New Hope-Solebury completely controlled Friday night’s 48-6 Bicentennial League tilt with Valley Forge Military Academy.
As soon as both the offense and defense took their mulligan.
The Lion offense started with a three-and-out while the defense allowed a 44-yard Elliott Calloway touchdown run on VFMA’s (1-3, 1-1 BAL) opening drive.
But once Topher Taylor blocked the point after try, it was all NH-S. The Trojans racked up just 82 yards the rest of the game. The Lions (3-2, 2-0 BAL) posted 12 tackles for loss, led by Taylor’s 4.5.
“The line as a whole was really quick off of the ball,” said senior lineman Charles Bray. “I think that opened a lot for us, to get by them, make the tackles and get guys in the backfield.”
“It was a wakeup call,” added linebacker Michael Borys. “We beat them in the past and were expecting another win. We put all of our might into it and stopped them for the rest of the game.”
“We wanted to come out and throw the football. We have a quarterback who can throw and slant, and we have four or five receivers who can catch,” explained Lions coach Jim DiTulio. “On film, they play a 50 front and they have some nice size so we wanted to establish the passing game and soften them up a bit. Something went wrong on that first series, but we made some adjustments and moved forward.”
The Lions offense responded with 48 unanswered points. Borys returned the VFMA kickoff 34 yards; Tim Leonard scored on a five-yard run four plays later.
“It was a short kick. I got to run up on it with full momentum. I cut across the field and there was a lot of green grass and good blocking,” offered Borys, who ran for 105 yards and made seven tackles.
A muffed punt gave the Lions outstanding field position. Quarterback Phil Weinseimer raced 20 yards on a one-play touchdown drive that put NH-S up 13-6 late in the first quarter.
Leonard scored from eight yards out, and Tom Raupp’s one-yard plunge gave the hosts a 27-6 halftime lead. Both drives were helped by nifty Borys runs; Borys needed only five carries to become the first Lion rusher with a 100-yard game in 2018.
A pride of Lions picked up 299 yards on the ground on just 26 carries. “Tom is definitely the power back,” Borys said. “I’m more of an outside runner. Tim is a great player. Same with Joey (Capriotti) and (Joey) Gegeckas. All of those running backs are great players.”
“Raupp is a really hard runner. With our heavy package, he always goes up the middle for good, strong runs,” Leonard offered. “Borys is a bit quicker than me so in the sweeps, he can really get out there. I can get up the middle or do some outside. I really like the system we have. It gives us a nice break on offense since we all start on defense.”
Leonard and Raupp added short touchdown runs in the third period. “All credit to the linemen,” Leonard deflected. “They had some great drives down in the red zone. It was really nice having the guys up front doing the blocking.”
“It was my right guard Zach (Griffiths) and me pulling around the edge with the tackle and guard on the left side locking it down and creating a wide open lane for Tim to run,” Bray added.
Capriotti’s 19-yard scamper closed the scoring.
Delco Christian’s season forfeiture forced the Lions to have an early Senior Night on week five.
In a word, NH-S has dominated the Bicentennial. The Lions have won 14 conference games in a row, with an average victory margin of 31 points.
A balanced offense and strong defense indicate that BAL success can continue in 2018.
The Lions travel to Jenkintown on Friday, followed by that unplanned bye week.
“Every game we come into, we try and set goals,” DiTulio concluded.
“The last two games we turned the ball over twice. Good teams don’t do that. We worked on that because that will kill you, especially as you get towards the end of the season and possibly playoffs. We didn’t turn it over tonight.”