2011 Football Fever (Week 14)

Scott Huff recaps all of last weekend’s SOL action.

By Scott Huff

The highly anticipated PIAA Quad-A District One Final is set as Suburban One National Conference co-champion Council Rock South clashes with Suburban One Continental Conference champion North Penn.  Both the Golden Hawks and the Knights have made the treacherous journey through three exceptional district opponents in order to compete for the title.

Council Rock South (12-1) opened the playoffs with a 34-7 victory over Upper Dublin (SOL American) and followed with a 31-19 win over Downingtown East (Ches-Mont).  In the district semifinal contest, Rock South emerged with a 38-24 win over Central League champion Garnet Valley.

North Penn (11-2) opened its playoff run with a 48-21 victory over West Chester Rustin (Ches-Mont) and followed with a 21-7 win over Neshaminy (SOL National).  In the district semifinal contest, the Knights emerged with a 27-3 victory over SOL National Conference foe Pennsbury.

There have been three schools that have had the ‘honor’ to play both prominent programs over the course of this 2011 football season.  Neshaminy (8-4), Central Bucks South (8-4), and Pennridge (7-5) all had winning seasons and all had both Rock South and North Penn as a pair of losses on their respective schedules this season.

Neshaminy lost to Council Rock South 41-17 on October 14th in a SOL National game, and the Skins lost to North Penn 21-7 in a second round PIAA District One Quad-A playoff game on November 18th.

 “Council Rock South has the ability to hurt us you with the perimeter running game, the counter running game, and inside the tackles,” said Neshaminy head coach Mark Schmidt.  “The one big question they had coming into the season was the quarterback, and (Brian Donnelly) has answered that question.  He is very, very good.

 “They have very experienced linemen that are physical and can control both lines of scrimmage,” added Schmidt.  “(Andrew) Cohen is an excellent lineman, and the ability to control the football will help keep North Penn’s offense off the field.  The winner of this game is going to have to score points.

 “Corey Ernst does a great job for North Penn at quarterback,” continued Schmidt.  “He understands the offense, and he makes great decisions.  (Dan) Gevirtz is a terrific player that can make plays all over the field, and they have other weapons in (Kyle) Mayfield and (James) Fielder.  North Penn can be very creative on offense.

 “North Penn can give you a very hard time if you are one dimensional,” said Schmidt.  “Their defense can be physical and can crank it up on you.  It is going to be a very intense game, and it should be close and could go either way.”

Central Bucks South lost to Council Rock South 42-20 on September 2nd in a non-conference opener, and the Titans lost to North Penn 28-14 in a SOL Continental game played on September 23rd.

 “Both Council Rock South and North Penn played excellent defense this year,” said Central Bucks South head coach Dave Rackovan.  “Both of them can stop the run, and I think you need some balance in your offense to beat them.

 “Both of them play very different styles on offense, and each of those styles cause a lot of problems,” added Rackovan.  “Both teams have talented skill players, but both teams are also very physical along the line of scrimmage. It should be a great matchup for a district final.”

Pennridge lost to Council Rock South 2-0 (yes, that 2-0 score is correct) on September 16 in a non-conference game, and the Rams lost to North Penn 27-0 in a SOL Continental game played on November 18.

 “(Defensive co-coordinator) Bob Rosenberger came up with a great game plan against South,” said Pennridge head coach Randy Cuthbert.  “The biggest problem with playing a team like that is they can control the ball for long periods of time.  Their quarterback (Donnelly) is very athletic and appears to have improved each week.  Those kids have been deep in the playoffs before, and they know what it takes to be successful.

“North Penn has an offensive line that can dominate a game, and they also have so many weapons on offense with Ernst, Gevirtz, and Mayfield,” added Cuthbert.  “I think that North Penn has a real advantage there, and I would be surprised if Council Rock South would win this game.”

PIAA Quad-A District One Semi-Final Results

Council Rock South Golden Hawks Fly To Title Game

Council Rock South (12-1) kept true to its playbook as the Golden Hawks punished visiting Garnet Valley (11-2) with a relentless running attack to cage the Jaguars – 38-24.
Rock South – which mixed in a rare 35-yard touchdown pass from Christian Crane to Nick Cocco – pounded the ball for 321 rushing yards.  Anthony Alimenti was the leading rusher in the game with 137 yards on 20 carries, while quarterback Brian Donnelly added 82 yards on 14 carries and a score.
Alimenti scored on runs of 10 and one yards for the Hawks, while Donnelly crossed the goal line on a 36-yard burst.  Crane – in addition to his touchdown aerial to Cocco – scored on a six-yard run.  Ben Solis – who was a perfect 5-5 on extra points – also booted a 27-yard field goals for the Hawks.

North Penn Knights March To Title Game

North Penn (11-2) played great defense – led by linebacker Ralphie Reeves -to secure its district final position with a 27-3 victory over visiting Pennsbury (9-4).  The Falcons came into the game with a 35-24 win over Abington and a 42-21 win over Coatesville coming into the NP game.
Dan Gevirtz put on another touchdown show for the Knights with three eye-catching scores – one on a nine-yard pass reception from quarterback Corey Ernst – one on a 23-yard run – and a final score on a 63-yard punt return.  Gevirtz finished with over 100 yards of total offense and over 100 yards in return yardage for the Big Blue.
Kyle Mayfield rushed for a game-high 111 yards that included a 56-yard burst on the first play from scrimmage.  Running back James Fielder is back from injury and made a significant contribution to the win.

Turkey Day Leftovers

Quakertown Panthers @  Pennridge Rams
Pennridge (7-5) scored with just 51 seconds left in the game to defeat rival Quakertown (5-7) – 21-20 – before a packed house at Poppy Yoder Field.
The Rams led only once during the game and that came in the final moments when junior quarterback Alex Krivda connected with senior James Marrero with an eight-yard scoring strike and placekicker Zach Midgett added the PAT.  Krivda – who would complete just five passes for 153 big yards – also fired a 70-yard scoring pass to Cody Reimel.  Super sophomore Mike Class was game planned out of the offense by Quakertown but still managed to score on a three-yard touchdown burst.
The Panthers controlled both the offensive and defensive lines of scrimmage but two costly turnovers and a missed extra point translated into a defeat.  Senior running back Justin Wieder was impressive as he pounded inside the Ram tackles all morning for a game-high 132 yards on 25 carries.  Mike Potynski scored on a four-yard run for the Panthers, while quarterback Erik Jones scored on a one-yard run.  Jones also connected with Nick Nagele for a 23-yard scoring play in the first period to give Quakertown an early lead.

Upper Moreland Golden Bears @  Hatboro-Horsham Hatters
Hatboro-Horsham (5-7) exploded offensively for 48 points to throttle rival Upper Moreland (2-10) – 48-0 – on the brand new turf at Hatboro-Horsham.
The Hatter backfield of Casey Saverio and Dom DeFazio rushed for a combined 237 yards and four touchdowns on just 11 carries.  Saverio scored on a run of 64 yards, while DeFazio scored on runs of two and 64 yards.  Quarterback Aaron Channing completed just five passes but fired for three scores.  Channing tossed a pair of touchdown passes to Saverio – one for 36 yards and the other for 27 yards – and also threw a 28-yard scoring pass to Jimmy Murphy.
Upper Moreland entered the game on a two-game winning streak but never really had much of a chance to extend the streak against the Hatters.  Sophomore Charlie Hooker completed 13 passes in 33 attempts for 153 yards.  Dan Cummings was his favorite target with four catches for 65 yards.  Robert Knox went over the 1000-yard mark for the season despite being held in just 17 yards on 10 rushing attempts.

Abington Galloping Ghosts @ Cheltenham Panthers
Abington (10-2) shook off its disappointment in the PIAA District One Quad-A playoffs to rout host Cheltenham (5-7) – 42-7.  The Ghosts lost to Pennsbury – 35-24 – in an opening round playoff contest.
Ray Schreiner played his last game for the Ghosts and made it a memorable one with a four-touchdown performance.  Schreiner – who rushed for a game-high 177 yards on 14 carries – scored on runs of 60, 49, and 15 yards.  He also caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from senior Ken Cropper.  Cropper – who transferred from Cheltenham to play for Abington his senior season – rushed eight times for 93 yards and a touchdown.
Aquil Reed was the offensive highlight for the Panthers as he rushed for a team-high 86 yards on 18 carries.  Reed scored the lone touchdown for the Panthers on a 28-yard run in the second half.  Reed was also the leading receiver for Cheltenham with three catches for 33 yards.

Bishop Egan Eagles @ Harry S Truman Tigers
Harry S Truman (1-10) won its first game of the season as the Tigers consumed the Eagles of Bishop Egan (1-10) – 49-14.
Sophomore sensation Marvin Todd was sensational for Truman as he rushed for an even 300 yards on 22 carries and scored six touchdowns.  Todd scored on runs of 71, 10, 33, 61, 26, and 28 yards.  Sophomore Bobby Hill rushed for 132 yards on 13 carries and also scored a touchdown for the Tigers.  Truman punished the Eagles on the ground with a total of 472 rushing yards.  The victory stopped a 17-game losing streak for the Tigers.

Suburban One Sports.com
***Great Eight***

1.  North Penn Knights (11-2)
2.  Council Rock South Golden Hawks (12-1)
3.  Pennsbury Falcons (9-4)
4.  Central Bucks South Titans (8-4)
5.  Abington Ghosts (10-2)
6.  Neshaminy Redskins (8-4)
7.  Plymouth Whitemarsh Colonials (8-2)
8.  Upper Dublin Flying Cardinals (7-3)