Sometimes football games are decided rather easily, and other times they necessitate blood pressure medication.
Take, for instance, what occurred in a Catholic League AA spanision opener Oct. 2 between Neumann-Goretti and Conwell-Egan.
With the score tied at 20 in the closing seconds of regulation, C-E appeared to snatch a dramatic victory when a tackle in the end zone by defensive end Jack McGurrin could have been determined a safety and thus a win for Conwell-Egan.
But the officials decided that a safety wasn’t warranted, so the contest went into overtime.
After N-G took the lead on a fourth-down touchdown pass from Mark Stinsman to Antoine Powers, C-E countered on Rich Brown’s third touchdown of the game. N-G got the ball back and scored again on a touchdown run by Justin Rey, and the Saints’ defense held on to clinch the 26-20 triumph despite Brown finishing with a career-best 187 yards on 32 carries.
Three other area teams survived nail-biting dimensions to post triumphs while others won rather easily.
Behind quarterback Martin Henry (119 yards rushing and a touchdown on 11 carries; two passing touchdowns) and Gary Postell (93 yards rushing and his 11th touchdown of the season), Bishop McDevitt defeated Lansdale Catholic 24-22 Oct. 2. For the Crusaders, quarterback Andrew Mandato completed nine passes for 124 yards and a touchdown and now has amassed 573 passing yards this season.
In a non-league affair, Archbishop Wood raised its record to 5-0 Oct. 2 by edging Friendship Academy of Washington, D.C., 20-19, as Joey Monaghan completed 13 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown. It marked the second straight one-point Vikings success; the previous week, they had startled St. Joseph’s Prep 21-20.
The Prep dropped its fourth straight Oct. 1 as undefeated Father Judge (5-0) emerged with an impressive 28-21 AAAA spanision win. For the Crusaders, Nick Myers rushed for 107 yards on offense while intercepting his third pass in two weeks on defense. Quarterback Brian Hennessey connected with six different receivers, including a 30-yard touchdown completion to tight end Tom Mucerino. Connor Thompson found the end zone twice for Judge; Mark Casale contributed 137 yards and a touchdown for the Prep.
In another AAAA spanision meeting between La Salle and Roman Catholic Oct. 1, what seemed like a possible tight battle ended up being a lopsided result as the Explorers cruised 43-17 behind Jamal Abdur-Rahman’s 160 yards and four touchdowns on only 10 carries.
A non-spanision game Oct. 2 between AAAA Archbishop Ryan and AA West Catholic proved that enrollment numbers aren’t necessarily an accurate barometer of what to expect. Quarterback Anthony Reid was nearly perfect (9 for 13 for 202 yards and two touchdown passes to Jaelen Strong-Rankin) while running back Joshua Mathis gained 116 yards on 15 carries as West Catholic notched a convincing 40-6 win.
Monsignor Bonner defeated Interboro 28-19 Oct. 2, as Sean Quarterman completed 14 passes for 206 yards and two TDs. Half of the catches were made by junior John McGilligan for 145 yards and a touchdown; junior Ismir Gibson added 85 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
The same day Cardinal O’Hara walloped Chester 35-0 and is now 5-0 with four shutouts. Ryan Laughlin threw for 169 yards and a touchdown while Brendan McLaughlin and Adam Dempsey scored two touchdowns each. Linebacker Drew Formica’s nine tackles paced the defense to yet another whitewashing.

John Knebels can be reached at