CLARKS SUMMIT — Abington Heights took advantage of four Crestwood turnovers and prevailed, 31-13, in a non-league football game on Saturday afternoon at Comets Stadium.
After both teams combined for just 18 yards of offense on the first 17 plays of the game, Abington Heights defensive back Colin McCreary intercepted a Seamus Rother pass and returned the ball 73 yards for a touchdown with 4:28 left in the first quarter.
“It was a great momentum swing for our team,” McCreary said. “It got us rolling offensively and defensively, and gave us a lot of confidence early in the game.”
Abington Heights’ defensive back Brad Bauman recovered a fumble on the third play of Crestwood’s next possession. Quarterback Jordan Hollander cashed in on the takeaway, eight plays later, when he scored on a 1-yard run.
“Our ability to create turnovers and put points on the board early was definitely something that had a huge impact in today’s game,” Abington Heights head coach Joe Repshis said.
Crestwood turned the ball over on a third consecutive possession when Nick Kerekes recovered a fumble by Lance Blass.
McCreary converted a 32-yard field goal, four plays later, to give Abington Heights a 17-0 lead with 8:32 remaining in the first half.
Abington Heights’ defensive back Tom Rothenberger intercepted a Rother pass with 47.8 seconds left in the half, but McCreary’s 47-yard field goal attempt in the final second of the second quarter fell well short.
Crestwood scored two touchdowns in the first seven minutes of the second half, on a 7-yard pass from Rother to Connor Sheloski and a 65-yard run on a fumble recovery by Sheloski, to pull within four points of the lead.
“We made some adjustments with some personnel and some of our schemes up front, and it worked, but we just couldn’t get a stop (defensively),” Crestwood head coach Greg Myers said.
Abington Heights’ running back Rheyse Green, who gained 137 yards on 25 carries, scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
“(Abington Heights) controlled the line of scrimmage and that’s the story of the night on both sides of the football,” Myers said. “Their fullback (Brian Ostrowski) and tailback (Green) did a great job along with their offensive line, especially in the second half.”
Abington Heights 31, Crestwood 13
AH — Colin McCreary 73 interception return (McCreary kick), 4:28
AH — Jordan Hollander 1 run (McCreary kick), 11:37
AH — McCreary 32 field goal, 8:32
CRE — Connor Sheloski 7 pass from Seamus Rother (Alex DeSpirito kick), 10:03
CRE — Sheloski 65 fumble return (Rother pass incomplete), 5:24
AH — Rheyse Green 8 run (McCreary kick), 11:38
AH — Green 27 run (McCreary kick), 1:37
RUSHING — CRE, Tanner Kahlau 14-78, Connor Sheloski 1-65, Josh Malkemes 1-8, Lance Blass 6-6, Mark Dixon 2-1, Connor Keenan 1-0, Seamus Rother 8-(-6). AH, Rheyse Green 25-137, Brian Ostrowski 6-37, Jordan Hollander 12-(-7).
PASSING — CRE, Rother 8-16-2-138. AH, Hollander 5-11-0-66.
RECEIVING — CRE, Sheloski 5-109, Blass 2-24, Kyle Richards 1-5. AH, McCreary 4-66.
INTERCEPTIONS — CRE, None. AH, McCreary 1-73, Tom Rothenberger 1-0.
MISSED FGs — CRE, None. AH, McCreary 1-47.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.