Pelham Pythons Football '09

Fri, Oct 16, 2009 07:00 PM @ Pelham
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT Final
St. Thomas Aquinas 14 0 14 0 6 34
Pelham 14 0 14 0 12 40

Goal line stand earns Pythons big victory

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Saturday, October, 17 By Chuck Frye
Staff writer

PELHAM — It was almost poetic justice that the deciding factor of a thrilling overtime game was a positive result from a mistake.

On a roller-coaster Friday evening so full of highs and lows that even Six Flags’ best rides couldn’t match them, Pelham’s defense faced a fourth down-and-goal in a second overtime period. St. Thomas was perched 18 inches from the end zone with its playoff hopes on the line and handed off the ball to senior Zach Duffey up the middle behind a sizeable line.

But defensive back Conor McColgan and safety Joe DeAngelo flew up, shot the gap off right guard, and brought Duffey down inches from the goal line to earn the Pythons a key 40-34 victory before over 300 joyous fans.

Pelham’s playoff hopes improved significantly with the triumph, moving to 4-2 in Division 5 play with Stevens and Epping — a combined 1-10 in the division, remaining on the schedule. The Saints fall to 2-4 in the division and out of the playoff picture.

McColgan’s involvement in the game-winning play wasn’t surprising. After all, he excelled in a huge second-half role change, blocking mobile defensive end John Pearl, who had two sacks, two other quarterback pressures and five tackles prior to the change. The senior locked up Pearl, which allowed DeAngelo to both run (game-high 135 yards, three touchdowns) and pass (18 of 29, 225 yards, two scores) much more effectively.

"We had to make an adjustment because (Pearl) was coming off the edge like crazy,” DeAngelo said. “we did what we had to.”

However, on the deciding defensive stand, McColgan erred.

"Apparently (defensive coach Tim) Powers was telling me I was supposed to be in “1” technique (hitting the offensive guard and reading the play),” McColgan explained. “I didn’t hear him and saw him pointing “1,” and all game that meant I was blitzing “A” gap (between the guard and center). I just blitzed with Joey and we made the stop. It was unbelievable.”

The stand, which ran six plays due to a dubious pass interference which wiped out Pelham’s sixth interception of the night, was a microcosm of the evening.

The Pythons enjoyed the fruits of six turnovers, scoring a pair of touchdowns. But they suffered four giveaways themselves while allowing the Saints to start seven drives in Pelham territory.

Additionally, both teams exploded with TDs on their first two possessions of the game then shut each other out. And when St. Thomas grabbed momentum with a pair of scores to open the second half, Pelham bounced right back on a 25-yard TD grab by Kevin Cheam (96 yards on five catches) and DeAngelo’s first rushing TD.

"We gave them too many opportunities,” said Python head coach Tom Babaian. “We’re having problems with young guys, kids that haven’t played all season but are playing now. They’re playing with a lot of heart and I can’t say enough about these guys. The resolve on this team is great.”

Starting overtime on defense, Pelham yielded a 3-yard TD run to Zach Duffey but stayed in contention when junior Warren Greenhalgh broke through and blocked the point-after kick.

DeAngelo scored his second TD on a 6-yard second-down romp to answer with his conversion pass disrupted by end Adam Day’s pressure.

St. Thomas gave Pelham the ball to kick off OT No. 2 and DeAngelo wasted no time, scoring on the first play from the 10 to set up his and McColgan’s heroics.

"I didn’t expect (St. Thomas) to play as well as they did but they really stepped it up,” McColgan concluded. “I’m glad because it turned out to be a great game and it will be a good boost for our season. This will get us rolling.”

Game Statistics:

First Quarter

P — Mike Lombard 3 pass from Joe DeAngelo (Kevin Cheam run), 7:31

ST — David Tovey 17 run (Carl Bolster kick), 5:06

P — Cam Robidoux 91 kickoff return (run failed), 4:53

ST — Josh Foster 52 pass from Jack MacNevin (Bolster kick), 4:03

Third Quarter

ST — Ian Rodden 55 pass from MacNevin (Bolster kick), 11:42

ST — MacNevin 20 run (Bolster kick), 7:40

P — Cheam 25 pass from DeAngelo (DeAngelo run), 3:40

P — DeAngelo 1 run (pass failed), 2:08

First Overtime

ST — Zach Duffey 3 run (kick blocked)

P — DeAngelo 6 run (pass failed)

Second Overtime

P — DeAngelo 10 run (run failed)



RUSHING: St. Thomas (37-144) — David Tovey 21-120, Zach Duffey 8-16; Pelham (45-197) — Joe DeAngelo 25-135, Conor McColgan 11-41, Cam Robidoux 6-15, Kevin Cheam 2-4, Tim Schaffer 1-2

PASSING: ST — Jack MacNevin 8-29-5, 195; P — DeAngelo 18-29-1, 225

RECEIVING: ST — Josh Foster 4-110, Ian Rodden 2-64, Dan Watson 1-20, Tovey 1-1; P — Cheam 5-96, Robidoux 5-25, Sean Sweeney 3-17, Schaffer 2-44, Mike Lombard 2-28, Josh Luciano 1-15

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