NESHAMINY — D'Andre Pollard ran for four touchdowns while racking up 37 carries to the tune of 178 yards as Neshaminy took advantage of six Spring-Ford turnovers en route to a 56-27 victory on Friday night in the second round of the District 1-AAAA football playoffs.
The Rams were plagued by turnovers throughout — with quarterback Matt Daywalt throwing four interceptions (two returned for TDs) — as the Redskins exploded for 48 points in the last 28 minutes of the game to give them the convincing victory.
"Who knows, if we didn't turn the ball over — who knows what could have happened,' Spring-Ford head coach Chad Brubaker said.
The Redskins offensive line, which had been limited in the second quarter after producing a 14-play, 73 yard drive that consumed over five minutes on the team's opening drive, effectively wore down the Rams' defensive unit throughout the contest, allowing Pollard to break away with runs of 31 yards and 10 yards to give the Redskins a commanding 35-14 lead midway through the third quarter.
"They're big up front,' Brubaker said of the No. 4 seeds. "They opened up some big holes for him. They won the battle of the line of scrimmage just by wearing us down. But our kids played hard the whole time. You can never fault our effort.'
The Rams had built a 14-6 advantage courtesy of a Daywalt pass to Gary Hopkins in the first quarter and a 28-yard run by Jarred Jones on their next possession.
However, with three minutes remaining in the half, the lead — and the game — unraveled.
Having just witnessed Pollard and the Redskins storm down the field to tie the game at 14 with three minutes remaining, the Rams received the short end of the straw as a seemingly routine kickoff from Redskins' Dylan McDonald bounced in front of Spring-Ford's Connor Murphy.
Murphy, who is known as a sure-handed return man, played cat-and-mouse with the bouncing ball as he tried not once, but twice to corral the ball before it squirted away from him as he tried to pounce on it at the 15-yard line. The ball then rolled five yards down the field into the oncoming hands of a Neshaminy player who ultimately grabbed the ball at the 20-yard line before a mob of players swarmed on top of him.
"Sometimes you have those types of nights,' Brubaker said, reflecting on a series of unfortunate bounces throughout the game.
The Redskins made Spring-Ford pay on the next possession with a three-play, 20-yard drive capped off by a 9-yard run by Pollard, giving them a 21-14 lead heading into the break.
"The turnovers obviously hurt,' Brubaker said. "The one before the half on the kickoff really, really hurt. We had the momentum.'
The linchpin had been pulled — the Neshaminy explosion ensued.
After Pollard's two touchdown runs and a Daywalt touchdown pass to Tyliek Freeman brought the game to 35-20, the Redskins' defense got in on the scoring action as two straight drives ended in interceptions for the Rams.
With the score now 42-20 after a Blake Sullivan 20-yard touchdown run through the teeth of the Spring-Ford defense, Devon Brown became the first beneficiary of an errant Daywalt pass as he took the interception return 40 yards down the right sideline to give the Redskins a 49-20 edge.
The next possession yielded the same results as Matt Magdelinskas had the ball plop right into his hands after Daywalt's pass on a slant pattern sailed high. Magdelinskas ran 30-yards untouched to finish off the scoring for the home squad.
"The two interceptions for touchdowns we weren't on the same page,' Brubaker added.
Jones sealed off the scoring with a 33-yard touchdown run with four minutes remaining. Jones finished the game with 116 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns.
Spring-Ford returns to action on Thanksgiving Day against Phoenixville.
"We're going to regroup and try and win that game,' Brubaker said. "(We'll) prepare for the offseason and work hard, try and get back here.'
Freeman led all receivers with 60 yards on three receptions. Daywalt finished the game 11-of-25 for 152 yards with two touchdowns. Neshaminy's Denny Lord had the game's opening touchdown with a one-yard sneak. Tyler Wombough finished the game 6-of-8 for 75 yards. Brown, who intercepted Daywalt and returned it for a touchdown also had an interception earlier in the game. Jake Leahy had the lone interception for the Rams.
Spring-Ford 0 14 6 7 — 27
Neshaminy 6 15 14 21 — 56
NH- Lord 1 run (Kick failed)
SF- Hopkins 13 pass from Daywalt (Gulati kick)
SF- Jones 28 run (Gulati kick)
NH- Pollard 9 run (Carrezola 2 pass from Wombough)
NH- Pollard 3 run (McDonald kick)
NH- Pollard 10 run (McDonald kick)
NH- Pollard 31 run (McDonald kick)
SF- Freeman 9 pass from Daywalt (Kick failed)
NH- Sullivan 20 run (McDonald kick)
NH- Brown 40 interception from Daywalt (McDonald kick)
NH- Magdelinskas 30 interception from Daywalt (McDonald kick)
SF- Jones 33 run (Gulati kick)
First Downs 15 23
Rushing yards 135 259
Passing yards 152 75
Total yards 287 334
Passes C-A-I 11-25-4 6-10-75-1
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 2-1
Penalties-Yards 4-30 3-18
Punts-Avg. 2-72 1-30
Spring-Ford: Jones, 16-116 2TDs; Freeman, 1-7; Leahy, 2-6; Davis, 1-5; Daywalt, 2-1.
Neshaminy: Pollard, 37-178 4TDs; Lord, 6-36; Sullivan, 4-24; Dogba, 3-14; Creighton, 1-10; Kitchenman, 1-0; Wombough, 2--3.
Spring-Ford: Daywalt, 11-25-152 2TDs 4INTs.
Neshaminy: Wombough, 6-8-75 INT; Lord, 0-1-0; Pack, 0-1-0.
Spring-Ford: Freeman, 3-60 TD; Hopkins, 3-30; Davis, 3-29; Scarcelle, 1-26; Sink, 1-7.
Neshaminy: Pack, 3-48; Carrezola, 1-15; Creighton, 1-9; Hughes, 1-3.
Interceptions: NH- Brown 2; Magdelinskas; Hughes. SF- Leahy