Scott Huff recaps all of last weekend’s SOL season openers, highlighting Harry S Truman, Central Bucks East and Upper Merion. To view photos of the CB West/Upper Dublin and North Penn/La Salle games, please visit the Photo Gallery.
By Scott Huff
It was just two short years ago that there was serious talk about shutting down the football program at Harry S Truman High School. There was not only a lack of success in the program, but a serious shortage of players was the real reason that the ‘powers to be’ considered the termination of the program.
“We are extremely proud of what we have been able to accomplish the last two seasons,” said Truman head coach Ed Cubbage. “To come from where we didn’t know if we would continue to be playing football anymore, to where we are now, is a real tribute to the players.
“We laughed as a team after the game with Lincoln that we are on a two game winning streak,” added Cubbage after the Tigers clawed the Railspliters 13-7 in the season opener for both teams. “We won our last game of the year over Egan (49-14) in a one win season, and now we have two in a row. We don’t want to talk too loud about that.”
Truman will face Upper Dublin this week in its second non-league game. The Tigers realize that UD lost 31-0 last week to Central Bucks West, but HST also knows that the Flying Cardinals are a team that is consistently in the PIAA District One Quad-A playoffs. Upper Dublin put a beat down on the Tigers last year – 51-13.
“This is going to be a real test of where we are as a football program,” said Cubbage. “Upper Dublin has established itself as an excellent football program, and we can measure where we are by playing them.
“We will take the little success we have had this week into next week,” added Cubbage. “It is no secret that we want to continue winning football games.”
Central Bucks East also wants to continue winning football games as the Patriots opened the season with a 48-26 victory over Boyertown in the season opener for both teams. The win equaled the win total for the entire 2011 football season as East finished 1-9.
“We played with a lot of youth and inexperience last season,” said Central Bucks East head coach John Donnelly. “We had a fantastic group of seniors, but we also played a lot of sophomores. You could tell that we are starting to see the benefits of that gained experience in our first game.
“The morale on last year’s team was incredible,” added Donnelly. “Those players never quit and whatever we accomplish this season is a result of the great standard that was set last season.”
A pair of seniors who survived last season and impressed during week one of this season were the running back tandem of Chris Burian and Vince Thompson. Burian collected 170 yards and a touchdown, while Thompson raced for 200 yards and three scores.
“Vince had great numbers, and he even had three touchdowns called back for holding penalties,” said Donnelly. “Without the holding calls he would have had 178 more yards. He is very fast, and we are hoping for him to have a very big year.”
The Vikings of Upper Merion are also looking to have a big year in 2012 – a year removed from a winless 2011 season.
Upper Merion trailed Penncrest 21-0 early in the first period, but the Vikings refused to abandon ship and closed to within 42-35 in the fourth period. The comeback victory wasn’t to happen, and Upper Merion dropped the season opener between both schools – 48-35.
“We were in the game in the fourth period, and if we make some plays on defense or special teams we had a chance to win the game,” said Upper Merion head coach Harold Smith. “It has been a long time since we have won a game, and streak or no streak, this team is going to have to learn how to win games. Period.”
The Vikings return eight players on the starting offense and eight players on the starting defense.
“Last year we were young-young,” said Smith. “This year we are just young. We have leaders like Hassan Gardner who have stepped up and rallied the players.
“At halftime in the Penncrest game, Hassan told us he wanted to talk with the team without the coaches,” added Smith. “We allowed him to do that, and we came back and played a much better second half.
“We did a lot of good things on the offensive side of the ball – we scored 35 points,” added Smith. “But we did have turnovers, and the players now know what we have to do to get better. We have to continue to focus on working hard, and the wins will come.”
That Was The Week That Was In The Suburban One League
Central Bucks South (1-0) collected an impressive opening game victory as the Titans stunned Council Rock South 42-7. Central Bucks South featured a balanced offensive attack and a terrific defensive effort to register the win. Running back Josh Adams raced for 204 yards on 22 carries and scored four touchdowns to fuel the offense, while quarterback Jon Pileggi completed 13 of 15 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown. Paul Weeks scored for the Titans on a 35-yard touchdown strike from Pileggi.
Council Rock North (0-1) started the season out with a scoring drive in its second offensive series, but the good news stopped there as the Indians were defeated in their non league opener against Haverford (1-0) – 23-10. Rock North snared a 7-0 lead when freshman quarterback Brandon Mcllwain culminated an 80-yard scoring drive with a two-yard touchdown run.
Next: Council Rock North @ Central Bucks South – Friday - 7 pm
Last Year: Central Bucks South 42 – Council Rock North 6.
Abington (1-0) opened its season with a rare morning contest, and the Ghosts made the most of their early trip to Philly with a come from behind 24-8 non-league victory over Samuel Fels (0-1). Keith Boggi had an excellent outing for Abington, scoring on a three-yard run and an eight-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Collins. Boggi – along with Josh Jones and Andrew Pickney – also intercepted passes for the Ghosts. Craig Reynolds scored on an eight-yard run for the Ghosts, while Collins threw for 106 yards.
Plymouth Whitemarsh (1-0) had to battle for a 20-16 non-league victory over Perkiomen Valley (0-1) in its season opener. The Colonials rushed for 305 yards and rolled to 21 first downs in the victory. Corey Kelly (25 rushes for 128 yards and two touchdowns) and Terry Brown (21 carries for 120 yards and a touchdown) were the featured backs for the winners.
Next: Abington @ Plymouth Whitemarsh – Friday – 7 pm
Last Year: Abington 18 – Plymouth Whitemarsh 7.
Pennridge (1-0) showcased the talents of junior running back Michael Class as the Rams gouged visiting Haverford School (0-1) – 41-7. Class scored a trio of touchdowns on runs of one, 17, and one yards and rushed for a game-high 118 yards on 16 carries. Kyle Bigham scored a pair of touchdowns for the Green and White – one on a three-yard run and the other on a 52-yard touchdown pass from Alex Krivda. Krivda had an efficient day passing, completing 7-of-12 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. Kenny Crawford scored on an 11-yard run for the Rams.
Bensalem (0-1) took on the defending PIAA Class AAA state champion in its season opener, and the Owls could do little to hold back the offensive onslaught of powerful Archbishop Wood in a 44-7 setback. Bensalem had some success throwing the football as quarterback Kevin Hopkins completed seven passes – five of them to Donnie Reed. The lone scored for the Owls came on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Hopkins to Reed in the third period.
Next: Bensalem @ Pennridge – Friday – 7 pm
Last Year: Bensalem 28 – Pennridge 14.
Central Bucks West (1-0) caught the eye of area football programs as the Bucks blasted Upper Dublin (0-1) with a 31-0 victory in the season opener for both teams. CB West quarterback Corey Riemenschneider was impressive completing 13-of-16 passes – three for touchdowns. Mark Ciaudelli caught a pair of touchdown strikes – one of 29 yards – and the other for eight yards. The third TD pass was a 19-yard scoring aerial to Corey Schott. Kevin Duggan scored on a 38-yard touchdown run, while Nick Danilo concluded the scoring with a 34-yard field goal.
William Tennent (0-1) struggled both offensively and defensively as the Panthers were caged by Wissahickon (1-0) 43-7. The Panthers managed 107 yards of total offense in the setback. William Tennent scored its lone touchdown of the game in the fourth period when Joe Lutz fired a 49-yard scoring pass to Jeff Ledford.
Next: Central Bucks West @ William Tennent – Friday – 7 pm
Last Year: Central Bucks West 28 – William Tennent 6.
Central Bucks East (1-0) won one game last year but the Patriots are unbeaten this season as CB East was remarkable in a 48-26 non-league victory over Boyertown (0-1). The Patriots accumulated a stunning 453 yards of rushing yards and featured a pair of wonderful performances by both Vince Thompson (18 carries for 200 yards and two touchdowns) and Chris Burian (12 carries for 170 yards and a touchdown). Sean Usowski and Tyler Butler each scored rushing touchdowns for East, while Vince Careghini returned a kick off 80 yards for a special teams score.
Norristown (0-1) knew it was going to be in for a long night as the young Eagles scheduled powerhouse Pottsgrove (1-0) for its season opener. The long night prediction came true as Norristown could do little to stop the high-flying Falcons as Pottsgrove soared to a 35-0 victory. The game became a mercy-rule contest in the third quarter, which generated a running clock. The Eagles managed seven first downs and 106 yards of total offense.
Next: Norristown @ Central Bucks East – Friday – 7 pm
Last Year: Norristown 36 – Central Bucks East 7.
Quakertown (1-0) exploded for 531 yards of total offense as the Panthers clawed Upper Perkiomen (0-1) 51-20 in the season opener for both teams. Mike Sawyer led a rushing attack that generated 430 rushing yards. Sawyer led the team with 74 yards on just six carries and scored on a 43-yard touchdown run. Keegan Williams scored a rushing and a receiving touchdown for the Panthers. Quarterback Pat SanAngelo competed six of seven passes for 101 yards. Shane Schmauder, Justin Moyer, Doug Barndt, and Micah Ruch each scored solo touchdowns for the winners.
Upper Moreland (1-0) opened its season with a nice victory as the Golden Bears traveled into the city to defeat host Mastbaum (0-1) – 32-6. Senior Rob Knox scored a pair of touchdowns for Upper Moreland on runs of one and two yards and rushed for a game-high 114 yards on just 10 carries. Running back CJ Jackson rushed for an additional 68 yards and scored a touchdown. The Golden Bears rushed for 309 yards. Quarterback Charlie Hooker competed four of seven passes – one for a touchdown.
Next: Upper Moreland @ Quakertown – Friday – 7 pm
Last Year: Did Not Play
Neshaminy (1-0) used a shutdown defense and a solid offensive performance to deliver a 24-0 non-league victory over Northeast (0-1) in the opening game of the season for both schools. The Skins featured a swarming defense that came up with five sacks against its Philadelphia Public League opponent. On offense, Neshaminy collected 240 rushing yards and 14 first downs. Nate Hall led all Skin runners with 123 yards on 18 carries. Place kicker Nick Tucci figured in the scoring with three extra points and a field goal.
Hatboro-Horsham (0-1) took an early 7-0 lead but the Hatters could not secure the lead in a 32-20 non-league loss to Frankford (0-1). The Hatters’ 80-yard opening drive of the game resulted in a one-yard touchdown run by Steve Palo. Palo also scored on a six-yard touchdown run and fired a 30-yard touchdown pass to John O’Malley. Mike Spahits led all rushers for the Hatters with 96 yards on 14 carries, while Chris Ejims added 77 yards on 18 carries.
Next: Neshaminy @ Hatboro-Horsham – Friday – 7 pm
Last Year: Neshaminy 27 – Hatboro-Horsham 0.
Wissahickon (1-0) got the season off to a resounding start as the Trojans marched to a 43-7 victory over William Tennent (0-1). Wissahickon generated 413 yards of total offense and scored five touchdowns in the first half. Greg McDonough scored on an 82-yard punt return, Randy Frankenfield scored a pair of touchdowns and Gordon Bentley scored on a screen pass. The final touchdown of the game for the Trojans was scored by Khalil Byrd.
Archbishop Ryan (0-1) opened its season with a 13-7 loss to Cardinal O’Hara (1-0). The game was played in Ocean City New Jersey.
Next: Archbishop Ryan @ Wissahickon – Friday – 7 pm
Last Year: Archbishop Ryan 20 – Wissahickon 6.
Souderton (1-0) was impressive on both offense and defense as the Indians shut out Methacton (0-1) – 35-0. The defense was sparked by the play of Kyle Wenger, who intercepted two passes – one returned for a 94-yard touchdown. Anthony Williams, who rushed for 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns, sparked the offense. Jarrett Reinhold and Jon Horton also scored touchdowns for the Indians.
Unionville (0-1) lost a heartbreaker in its season opener as the Indians fell to Garnet Valley (1-0) 21-20.
Next: Unionville @ Souderton – Friday – 7 pm
Last Season: Did Not Play
Springfield (1-0) prepped for its return to the Suburban One League with a 53-6 non-league victory over Nativity BVM. Brendan Doyle excelled in the game, scoring on a 40-yard interception return and a 58-yard punt return. Chris Stone scored a pair of touchdowns for the Spartans, while Jhaloni Johnson led the team in rushing with 112 yards and scored on a 46-yard run. Eddie Graham and Justin Hill also scored touchdowns for the winners.
Neuman-Goretti (1-0) also won its season opener. NGHS was a 33-32 winner over Furness in a game that was played in Wildwood New Jersey.
Next: Neuman-Goretti @ Springfield
Last Season: Did Not Play
Council Rock South (0-1) was stunned by Central Bucks South (1-0) as the Golden Hawks lost to the Titans – 42-7. Rock South scored the first touchdown of the game to take a 7-0 lead. Cameron Crosley scored on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Greg Paprocki. The Golden Hawks managed 19 first downs and 222 yards of total offense in the loss.
Father Judge (0-1) traveled to Navan Ireland for its non-league contest against Notre Dame (Scottsdale). The Crusaders may have enjoyed the trip but not the outcome in a 20-6 loss.
Next: Father Judge @ Council Rock South – Friday – 7 pm
Last Year: Council Rock South 35 – Father Judge 34.
Pennsbury (0-1) made the tough trip north to play one of the best programs in the state as the Falcons suffered a 32-14 setback to Easton (1-0). Shawn Pepper was the highlight on offense with 92 yards rushing that included a 64-yard touchdown run. Anthony Bullaro was the highlight of the defense with a 36-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Frankford (1-0) opened its season with a victory as the Pioneers collected a 32-20 victory over Hatboro-Horsham. Damion Samuels scored three touchdowns to fuel the Frankford scoring attack.
Next: Frankford @ Pennsbury – Friday – 7 pm
Last Year: Did Not Play.
Upper Merion (0-1) was competitive in the fourth period but the Vikings could not come up with the victory in a 48-35 loss to Penncrest (1-0). Junior quarterback Carmen Fortino completed 11 passes for 320 yards and four touchdowns. Connor McGrath scored on a pair of TD catches (80 and 5 yards), while Michael Grant (72) and Tyreice Jenerette (32) scored on solo TD receptions. Hassan Gardner rushed for 116 yards on 27 carries.
Lansdale Catholic (1-0) won its season opener as the Crusaders edged Prep Charter – 27-26.
Next: Lansdale Catholic @ Upper Merion – Friday – 7 pm
Last Year: Did Not Play.
Cheltenham (0-1) played ‘up’ as the Panthers suffered a 34-0 loss to powerful Downingtown West (1-0). Cheltenham had a touchdown called back when Hyneef Dockery raced 60-yards into the end zone. The best the Panthers could muster number-wise was a 77-yard second half rushing effort by Greg Morris and a 33-yard pass reception by Perry Smith.
Bishop McDevitt (0-1) took a trip up north as the Lancers were defeated by Muhlenburg – 30-14. Both McDevitt and Cheltenham share the same football stadium and will play under the lights.
Next: Bishop McDevitt @ Cheltenham – Friday – 7 pm
North Penn (0-1) lost the rematch of last season’s PIAA Quad-A Eastern Final as the Knights dropped a 20-7 contest to La Salle (1-0). North Penn scored on a two-yard run by Luke Berry to take a 7-6 lead, but the Knights could not solve the mystery of Sean Coleman who caught 10 passes for 174 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown pass catch. Kyle Mayfield rushed for 100 yards for the Knights.
Archbishop Wood (1-0) is the defending PIAA Class AAA champion and the Vikings opened the season with a 44-7 victory over Bensalem (0-1).
Next: North Penn vs. Archbishop Wood @ William Tennent – Saturday – 7 pm
Last Year: Did Not Play
Suburban One Sports.com
‘Baker’s’ Dozen + One
1. Central Bucks South Titans (1-0)
2. Neshaminy Redskins (1-0)
3. Pennridge Rams (1-0)
4. North Penn Knights (0-1)
5. Souderton Indians (1-0)
6. Wissahickon Trojans (1-0)
7. Central Bucks West Bucks (1-0)
8. Quakertown Panthers (1-0)
9. Central Bucks East Patriots (1-0)
10. Abington Ghosts (1-0)
11. Plymouth Whitemarsh Colonials (1-0)
12. Upper Moreland Golden Bears (1-0)
12. + Truman Tigers (1-0)
12 ++. Springfield Spartans (1-0)