O'Neill scores five TDs in Washington Twp. victory

Andrew O'Neill doesn't have one position for Washington Township, but he seems to own them all.

During Friday's 41-35 victory over Lenape in a wildly entertaining West Jersey Football League American Division game, O'Neill lined up as a receiver, a Wildcat quarterback, and a running back.

He took direct snaps, handoffs and he found plenty of time to catch passes.

On defense there were times he was lined up at linebacker, others at cornerback.

Did we mention he managed to score five touchdowns?

All this from a senior who is 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds. O'Neill's performance improved Washington Township's record to 2-1 in the South Jersey's black-and-blue division.

"There is something special about this group," O'Neill said. "We have five or six guys on crutches and we keep fighting."

And the guy leading with the jabs was O'Neill.

He rushed for 67 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries and caught another six passes for 152 yards and two more scores.

O'Neill also completed one pass, made a touchdown-saving tackle on defense and willed this young team to victory, improving their record to 2-1.

"He's unbelievable and he is a great high school player," Lenape coach Tim McAneney said. "What does he weigh - 165 pounds? - and he's just great."

McAneney has seen enough of O'Neill the last few years.

"I loved him as a sophomore, loved him as a junior," said McAneney, whose team fell to 1-2.

And he'll love not seeing him anymore, unless the teams hook up in the postseason.

The game wasn't even three minutes old and Township trailed, 14-0, on a 91-yard kick return by Joel Bartow and Ben Hunt's 2-yard run.

Even when O'Neill scored on a 7-yard pass from Christian Maiden, the Minutemen still trailed by 35-33 with 8 minutes, 41 seconds left.

On the next series Township's Frank Kahana recovered a Lenape fumble and two plays later O'Neill scored on a 2-yard run with 6:55 left to give the Minutemen the lead for good.

Township's Mark Wechter has been coaching 22 years and says he has never seen a better individual performance.

"He is one of the top players in South Jersey, just with all he can do," Wechter said.

O'Neill says he never scored five touchdowns in a high school game.

"In midgets I did," he said smiling.

Yet this wasn't midgets, it was a talented Lenape team that just simply couldn't stop him.

His most electrifying play came on a 75-yard touchdown reception from Maiden on a screen pass.

"I told the line just give me a hat on a hat and I guarantee I could make something happen for you guys," O'Neill said.

He lived up to that guarantee and several others.

"It was so exciting when you make a big play and the crowd gets excited," O'Neill said.

O'Neill gave the crowd plenty to get excited about regardless where he lined up on either side of the ball.

Lenape 14 7 7 7 - 35

Washington Twp. 6 6 14 15 - 41

L: Joel Bartow 91 kick return (Jarry Jones kick)

L: Ben Hunt 2 run (Jones kick)

W: Christian Maiden 5 run (kick failed)

L: Bartow 54 run (Jones kick)

W: Andrew O'Neill 1 run (pass failed)

W: O'Neill 75 pass from Christian Maiden (Joe Eckert kick)

L: Jim Kennedy 11 run (Jones kick)

W: O'Neill 17 run (Eckert kick)

L: Hunt 3 run (Jones kick)

W: O'Neill 7 pass from Maiden (Eckert kick)

W: O'Neill 2 run (Richie Stanzione pass from Maiden)