FRANCONIA >> Souderton’s 7-0 loss to Central Bucks South Friday night can be boiled down to two plays. After a scoreless first half, Big Red took the ball to start the second half and drove down to the South 11 yard line. That drive resulted in a blocked field goal, however, and the Titans scored on a 78-yard run the next drive. Just like that, the game was decided.
The home team was only down seven, but it felt like more with the way the offense was stalling out.
“We got the opportunity to get the ball in the second half and I thought we came out with the right mindset and drove the ball right down the field,” Souderton head coach Ed Gallagher said. “Getting the field goal blocked definitely took the wind out of our sails. We gotta find a way to finish our drives.”
After rushing for just 41 yards on 20 carries in the first half, Souderton found a way to rush for 120 on 21 carries in the final 24 minutes. The big plays were there, but the points weren’t. CB South’s defense deserves some credit for that.
“We preach all the time the fact that first and second downs are what they are, but third down is the climax of the whole drive,” CB South head coach Tom Hetrick said. “It’s just a matter of, against a team like this that can do a lot of different things and make you defend the whole field, you have to trust that you’re doing what you need to do and play your position. You playing your position gets you in position to make those plays.”
Big Red “D” Dials In
Both coaches described Friday night’s game as a “slugfest”, and those never come without solid defense from both teams. While Souderton only managed 195 total yards of offense in the game, the defense only allowed 224 yards.
“The defense played really well,” Gallagher said. “Outside of the one big play, we had the nice goal-line stand. I thought we took away a lot of the things they liked to do. Very proud of our defense and the effort.”
The goal-line stand came at a crucial moment to keep Souderton in the game. The Big Red offense went 3-and-out after the Titan touchdown, and a poor snap on the ensuing punt gave South the ball at Souderton’s 14 yard line. The defense came up huge from there, stopping the Titans four times from inside the 2.
“There’s a lot of good to take out of it,” Gallagher said. “We played a lot of different kids on defense. We mixed a bunch of different fronts…You gotta count all the plays. That’s the way it works.”
Our kids played hard. I certainly don’t fault their effort.”
Take out one play and Souderton allowed less than 150 yards of total offense. Unfortunately for Big Red, that play is what made the game for both sides.
A Must-win Matchup
It’s still early in Suburban One League Continental play, but Souderton has started 0-2. Some teams may be hesitant to call a week 6 game a must-win, but coach Gallagher is counting on his kids to embrace next week’s Central Bucks East game as just that.
“I’m hoping that (the team sees) it as a must-win,” Gallagher said. “You don’t want to put pressure on them, there really hasn’t been pressure on us the last two weeks…We come out (next) week, we do need to get a win. I think they know that…as long as they play disciplined and play loose they’ll be fine.”