Kamal Gray’s touchdown pass to Justin Kormos late in the fourth quarter helped Pope John Paul II edge Neumann-Goretti, 29-28, in the District 1/12 Class 3A championship on Friday. Gray also had two rushing touchdowns, including one that gave the Golden Panthers a 21-14 lead in the second quarter.
After the go-ahead score, Neumann-Goretti got down the field fast. Malik Griffin caught a touchdown pass to make it 29-28. The Saints went for the two-point conversion in an attempt to take the lead, but it failed.
Neumann-Goretti athlete Tysheem Johnson, a four-star recruit according to Rivals and 247Sports.com, with offers from schools like Baylor, Ohio State, Penn State and Florida, among others, was a handful for Pope John Paul II. He scored on a punt return and a 20-yard rushing touchdown. Johnson also tossed a score to Griffin.
Tyriq Lewis recorded four rushing touchdowns as Downingtown West, the No. 1 seed, defeated North Penn, 40-31, in the quarterfinals of the District 1 Class 6A playoffs. Two of Lewis’ four scores went for 40 yards or more. Will Howard connected with Sean Pelkisson for a touchdown pass in the second quarter. Julian Williams returned a kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown.
The Whippets led 20-10 at halftime, but the Knights made it a competitive game in the second half. Khalani Eaton scored one of his two rushing touchdowns midway through the third quarter to put North Penn within three points, 20-17.
Ethan Spann and Evan Spann hauled in receiving scores, the latter made it, 34-31, Downingtown West late in the fourth quarter. But, that’s the closest they got as Lewis punched in final score of the night on the ensuing drive. The Whippets will play the winner of Downingtown East and Haverford High next week in the semifinals.
In other 6A playoff action, Greg Reynolds had five rushing touchdowns to lead Garnet Valley past Plymouth Whitemarsh, 56-21. Ryan Gallagher hooked up with Reece Malek for a touchdown pass, and Jake Morin added one score on the ground. The Jaguars will play Coatesville in the semifinals next week.
Sam Forte had three touchdowns, including the game-winning rushing touchdown in overtime, to help Kennett edge Strath Haven, 20-14, in the quarterfinals of the District 1 Class 5A playoffs. Tommy Patrissi and Kalen Frazier hauled in receiving scores from Forte. The Blue Demons will face Cheltenham in the semifinals next week.
Jamir Barnes had three rushing touchdowns and one receiving score in the Panthers’ 35-21 victory over Unionville to advance in the playoffs. Nate Edwards returned a kick 96 yards for a touchdown.
Elsewhere in the Class 5A bracket, Drew Galen had two scores on the ground as West Chester Rustin beat West Chester East, 14-7. The Golden Knights will take on Academy Park in the quarterfinals next week.
Barry Brown’s touchdown pass led the Knights past Penn Wood, 8-6, to move on in the playoffs. The Patriots’ lone score was courtesy of Elijah Gleplay, who recovered a fumble and returned it for a score.
Bishop Shanahan topped Upper Moreland, 35-0, in the District 1 Class 4A championship thanks to two rushing scores from Jordan Cooper. Hassan Johnson, Jon Loftus and Brandon Choo each had rushing touchdowns.
Natalie Pansini scored in Agnes Irwin’s 1-0 victory over Episcopal Academy. Amelia Leyden notched 12 saves.