason (Jones) did a great job of checking into our play and we were just open every single time.”
Manzyk caught 3 passes against the Rams. They went for 187 yards, including two touchdowns of 65 and 78 yards. The third reception was a 44-yard catch and run that took the ball down to the Pennridge 2 with 1:50 left in the game. Two plays later Neshaminy had the game-winning touchdown in a 31-24 victory.
“Oleh is a sophomore and he’s gonna be a special player in two years,” Neshaminy head coach Steve Wilmot said.
Neshaminy’s quarterback was no stranger to the big play, either. Jones only completed nine passes, but he averaged 29.5 yards per completion en route to a 266 yard day. All of this came without his “big play” receiver, Zach Tredway, who left the game in the first quarter a concussion.
Wilmot added that Tredway was kept out of the game as a precaution, and passed all of his concussion tests.
A strong response. Tredway’s injury wasn’t the only hardship Neshaminy faced Friday night. The visitors led most of the night, but found themselves down for the first time with 4:47 left in the fourth quarter. The 78-yard connection from Jones to Manzyk came on the next play from scrimmage.
“To tell you the truth, this team has a lot of heart. This senior class has a lot of heart,” Wilmot said. “I really wouldn’t expect anything other than them to come back. That’s just the kind of team we have.”
Redemption for Dogba. In a crazy fourth quarter one of the momentum plays was a lost fumble by running back Will Dogba. Pennridge was able to capitalize, however, and the senior was the one who scored the game-winning touchdown from 1 yard out.
“What do I say when a guy who’s like a third son to me fumbles?” Wilmot said. “It’s not for a lack of trying. It’s probably actually trying too hard…The only thing I said to Will after that is make it up to me. I can’t yell at him. He’s the heart and soul of our offense.”Dogba finished the game with 144 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns.
Dogba finished the game with 144 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns.
“Will always runs amazing,” Manzyk said. “He puts his life on the line on this field, and it pays off.”
Hartshorn playing hero. For the second week in a row Pennridge quarterback Jagger Hartshorn made his team go. The senior carried the ball 22 times for 182 yards and a touchdown. He added 49 yards through the air. This comes a week after Hartshorn had 209 yards and 5 touchdowns rushing, on 11 carries.
Matching mishaps. With it still being week 2 in the season, and playing one less scrimmage this year, you wouldn’t expect teams to be well-oiled machines just yet.
Neshaminy’s shortcomings came in the turnover department. They lost two fumbles and had a Jones pass intercepted, which Wilmot called a punch in the gut.
“We knew it was an evenly-matched game…whoever worked harder was going to win. So we just tried harder (after a turnover),” Wilmot said.
Pennridge went turnover free in the game, but shot themselves in the foot with penalties. The biggest was a block in the back, which negated a kick return to the Neshaminy 10 with the score tied at 24. The Rams were whistled 10 times, totaling 111 yards.
A conference feel. Although, it’s a non-conference game in 2016, these two teams played an early-October contest in 2015 because it was a conference game then. Point is these schools know each other well, play each other tough, and Neshaminy has some mid-season momentum in week 2.
“All our non-conference games are very challenging,” Wilmot said. “(Pennridge) Coach (Jeff) Hollenbach was talking about how he really thinks his three non-league contests are very challenging for him…we’re just trying to test ourselves and then get into our league play and go from there.”
N: Oleh Manzyk 65 pass from Mason Jones (Dylan McDonald kick), 9:08
P: Austin Herrlinger 1 run (Matt Mauer kick), 7:50
N: McDonald 39-yard field goal, 3:19
P: Jagger Hartstrom 16 run (Mauer kick), 9:52
N: Will Dogba 13 run (McDonald kick), 6:37
P: Mauer 41-yard field goal, :55
P: Josh Pinkney 23 run (Mauer kick), 4:47
N: Manzyk 78 pass from Jones (McDonald kick), 4:32
N: Dogba 1 run (McDonald kick), 1:14
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