Sometimes football is complicated, and sometimes it isn't.
For Conwell-Egan on Saturday afternoon, the name of the game was give the ball to Patrick Garwo.
In a physical game fraught with flags, the 5-foot-10, 200-pound senior finished with 280 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries in the Eagles' 34-17 PIAA Class 3A quarterfinal victory against District 11 Palisades at Northeast.
"That man is a monster," said junior fullback Dwayne Majors, who recovered a fumble. "That man is an absolute beast. He's going to go far."
"He's just special," said Conwell-Egan coach Jack Techtman. "You don't get to coach many like him. You just have to relish the privilege of coaching a kid like that, and all these guys."
Garwo's touchdowns came from 74, 1, and 35 yards out. He also added a later interception.
He went over, around, and through defenders throughout the game.
"I know I like taking people's energy," he said. "I like seeing that I'm overpowering them and that gives me more life."
By intermission — with the Eagles leading, 21-3 — Garwo had amassed 116 yards and two scores on 13 carries and had touchdown runs of 56 and 27 yards negated by flags.
In fact, the Eagles were ticketed 20 times for 217 yards, which drew the ire of their faithful flock. Meanwhile, Palisades, from Kintnersville, was penalized 5 times for 45 yards.
The most costly of the Conwell-Egan penalties may have been on freshman Andrew Garwo, Patrick's brother, who was ejected from the game late in the fourth quarter.
The younger Garwo had just carried the ball, and a flag was thrown as he arose from the pile.
An official behind the play deemed that he threw a punch, which disqualified the 5-10, 160-pounder.
By rule, Andrew Garwo would also be disqualified for next week's game.
Techtman said a videographer on the sideline showed him proof after the game that there was no punch thrown, but he wasn't immediately sure what recourse the team would have to appeal.
In next week's semifinals, the Eagles (7-6) face District 3's Middletown, which dispatched Scranton Prep, 35-0.
Dajuan Harris (101 yards, 2 scores on 11 carries) and the Eagles' defense also played major roles in the victory.
Ethan Brader led the Pirates (13-1) with 136 passing yards and two touchdowns.
"This was a huge win," Patrick Garwo said. "It's a huge win for our program and for our kids because Conwell-Egan doesn't experience this. We're setting a new standard."
Conwell-Egan 6 15 6 7 — 34
Palisades 3 0 7 7 — 17
CE: Dajuan Harris 57 run. (Kick failed)
P: Jared Colletti 25 FG
CE: Patrick Garwo 74 run. (Garwo pass from Alex Goldsby)
CE: Garwo 1 run. (Jack Barreras kick)
P: Matt McGrath 7 pass from Ethan Brader. (Colletti kick)
CE: Harris 11 run. (Kick blocked)
P: Andrew Nickles 47 pass from Brader. (Colletti kick)
CE: Garwo 35 run. (Barreras kick)