**Note: This article originally published in The Reporter and on PaPrepLive.com**
LOWER GWYNEDD >> Before its Catholic League clash with Archbiship Carroll Friday night, Lansdale Catholic honored 18 of its seniors. Among those honored was running back Ryan Quigley.
“It certainly helps when you have that many (seniors),” LC coach Tom Kirk said. “They have a lot of varsity experience. They want to win every game, but they really want to win senior night. So it was a great win for us.”
The Crusaders got all of their touchdowns from its senior leaders, including one receiving and one rushing from Quigley, en route to a 21-0 victory.
The first score of the game came in the second quarter from the LC 48 yard line. Senior quarterback Mike Basilii rolled out to his right and found Quigley on a crossing pattern for a 52-yard touchdown. Senior Ryan Carbone’s extra point gave LC a 7-0 lead with six minutes to play in the first half.
“Mike threw a beautiful ball,” Quigley said. “I just saw on the right side there was an opening…I caught the ball and sprinted to the end zone. I wasn’t stopping until I smelled that end zone.”
Quigley ended the game with two catches for 61 yards. He did most of his damage on the ground, picking up 117 yards rushing on 20 carries.
“Ryan’s a terrific player. Special kids make special plays in games like this. We expect that from Ryan,” Kirk said. “But it’s our offensive line and back blocking for him (too); everyone did a terrific job tonight.”
“I say it every week and I mean it every week, I mean our O-line, I can drive trucks through those holes they’re so big,” Quigley added. “They’re working day in and day out and it’s great how much it’s paying off on game days.”
After a lot of back and forth in the second and third quarters, which included turnovers and penalties, Lansdale Catholic broke it open on the first play of the fourth when Basilii dropped back and found a wide-open Marlen Fenstermacher down the middle of the field. The senior caught the pass and turned it into a 78-yard touchdown, salting this one away for the Crusaders.
Basilii finished the game 3-of-7 for 139 yards and those two touchdowns. Fenstermacher had 45 yards on the ground in addition to his 78-yard catch.
“If you’re only going to complete two out of three you might as well make them touchdowns,” Kirk said. “Mike stays cool in the pocket, he’s poised…he’s doing a real nice job running our offense.”
Archbishop Carroll was able to move the ball all night, but the Patriots couldn’t come up with the big play when it counted. The Patriots gained 305 total yards without scoring a point on the night. Lansdale Catholic’s defense had something to say about that.
“Our defense really wanted a shutout,” Kirk said. “We’ve come close this year…they wanted it badly, the seniors wanted it badly, and they did it. I’m really, really proud of them.”
Patriot quarterback Stephen Honick went 12-for-24 for 156 yards and an interception. Harry Rohlfing also had three catches for 87 yards.
The Crusaders looked dangerous right from the start of the game. Their opening drive went for 12 plays and 46 yards before Basilii’s first pass attempt of the game was intercepted by Carroll’s Mike Della Donna.
In addition to his 52-yard reception, Quigley also had 45 yards rushing on nine carries in the opening half.
That proved to be the only score of the first 24 minutes, but there was still plenty of offense. The Crusaders totaled 138 yards in the first half, while Archbishop Carroll had 119 yards.
Carroll’s biggest threat came late in the second quarter when the Patriots went on a 14-play drive. It also ended abruptly however, when Quigley intercepted a Honick pass.
Christian Smith kept the drive alive for Carroll with a 2-yard run on fourth-and-1. Smith would finish the game with 81 yards on 13 carries.
The opening drive of the second half ended with a fumble recovery for the Crusaders’ David Saulino, but the ensuing drive fizzled out with a holding penalty on third down and a failed fourth down attempt.
LC also fumbled in the third quarter, but Carroll’s drive ended thanks to a holding penalty on third down as well.
The final score of the game came on an 11-yard run by Quigley after a long LC drive. Quite a cap to a senior night the running back won’t soon forget.
“It was great. I couldn’t do anything without my parents,” Quigley said. “I wouldn’t be on this football field and I wouldn’t be at the school I’m at or have the great people I’m surrounded with. All credit goes to them and it was an honor to walk out on the field with them.”