When Edward Saydee transferred from Prep Charter to Penn Charter before last school year, he found himself in an another world.
“It’s a lot different, especially when it comes to the academic structure,” the junior two-way back said. “The demands are higher. But I adjusted to it pretty quickly with the help of my teachers, classmates, coaches, and teammates.”
Saydee displayed an impressive mix of speed and power while sparking the host Quakers to a 45-8 nonleague romp over Interboro on Saturday at sun-soaked Maguire Field. The 6-foot, 180-pounder carried 20 times for 170 yards and a pair of first-quarter touchdowns.
On his first score, a 5-yarder, he carried several defenders into the end zone. On Penn Charter’s next possession, he zipped to the left sideline, raced about 30 yards, and then cut back to the middle en route to a 72-yard touchdown jaunt.
“I knew, coming into this season, that I had to get stronger for my team,” Saydee said. “I spent a lot of time in the weight room. I did agility training, including cone drills, as well.”
The Quakers, who netted 277 rushing yards on 38 attempts, improved to 3-0. They opened with victories over Catholic League Blue Division members Lansdale Catholic (20-6) and Bonner-Prendergast (42-6).
Saydee did most of his damage in the first half, carrying 13 times for 115 yards. John Washington’s 53-yard punt return just before the break upped the advantage to 21-0.
“He’s just an outstanding kid,” Penn Charter coach Tommy Coyle said of Saydee, a 17-year-old from Southwest Philly. “We’re blessed to have him at this school. It’s a better place because he’s here.”
Clearing space for Saydee were center Casey Nicastro (6-0, 210), guards Dean Crocetto (6-1, 225), Owen Peters (6-1, 200) and Eljah Statham (6-1, 245), tackles Ryan Wreath (6-2, 245) and Luke Mattice (6-2, 230), and tight end Gavin Zavorski (6-0, 190). Nicastro is the lone returning starter.
The Quakers’ Will Samuel, who replaced four-year starter Mike “Neeko” Hnatkowsky at quarterback, connected on 9 of 15 passes for 127 yards.
Early in the fourth quarter, Samuel hooked up with a diving Washington on a right-corner fade for a 26-yard TD that made it 31-0.
Penn Charter’s defense, which limited the Bucs (2-3) to 77 yards rushing and 15 passing through three quarters, was led up front by tackles Statham and Wayne Derkotch and ends Ryan Maloney (third-quarter fumble recovery) and Gavin Tygh.
Interboro’s Kalie Kuyateh, the squad’s leading rusher, and offensive lineman Noah Nicholl (6-6, 335) sat out with injuries.
“We’re a little banged up, but I expect the other kids to pick up the slack,” longtime Bucs coach Steve Lennox said.
Interboro 0 0 0 8 – 8
Penn Charter 14 7 3 21 – 45
PC: Edward Saydee 5 run (Ryan Bradby kick)
PC: Saydee 72 run (Bradby kick)
PC: John Washington 53 punt return (Bradby kick)
PC: FG Bradby 21
PC: Washington 26 pass from Will Samuel (Bradby kick)
I: Andrew Grieb 34 run (Brett McGlaughlin pass from J.D. Dellipriscoli)
PC: Jalon Jones 38 run (Bradby kick)
PC: Matthew Marshall 17 run (Bradby kick)