43-game winning streak broken, but Bok isn't complaining

Posted: September 20, 2010

Streak? What streak?

That was the mind-set maintained by coach Tom DeFelice through 9 years as Edward Bok Tech's football team kept plowing through Public League regular-season games that were played in various divisions through assorted alignments.

"I never talked to the players about it. Never," he said. "I never wanted to put pressure on them."

Forty-three up, in glorious fashion . . . One down, rather convincingly.

Bok and its streak - the best in Pub history - parted company Saturday morning in a AA Division game at the South Philly Super Site. Imhotep Charter did the deed, 28-6, as Maurice Palmer turned 27 carries into 131 yards and four touchdowns.

With only three starters on each side of the ball, and with his prominent 2-year starting quarterback Andre Frazier unavailable all season (not to mention the original backup, as well) due to injury, DeFelice knew the streak would be tough to sustain.

"In a scrimmage," he said, "Gratz did a pretty good number on us. We're a learning team."

As a former star quarterback at West Catholic and Temple, DeFelice knows the impact a polished passer can have on a game. He knew Imhotep's Christopher Lewis could be dangerous. He could only hope that the Panthers' rushing game would be average, at best.

Didn't work out that way. Palmer was terrific.

"They had that great combination going for them," DeFelice said. "The threat of the excellent passer and the rusher who . . . man, that kid had some great runs.

"Like Charlie Guida [deceased former Bok coach] liked to say, 'We had our turn in the barrel.' That's how it goes. At some point your turn's over."

Bok's touchdown came on Khalil Neal's 45-yard, third-quarter run; Imhotep already owned a 22-0 lead. Nine of Bok's 31 plays went for losses and the yardage total was an uncommonly low 132.

In a deserted part of Bok's locker room, sitting on a bench with one leg propped up, DeFelice in time acknowledged feeling special about the lengthy run.

"I'm proud of what Bok has accomplished," he said. "I have a great staff and those guys deserve the credit. Also, I have tremendous kids who want to work hard, and who know the value of self-discipline."

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