A long kickoff return and a methodical drive that was capped by a successful trick play lifted Neshaminy to its second straight Suburban One League National Conference football championship.
Wideout Cory Joyce’s short toss to quarterback Brody McAndrew and Matt Leonhauser’s extra-point boot with 36 seconds remaining gave the visiting Redskins a dramatic 21-20 victory over Pennsbury Friday night in Fairless Hills.
On fourth-and-goal from the 2, tight end Oleh Manzyk took a direct snap from center, flipped the ball to Joyce on an end-around, and Joyce, running right and with a defenders closing in him, delivered a strike to McAndrew just inside the goal line.
Neshaminy’s come-from-behind victory produced the program’s eighth league championship (two shared) in the last 17 seasons.
With 9 1/2 minutes to play, the Falcons went in front, 20-7, on Zach DeMarchis’ 9-yard pass to wideout David Burke.
The Redskins (9-1 overall, 6-0 conference) immediately responded when Joel Stills took the ensuing kickoff 91 yards down the right sideline.
After Neshaminy’s defense forced a three-and-out, McAndrew directed a 15-play, 60-yard series. On third-and-goal from the 17, the poised sophomore rolled left and connected with Manzyk for a 15-yard gain.
With 30 seconds to go, Joyce’s interception at the Pennsbury 25 clinched the hard-earned victory.
The Redskins will likely earn the No. 1 seed when the 16-team PIAA District 1 Class 6A playoff field is announced Sunday. Pennsbury (8-2, 5-1) is expected to gain one of the top eight seeds and, with it, a first-round home game.
Nasan Robbins’ second score of the night, an 8-yard run early in the second quarter, gave the Falcons a 13-7 advantage. DeMarchis and Robbins set up the tally with bursts of 13 and 21 yards, respectively.
Neshaminy opened the contest with an 11-play, 71-yard drive that ended with Brady McAndrew’s 4-yard scoring toss to wideout Zack Canimore. The visitors were aided two plays earlier by a facemask penalty that moved the ball to the 11.
Pennsbury answered with a 10-play, 79-yard series. Robbins scored from the 4, but the extra-point kick bounced off the left crossbar to leave the Redskins with a 7-6 lead. It turned out to be the difference in a taut contest.
The Falcons, who turned the ball over three times in the second half, fell short of their first league crown since 2013 and fifth in the last nine seasons.
McAndrew, who was sacked eight times for a total loss of 57 yards, completed 12 of 18 passes for 153 yards.
Neshaminy 7 0 0 14-21
Pennsbury 6 7 0 7-20
N: Zack Canimore 4 pass from Brody McAndrew (Matt Leonhauser kick)
P: Nasan Robbins 4 run (kick failed)
P: Robbins 8 run (Knop kick)
P: David Burke 14 pass from Zach DeMarchis (Knop kick)
N: Joel Stills 91 kickoff return (Leonhauser kick)
N: McAndrew 2 pass from Cory Joyce (Leonhauser kick)