Bucks County Herald

Big plays thwart Titans in loss


For the Central Bucks South Titans, just finally finding the end zone after more than 10 months of scoreless play was a step in the right direction.

Maybe moral victories don’t count on the field. But the Titans celebrated with a collective relief after Matt Tobey’s one-yard touchdown plunge shrugged off 13 consecutive quarters with zero points dating back to last season.

With two shutout losses to begin this season, fifth-year Titans head coach Tom Hetrick was waiting for something positive his team could rally around.

“To go all those quarters without scoring you start to question what’s happening here,” he said. “We were able to move the ball and score some points so we have to feed off of that.”

Despite other positives, including a fumble recovery to help open a 10-6 lead and pulling to within three points late in the game, the Titans (0-3) remained winless with a 27-17 loss to Council Rock South last Friday at a wet Walt Snyder Stadium in Newtown.

It snapped a four-game winning streak by Central Bucks South between the two schools.

A pair of costly and brutally timed game-breaking plays by the Golden Hawks (2-1) swung the momentum and ultimately the outcome against the visitors from Warrington.

The Titans worked on establishing the ground game in the second half amidst the persistent rain and a stout pass rush led by seniors TJ Pritz and Shemar Mills, creating havoc for junior quarterback Josh Consoletti.

“(CR South) played downhill,” Hetrick said. “They got some good linebackers and their defensive front is good.”

The Golden Hawks kept the Titans off the scoreboard through the third quarter while adding another touchdown on a four-yard run by quarterback Noah Caldani.

Trailing 20-10, Consoletti connected with Connor DiLissio on a nine-yard touchdown pass and the Titans were back in business with 8:46 left in the game.

Chase Patterson ended the comeback hopes, however, when he cut back across the grain on a counter play and raced down the left sideline to the end zone for a 55-yard scoring run.

Though 7:06 still remained, the Titans were left stunned by the blow, and never mustered another challenge.

“You’re hanging in there and playing well, we get within three, and then that 50-yard run,” Hetrick said. “It kills your mojo. Big plays on both sides of the ball hurt us tonight.”

For once, it was nice to see it happen to the other side, said Council Rock South coach Vince Bedesem.

“I’m tired of being on the other end of the big plays,” he said. “Fluke (or not), we’re making plays.”

The other “mojo-killer” came just before halftime.

After Tobey’s touchdown and extra point kick put the Titans on top, 7-6, midway through the second quarter, the happy times continued when the defense forced a fumble at the 42-yard line on the Golden Hawks’ next possession. The Titans eventually drove it to the 8-yard line before Brian Madden extended the lead to 10-6 with a field goal with 2:54 left in the half, and CB South in command for the first time this season.

The Titans kept the momentum flowing by nearly creating another takeaway when Kurt Neil just missed picking off Caldani on the first play after the change of possession. An illegal procedure penalty followed leaving the hosts staring at a second-and-15 at their own 15-yard line with 2:40 to go.

Quickly, however, the tide turned. Just as with the Golden Hawks’ first score. Where Caldani found Dawson Fresses for a 35-yard touchdown pass barely three minutes into the game. This time, it was Hayden Nunner sneaking behind the defense, hauling in a Caldani pass around the Titans’ 40 before turning and scampering the rest of the way for an 85-yard score and 13-10 lead.

The big play erased everything the Titans had used in building their fragile lead.
“Defensively we played well as a whole, but we gave up a couple of big plays,” Hetrick said. “Against teams that are experienced like them, you can’t do that.”

Though saddled with another loss, the Titans made strides to build upon entering conference play tomorrow at Central Bucks West.

“They played hard to the end so I give them credit for that,” Hetrick said. “We still have a long season.”

One that is already tightening into a season of learning.


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