John Knebels

Way back on Sept. 29, Lansdale Catholic and Conwell-Egan faced each other in a key Catholic League Blue Division football contest.

After visiting Lansdale Catholic emerged victorious, 31-21, it appeared that they would not face each other until next fall.

Not quite.

In this weekend’s District 1/12 Class 3A sub-regional semifinals, the Crusaders and Eagles both garnered victories. Conwell-Egan pasted New Hope-Solebury, 42-14, while Lansdale Catholic outscored the School of the Future, 42-30.

Therefore, the two squads that now share the same 5-6 overall record will meet Friday night, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. at Levittown’s Harry S Truman High School to decide who moves onto the PIAA state tournament.

The running game proved to be most responsible for the victories. Conwell-Egan junior Patrick Garwo gained 97 yards and scored his 21st touchdown of the season and junior Terome Mitchell added two scores.

For Lansdale Catholic, senior Matt Casee scored twice and rushed for 140 yards – putting him over the 1,000-yard plateau for the season – and sophomore Danny Dutkiewicz contributed three touchdowns and 116 yards and only needs 26 more to reach quadruple digits.

“It does help that we already played them so we know what kind of team they are,” said Casee. “But we can’t go in expecting they’re going to the same team as last time. Teams get better and put new things in as the season goes on.”

During the regular season, Lansdale Catholic upended Conwell-Egan, 31-21. Casee and Dutkiewicz combined for a lethal 242 yards and four touchdowns. That, however, is in the distant past.

“We’re just going to go out and know that we have to play the best we can,” said Casee. “It’s kinda cool playing a team from our league this far into the playoffs because it shows just how good our league really is. The Catholic League is a difficult league to be in. Now both teams are out trying to represent the league in the state tournament.”

Garwo, the Blue Division’s Most Valuable Player, appreciates his team’s rare opportunity.

“It helps a little knowing they beat us in a game we should’ve won,” said Garwo. “Now we have a chance for revenge, and we are a way better team than we were when we played them, so we just have to keep improving and limit mistakes.”

***

In other games involving the Catholic League:

Senior Nasir Peoples surpassed the 1,000-yard plateau in Archbishop Wood’s 48-0 triumph over Archbishop Ryan, giving the Vikings (8-2) the Class 5A Catholic League title and a 1 p.m. meeting Saturday, Nov. 18 at Northeast High School versus Simon Gratz in the Class 5A District 12 championship.

While Wood’s defense held Archbishop Ryan (5-7) to only 86 yards of total offense, Peoples rushed for 122 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries, swelling his numbers to 1,078 yards and 17 touchdowns for the season.

Neumann-Goretti raised its record to 10-0 by stopping Blue Division adversary West Catholic, 18-0, in the District 1/12 Class 2A sub-regional final. The Saints will take on Schuylkill Haven 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18 at the South Philadelphia Supersite in the first round of the PIAA Class 2A tournament.

Seniors Chris Wells (13 carries for 71 yards) and Leddie Brown (16 for 62) buoyed the running game. Junior Charles Britt threw a pair of touchdown passes, a three-yarder to senior tight end Jayvonne Campfield and an 87-yard catch and run to senior Dymir Cave, which was, amazingly, his first catch ever.

In last week’s lopsided win over Strawberry Mansion, Cave turned his first-ever carry into a 63-yard touchdown jaunt.

***

John Knebels can be reached at Jknebels@gmail.com or on Twitter @johnknebels.