Bucks County Herald

Football:

New Hope stuns PJP II with second-half rally

JEFF MOELLER

New Hope-Solebury literally saved its best for last. It also proved how revenge can be sweet.

The Lions scored all of their 42 points in the second half as they came back and stunned Pope John Paul II, 42-34, in the PIAA District One/12 Class 3A semifinal at Garthwaite Field in Conshohocken Nov. 3.

With the win, New Hope-Solebury (9-2) extended its winning streak to eight games and earned a spot to face Conwell-Egan in the championship game Saturday at Harry S. Truman for a berth in the PIAA state playoffs. The Lions lost to Conwell-Egan in the postseason last year.

The Lions also avenged an early 39-27 defeat to the Panthers Aug. 31, a time early in the season when they struggled with a 1-2 record. Since then, the Lions have averaged 37 points per contest.

Tom Raupp ran for a game-high 147 yards on 17 carries and scored on touchdown runs of one, five and 43 yards, and quarterback Philip Weinseimer threw for 135 yards and pair of touchdown passes.

New Hope-Solebury rallied from a 21-0 halftime deficit, an opening half that was dominated by Pope John Paul II.

However, the momentum quickly turned in the second half when the Lions took advantage of four Pope John Paul turnovers, all of them that resulted in scores.

“We preached to the kids all season long about not giving up,” said New Hope-Solebury head coach Jim DiTulio. “Even though we were down at halftime, we made the adjustments we needed and the kids didn’t give up.

“We knew what they could do, and it was a matter of us continuing to come at them.”

The three-peat BAL champions got on the board after they recovered a fumble on the Pope John Paul 16-yard line and scored four plays later on Weinseimer’s nine-yard touchdown pass.

The Lions’ John Mangan ended Pope John’s Paul ensuing drive when his interception ignited a 67-yard drive that produced their second score, Weinseimer’s 23-yard touchdown pass to Patrick Cooney.

Raupp then took over the game, scoring the Lions’ three of their next four scores. New Hope-Solebury recorded two more turnovers, a fumble recovery and an interception by Michael Richards to help them build a 42-27 advantage.

“Our kids never quit,” added DiTulio. “We made the adjustments and then got some turnovers. We got the momentum back and then took over the game. Our kids played a great second half.”




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