LEVITTOWN — One of two things usually happens when a high school football team loses a standout player, especially at a skill position.
The first is the team goes into a shell and a loss follows.
Or, someone steps up to fill the void.
It was a case of the latter Friday night when Conwell-Egan took on Archbishop Ryan in a Philadelphia Catholic League Blue Division game at Harry S. Truman.
"Sam (Cooper) tweaks his hamstring really early in the game and we had to turn to Monty," C-E head coach Jack Techtmann said. "Replacing Sam isn't easy, but Monty played for us last year as a sophomore and we know what he can do. He's an excellent player and is only a junior."
Monty is Monty Zoryea who, at least before things turned Friday, was better known as a cornerback for the Eagles, not a running back.
"We just look at it like it has to be the next-man up," Zoryea said. "We were really banged up and, since we played Sunday (a win on the road over Moore Catholic of Staten Island), we didn't have a lot of time to heal up and have everybody ready for this game.
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"We're a pretty small school, and we don't have that many players, but everybody did their job and we were able to get the win."
The Eagles got the 7-6 victory thanks to a long touchdown run by Zoryea and a crucial tackle on a 2-point try in the closing seconds by standout linebacker Gavin Pond. The win moved C-E to 3-1 overall, while the Raiders dipped to 0-4.
"I'm glad I was able to score the touchdown," Zoryea said. "I had one last week, but it got called back by a penalty.
"I only had one touchdown last year, and this one (against Ryan) was my first of the season. This one felt better because it really helped the team and we were playing at home."
His score, which came midway through the first quarter, was a nifty one as he was able to turn the corner and outrace the entire Ryan secondary for a 51-yard touchdown.
In a bit of irony, Zoryea scored the touchdown on the same field he would be playing on if he went to public school.
"I would be going to Truman, but I really like it (at Conwell-Egan)," Zoryea said. "I went to school at Saint Mike's (St. Michael the Archangel) and live in Levittown and wanted to go to high school at Conwell-Egan."
Zoryea, who battled cramps and had to leave the game twice, finished with a game-high 88 rushing yards on 11 carries.
"Everyone does whatever's needed to help the team win," Zoryea said. "We want to get to the playoffs and win a state chip (title) and everybody has to keep doing what they're doing."
Sincere Fairey, Conwell-Egan. The junior defensive end continually applied pressure and spent most of the game in the Ryan backfield disrupting things.
Gavin Pond, Conwell-Egan. The standout linebacker made the game's biggest play by stopping Ryan running back Damien Morgan a yard short on a 2-point try with 10 seconds left in regulation that would have given the Raiders an 8-7 lead.
Bryce Werner, Archbishop Ryan. The junior wide receiver caught a game-high nine passes for a game-high 85 yards.
Drew Markol: firstname.lastname@example.org; @dmarkol
This article originally appeared on Bucks County Courier Times: Conwell-Egan needed a boost and Zoryea delivered in a big way