Dons Acalanes Frosh Sprint to First Win versus Archbishop Riordan 32-22
After sitting out much of the Summer and Fall due to a shoulder injury, the first time Tobias Schwing touched the ball was electric. Picking up a hard-bouncing kick at the 20, Schwing took a couple of moments to secure the ball before veering to the left sideline behind a blue wall of Dons and sprinting 80 yards untouched for an Acalanes TD! The two-point conversion was unsuccessful, making the score Dons 6, Crusaders 0.
The difference in this game, the Don Freshman’s first win, was the overall solid defensive play that the team had been working on all week. On Riordan’s first possession following the Schwing return, the Don’s D held the Crusaders to one first down, and then gave the ball back to the offense when Tyler Murphy sacked the Riordan QB on 4th down.
After reaching deep into Riordan territory, featuring a 9 yard end around by Theo Stoll and a 20 yard bootleg by QB Kyle Bielawski, the drive stalled and the Crusaders took over. Once again, the Don’s D proved staunch with key tackles by Miller Smith, Tyler Murphy and a big stick on a QB scramble by safety Coco Gannon on 4th down. The result gave the Acalanes offense a short field to work with, which was easy pickings for Bielawski, who found Stoll running a short out to the left cone for a 5 yard TD. The two-point conversion again was unsuccessful, making it Dons 12, Crusaders 0.
After the initial Don’s domination, a long kick-off return to the Acalanes 30 yard line gave Riordan back some momentum. Utilizing their bigger running backs, the Crusader’s turned to the power run game and were able to get on the board with a TD and 2-point conversion, making the score Dons 12, Crusaders 8.
The dynamic Don’s offense was not going to let Riordan back in the game that easily, however. On the ensuing possession, Kyle hit wide out Jake Takeuchi down the middle for a 20-yard gain to the Riordan 43-yard line. On the very next play, Bielawski lofted a perfect arching throw hitting Stoll in stride down the left sideline for a 43-yard TD! A quick two-point conversion pass to Takeuchi landed short of the goal line to make it Dons 18, Crusaders 8.
The ensuing kick-off featured much improved coverage and the Crusaders took over at their own 35 yd line. Two consecutive sacks by OLB Miller Smith drove Riordan back to their own 20 and forced a punt deep in their own territory. On the attempted punt, DT Tyler Murphy stormed through the middle and smothered the kick, giving the Don’s a short field once again. The short field was not a challenge for the powerful Don’s offense as Bielawski found WR Andrew Habas on a quick slant for an easy 8-yard Acalanes touchdown! Once again, the two-point conversion fell short, which made the score 24 – 8 Dons, at halftime.
The start of the second half featured more stout defense as Tyler Murphy stripped the Riordan ball carrier and recovered the fumble to give the ball back to the Don’s offense. After a holding penalty moved the Don’s back to the Riordan 45, Bielawski hit Habas on a short curl, that he turned into a ankle breaking, spinning, weaving 55-yard TD, aided by a big downfield block by Theo Stoll. After struggling with two-point conversions earlier on, the Dons turned to the power run game. RT Marcus Julian and RG Nathan Kim, cleared out the right side, and LG Miller Smith pulled and kicked out the OLB, enabling RB Ben Foox to power into the end zone for the successful two point conversion. That was the final score of the third quarter with the Don’s leading 32-8.
The start of the 4th quarter necessitated a QB change b/c of a left shoulder issue with Bielawski. Luckily, WR Andrew Habas was able to step in as an emergency replacement. After a couple of strong runs, a fumble gave the ball back to the Crusaders on the 22-yard line. One play later, Riordan again used their power run game to score and complete the two-point conversion. Don’s 32, Crusaders 16. On the Don’s next possession, they continued their strong running game to drive the ball into Crusader territory. Unfortunately, another fumble gave the ball back to Riordan again at their own 40. Once again Riordan’s power running game resulted in a couple big runs and a long 48-yard TD run. This time though, the defense buckled down and held on the two-point conversion, keeping the Riordan deficit to two scores, Don’s 32, Crusaders 22.With less than two minutes on the clock, the Dons went to the victory formation and ran out the clock, securing their first win of the season! Final score, Dons 32, Crusaders 22.