Central Bucks South gave up two first-half scores on trick plays, was burned by an 83-yard kickoff return in the third quarter, and played without starting quarterback Jack Johns down the stretch against Central Bucks East. And won anyway.
“We scored two quick touchdowns to take control early on,” C.B. South defensive tackle Noah Collachi said. “But East fought back, twice took the lead, and we had to pull it out at the end.”
With Collachi helping keep the pesky Patriots scoreless over the last 17 1/2 minutes, the visiting Titans prevailed, 37-28, Saturday in the Suburban One League Continental Conference opener for both teams at 1st Lt. Colby Umbrell Field.
Since suffering a torn thumb ligament in Week 2, the 6-foot-1, 260-pound Collachi, who registered a 7-yard sack in the late going, has played with a heavily taped right hand.
“I just have to get in a left-handed stance,” said Collachi, who has drawn recruiting interest from Kutztown and West Chester. “I don’t think it really affects my play.”
Collachi, of Warrington, earned first-team all-Suburban One League Continental Conference honors last season.
“He’s unbelievably athletic, has a great first step, and he’s got fast hands,” coach Tom Hetrick said. “It’s unique to find a high school football player who uses his hands so well.”
Collachi’s father, Adam, is in his second year as an assistant coach for the Titans after six years as Council Rock North’s head coach. His other son, Aaron, is a 6-1, 265-pound lineman for C.B. South’s freshman squad.
“It’s great to get advice and tips from my dad,” Noah Collachi said. “He’s been coaching for a long time. He knows the ins and outs of the game.”
C.B South, ranked No. 10 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by the Inquirer, improved to 4-0 overall. A win next Saturday against Souderton would equal last year’s 5-0 start.
Johns, a 6-foot-7 senior, completed 16 of 23 passes for 322 yards and two scores against the Patriots (1-3) before leaving late in the third quarter with a nagging shoulder injury.
His 65-yard toss across the middle to Collin Dompert put the Titans ahead, 24-21. Midway through the first quarter, he had connected with Brady Prezelski for a 36-yard TD to produce a 14-0 advantage.
“I give him credit for gritting his teeth and staying in there for as long as he did,” Hetrick said of Johns.
Down by 28-24, C.B. South managed two fourth-quarter scores — Connor DiLissio’s 1-yard run and sophomore backup Josh Consoletti’s 49-yard toss to Prezelski — to stay unbeaten.
Central Bucks South 14 3 7 13-37
Central Bucks East 7 14 7 0-28
CBS: Ryan Watson 3 run (Brian Madden kick)
CBS: Brady Prezelski 36 pass from Jack Johns (Madden kick)
CBE: Evan O’Donnell 2 run (Michael Smigley kick)
CBE: Chris Lochetta 16 pass from O’Donnell (Smigley kick)
CBS: FG Madden 29
CBE: Logan Pettigrew 11 pass from Lochetta (Smigley kick)
CBS: Collin Dompert 65 pass from Johns (Madden kick)
CBE: Jake Ventresca 83 kickoff return (Smigley kick)
CBS: Connor DiLissio 1 run (kick blocked)
CBS: Prezelski 49 pass from Josh Consoletti (Madden kick)