John Knebels

LEVITTOWN — Conwell-Egan started early, didn’t let up throughout the middle, and finished strong.

That’s a great recipe for success.

Led by junior Blue Division Most Valuable Player Patrick Garwo, the Eagles defeated Lansdale Catholic, 44-20, in the Class 3A District 1/12 sub-regional championship Friday night at Harry S. Truman High School. Conwell-Egan will meet Palisades High School at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25 at Northeast High School.

Garwo’s latest performance might have been his best because of what was at stake. He carried the ball 28 times and his 197 yards were the second-highest amount of his career. Garwo added three touchdowns to increase his staggering total to 24 for the season.

“He’s dedicated to the game,” said senior right tackle Quameer Francis. “He’s humble and works each and every day to get better. ‘Good’ is never enough for him or anybody else on the team.

“And blocking for him? We’re not just a team; we’re a family. I got his back and he’s got mine. He counts on us to open up holes for him and we count on him to give it his all every play.”

Senior center Gino Turchi labeled blocking for Garwo “a great experience.”

“Patrick is a fantastic running back for sure,” said Turchi. “Watching him work is really a work of art and what makes him so good is that Pat is always on, putting in work to be at his best. You don’t see that in too many guys at this age. He’s real special.”

Garwo preferred to deflect his own plaudits onto his teammates.

“My offensive line and my fullbacks are great,” said Garwo.

The Eagles had lost to Lansdale Catholic, 31-13, during the regular season.

“This game was a little of revenge because we knew we were the better team,” said Garwo. “Little mistakes cost us the first time, but we just had to continue to build on how we were playing and limit mistakes.”

Adding to the carnage for the Eagles (6-6) were junior quarterback Alex Goldsby (14 carries for 63 yards and two touchdowns giving him 12 for the fall) and junior Terome Mitchell (10 for 38, touchdown).

“I knew we were going to continue to improve,” said Garwo said. “We were really young and just had to get our young guys more confident and limit all our mistakes.”

In defeat, the Crusaders (5-7) displayed its own venomous rushing attack. Sophomore Danny Dutkiewicz gained 134 yards on 18 carries hurdled the 1,000-yard plateau. Senior Matt Casee rushed for 57 yards on 15 carries and scored twice, ending his season at 1,160 yards, 16 touchdowns, and a four-game streak of reaching the end zone twice.

“It feels really good going over that 1,000-yard mark as a tenth grader with Matt Casee,” he said. “I don’t think we could have done it without our linemen.”

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John Knebels can be reached at Jknebels@gmail.com.