SOL Football Wrap (8-26-17)

Check out the recaps of all of Friday’s SOL football openers. Truman/Methacton photos provided courtesy of Kim Supko, CB West/Hatboro-Horsham photos provided by Dan Beck, and Upper Moreland/Tennent photos courtesy of Jon Sklut. Check back for photos of all three games. Neshaminy photo provided courtesy of Jesse Garber (

Stats used in the wraps are provided courtesy of the Intelligencer/Bucks County Courier. For complete high school football coverage, visit the web sites: and

The calendar said it was only August 25, much too early for high school football, but someone apparently forgot to tell the Quakertown fans who packed the stands and lined the fence for Friday night’s opener.
“Quakertown is awesome,” coach George Banas said. “We’re not even in school yet, and they came out in droves.
“I love this place – I was born and raised here, so call me a homer, but I will take this venue and this student section, band and cheerleaders – I’ll go up against anybody.”
The Patriot faithful – which included a spirited student section - all but filled the visitor’s side, making it feel more like a mid-season conference game than a non-league opener.
Fans from both sides got their money’s worth.
In the first half, the Patriots had the advantage, capitalizing on scores by quarterback Evan O’Donnell (19-yard run) as well as a four-yard TD pass from O’Donnell to Jake Novroski to go into halftime with a 12-7 lead. Michael Terra’s 18-yard run accounted for Quakertown’s lone score.
The tide turned in the second half, and the Panthers took a lead they would not lose when quarterback Brad Bryan found Tim Shevlin with a 30-yard strike. Matt Fuggitt ran it in for the successful two-point conversion to put Panthers on top 15-12 as time expired in the third quarter.
“We were in the locker room and we were getting fired up – the whole team just had that energy,” Terra said. “We were down 7-12, and we were determined to come out here and get that win.
“We had the energy to come out in the second half. We’re conditioning all season long in the heat. Coach B has one of the greatest programs, and we came out in the second half fired up. We were excited.”
On the Patriots’ ensuing possession, Terra came up with an interception that gave the Panthers possession with 10:13 remaining. They couldn’t capitalize, and the Patriots mounted one last drive that began at their own 10-yard line. A 40-yard strike from O’Donnell to Chris Lochetta took the Patriots to midfield, and five plays later, they found themselves with a first-and-goal at the five after a 10-yard run by O’Donnell. That’s when the drive stalled.
The Panthers’ defense threw the Patriots for losses on their first two downs. An incomplete pass and then a penalty took the ball back to the 15. A failed field goal assured the Panthers the big win.
“They didn’t give up,” Banas said. “There are definitely some mistakes we have to correct and get better, but to come out with a win over a great CB East team still making those correctible mistakes – that says something about this group.”
Bryan led the Panthers offense with 130 yards in the air.
“He didn’t look shaky, he didn’t look nervous,” Banas said of his junior QB. “He’s very, very quiet and laidback, really hard to rattle.”
The Panthers’ coach credited his defense.
“Ashton Herd played phenomenally at defensive end,” Banas said. “I thought (Kyle) Tooley played exceptionally well.
“(Nick) Levinski is the heart of our defense at middle linebacker. It was definitely a group effort on defense where we just kept making plays. Matt Kerns and Max Russell, our other D-end, and then we mixed five D-tackles in. It was definitely a group effort. I’m just ecstatic for these kids.”
The Panthers’ coach went on to credit the effort his punter.
“Fugitt did an excellent job punting the ball,” Banas said. “If you look back at our games last year, a lot of the games we lost were because we gave up so much field position.
“Tonight they had to drive 90 yards, 80 yards and 70 yards. For a high school team to go 10 plays and 90 yards, that’s really, really tough.”
O’Donnell led the Patriots, throwing for 153 yards and running for 78 more.
For the Panthers, the win loomed especially large after last year’s 0-3 start.
“I think mentally it was very important to get off to a good start,” Banas said. “We worked hard in the offseason.
“These kids put in a lot of time, a lot of effort. The assistant coaches put a lot of time and effort in the offseason putting in the offense. We really pushed them during camp, and they just kept going. They put their heads down and said, ‘We’ll keep doing it.’ I reminded them tonight – hard work pays off.”
Quakertown (1-0) will host Souderton next Friday, and Central Bucks, East (0-1) will be on the road at Hatboro-Horsham on Friday.
Central Bucks East     6-6-0-0   12
Quakertown    7-0-8-0   15

As debuts go, it was certainly a good one for coach Mike LaPalombara, whose Tigers – literally and figuratively - ran circles around their hosts in Friday night’s opener.
“Our greatest strength probably is our overall speed, and that definitely showed up on the football field on both sides of the ball,” the Tigers’ first-year coach said. “I think that was our number one asset out there. Besides the kids individually making the plays and the coaches all doing a good job putting the whole thing together, but that team speed was pretty impressive tonight.”
Leading the charge for the Tigers was track star David Akinwande, who ran for over 100 yards and two touchdowns. His 17-yard touchdown run spotted the Tigers – after a fumble recovery – a 7-0 lead and effectively set the tone for the rout.
“It was interesting because we did want the ball – we wanted to see what our offense looked like, but they won the toss so we went out with our defense,” LaPalombara said. “I was very impressed with how our defense responded, just closing them down right away.
“I think our team speed overwhelmed them a little bit. I thought they were well coached and ready to go, but our number one strength is our team speed, and that really played into it.”
Dylan Snelling scored on a quarterback sneak – his first of three touchdowns on the night, and the Tigers led 14-0 less than five minutes into the game.
“Actually, our whole backfield played well,” LaPalombara said. “Dylan (Snelling) our quarterback stood out.
“He showed a lot of leadership. He’s a junior, and he did a fabulous job. He’s really trying to help us make this a team.
“Enzo Poulson did a great job, and Habeeb Baba had an impressive game.”
The Tigers’ first-year coach went on to laud the performance of Jackson Sutton for his contributions on both lines.
“James Koliyah, a defensive tackle, had a very good game,” LaPalombara said. “Danny Aquilone, a linebacker, made a lot of good plays.”
Also receiving commendation from their coach were Shakell Hall, Gabe Gipli, Martin Dormoh and Tymar Willis.
LaPalombara also tipped his hat to Kevin Buckland, a soccer player who is the team’s kicker.
“He did a really good job,” the Tigers’ coach said. “He made the extra points – we had one blocked that was a little disappointing, but he made them all. His kickoffs were good. He did a great job.”
There was no mistaking the significance of the Tigers’ strong showing.
“This was really big,” LaPalombara said. “We had to get that win.
“We knew that first game was going to be extremely important if we hoped to achieve the goals we have set out for ourselves.”
Harry S Truman (1-0) will travel to Avon Grove next Friday.
Harry S Truman    14-14-13-7   48
Methacton       0-0-0-0   0

What a difference a year makes.
Last year, the Falcons scored 10 points in their first three games combined. In Friday night’s opener against the defending District One 5A champions, the Falcons’ offense stole the spotlight. Junior quarterback Zach Demarchis turned in a stellar outing, throwing for 158 yards and two touchdowns and rushing a touchdown and 128 yards.
“He had a great game,” coach Dan McShane said. “He was a little behind the eight ball last year because of an injury in baseball.
“He’s been with us all season now, so he has a real good feel for what we’re trying to accomplish. I told him before the game - he gets too caught up in his footwork and all, and I said, ‘During the week, work on all your footwork, but game night just compete.’ He’s a great competitor. Between running the ball, throwing the ball and good decisions – he had one good throwaway, and that’s a great play, just to throw the ball away and live to play another day on that one. A lot of good decision making.”
The Falcons led 27-14 after Demarchis found David Burke with a 37-yard touchdown pass with just over five minutes remaining, but Academy Park made things interesting, scoring to make it a 27-20 game and regaining possession late. With Academy Park driving, Ryan Knauth came up with a big fourth down deflection to preserve the win.
“Their quarterback was really, really a threat,” McShane said of Skylor Fillis, who had 152 yards on the ground and 134 more in the air. “Between running and throwing – we were scrambling for answers.
“He would scramble and throw the ball. We dropped nine guys and tried to spy him. He was just a really good player.”
Lost in the shuffle of the big win was the standout effort of the Falcons’ offensive line comprised of center Kieran Saunders, guards Nika Wright and J Shellenberger and tackles Matt Rosso and Brian Malinowski as well as tight end Billy Turk.
“They did a really good job,” McShane said. “We played against Wood last week.
“They’ve been used to walking around, maybe blocking three-quarters speed. Wood’s defense is really, really quick, and it was the same thing – stop worrying about your footwork and just run. Run somewhere fast and make aggressive mistakes. That was the theme the whole night.”
Academy Park finished the night with 468 yards of total offense.
“I’m a little disappointed with how we played defensively, but I was very excited about the offense,” McShane said.
On its first offensive possession of the night, Academy Park honored center Jaion Smith - who was tragically killed in a car accident in June – by lining up with just 10 players. They were assessed a penalty that McShane declined.
The Falcons’ second-year coach put Friday’s win in perspective.
“Academy Park has been very successful over the years now,” McShane said. “(Coach Jason Vosheski) has done a great job. He’s a Ridley guy, and he’s brought that mentality. They’ve won a lot of ballgames over the past few years.
“This is just one win. We’re going to play Penn Wood next week, and they’re a lot like them – very athletic, physical. We can’t just line up and roll our helmets out against anybody. We’re still growing.”
Pennsbury (1-0) will host Penn Wood next Friday.
Pennsbury          0-14-0-13   27
Academy Park     0-6-0-14   20

Ed Cubbage wasn’t sure when Bensalem had last won its season opener, but he knew it had been a while.
It was five years to be exact since the Owls defeated Overbrook 23-6 to open their 2012 season 1-0.
On Friday afternoon, the Owls brought a welcome end to that losing streak, exploding for 20 second-quarter points and then holding off Frankford in the second half for the win.“We made too many mistakes in the second half, but we found a way to dig in at the end and get the win,” Cubbage said. “This (win) was huge.
“We have a good mix of returning kids and kids that are brand new. For those kids who are brand new, it’s huge to get them settled in as well.”
Keith Parrish was a difference maker for the Owls. It was his 51-yard touchdown run in the second quarter that ignited the Owls’ 20-0 second-quarter tear.
“We kind of settled in after that,” Cubbage said. “That got the ball rolling for us.
“It was a tight battle through the first quarter. He ripped off a long one, and we settled down. Keith has never started the season 1-0, and he said for him personally, it was important to start the season 1-0, and that kind of carried through the team.”
Parrish, who also plays safety, finished the day with 129 yards on just five carries. He would have had even more but a 45-yard run was called back because of a penalty.
“It was crazy whenever he touched the ball today,” Cubbage said. “It could have been bigger, but he was cramping up the whole second half.
“We were actually trying to rest him on offense and were playing him on defense.”
Drasaun Moore ran for a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter. The senior quarterback scored on runs of three and 21 yards to send the Owls into halftime with a 20-0 lead.
It was a 20-8 game after three quarters, and Frankford pulled within one score in the fourth, but the Owls held on for the win.
Cubbage lauded the defensive effort of senior linebacker Elijah Jackson.
“He had two sacks and forced a fumble and was pretty dominant most of the day,” the Owls’ coach said.
In what has to be a rare occurrence, junior Jared O’Connell was on the field for every single play of the game. O’Connell saw action at halfback and outside linebacker. He also was on the field for both punts and kickoffs.
“He did not come off the field for one single play,” the Owls’ coach said. “He’s tall and lanky, so he’s not the most muscular kid in the world.
“He’s a hard worker in the weight room, but he’s also a cross country kid. I didn’t realize he played every single play today until the game was over.”
Moore accounted for 87 yards of total offense and Rob Harris had 70 yards on the ground to lead the Owls.
Bensalem (1-0) will be on the road at William Tennent next Friday.
Bensalem        0-20-0-0   20
Frankford        0-0-8-6   14

Zane Williams returned a kickoff 86 yards with no time remaining in the opening half to send the visiting Bucks into halftime with a 14-7 lead. Perhaps even more importantly, the TD run took away any momentum the Hatters may have had after quarterback Chris Edwards found Ben Ejimonyeugwo with a 15-yard touchdown pass just seconds before.
Ryan Hieber gave the Bucks a 21-7 advantage when he scored his first career touchdown on a five-yard run to open the fourth quarter. A one-yard touchdown run by Anthony Kwitanowski made it an eight-point game, but that’s as close as the Hatters would get.
The Hatters limited the Bucks to 128 yards of total offense and almost doubled that themselves but were hurt by 10 penalties and a costly turnover. Edwards led the Hatters with close to 200 yards of total offense.
Central Bucks West (1-0) will travel to Council Rock South next Friday while Hatboro-Horsham (0-1) will host Central Bucks East.
Central Bucks West    0-14-0-7   21
Hatboro-Horsham      0-7-0-6   13

Jack Johns scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak in the opening quarter, and the Titans were off and running. Ryan Watson – who finished the night with four touchdowns – had a pair of TD runs in the second quarter to send the Titans into halftime with a commanding 21-0 lead.
The Titans led 24-0 after Brian Madden’s 23-yard field goal before the Ghosts got on the scoreboard when Keenan Lambright ran it in from eight yards out. Watson, who led the Titans with 94 rushing yards, put the finishing touches on an impressive opening night with touchdown runs of four and eight yards in the fourth quarter.
Watson and Connor DiLissio combined for 177 yards on the ground. Darryl Davis-McNeil’s 88 rushing yards led the Ghosts.
Central Bucks South (1-0) will host Council Rock North on Friday, and Abington (0-1) will host Plymouth Whitemarsh on that same day.
Abington         0-0-6-0   6
Central Bucks South   7-14-3-14   38

The Golden Hawks’ offense racked up 300 yards and its defense was all but impenetrable, allowing the visiting Panthers just 125 yards of total offense.
Jake Diaz’s four-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter was all the Hawks would need, but they added a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter to go into halftime with a 21-0 lead. Chase Patterson punched it in from two yards out after the Hawks blocked a punt, and Andrew Vera turned a Christian Jabbar completion into a 65-yard touchdown.
Jabbar – who threw for 161 yards - found Nick Gallo for the only score of the second half as the Hawks rolled to the shutout win.
Next Friday Council Rock South (1-0) will host Central Bucks West and Cheltenham (0-1) will host Bishop McDevitt.
Cheltenham      0-0-0-0   0
Council Rock South     7-14-7-0   28

On a night that saw the Golden Bears accumulate close to 500 yards of total offense, Caleb Mead stole the spotlight.  The junior running back had 259 yards on the ground with one touchdown. Sterlen Barr added 98 yards as the Golden Bears piled up almost 450 yards on the ground.
The Bears led 6-0 after one quarter, thanks to a Barr touchdown run. The Panthers took a 7-6 lead after Sean Bragen hauled in a 46-yard touchdown pass from Mitchell Vierling. That lead turned out to be short lived as Mead returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown and a lead the Golden Bears – who led 20-7 at halftime – would not lose.
Mead added a 57-yard touchdown run in a second half that also included TD runs by Brendan Olexa and Billy McKenna. Dawson Pierson accounted for the Panthers’ final score of the night.
Next Friday, Upper Moreland (1-0) will travel to Phoenixville while William Tennent (0-1) will host Bensalem.
William Tennent         0-7-0-7   14
Upper Moreland         6-14-7-14   41

Things certainly didn’t look promising for the Indians when – with their offense struggling - the Vikings opened up a 13-0 lead in the second quarter. The Indians got new life when Mike Welde capped a touchdown drive by taking it in from four yards out to make it a 13-7 game at the intermission.
Robert Ranelli’s touchdown from two yards out knotted the score with Bill Robertson’s extra point giving the Indians a lead they would not lose. The Indians’ defense came up with a huge fumble recovery in the closing moments of the game to preserve the win.
Both teams had less than 200 yards of total offense. Welde rushed for 112 yards to lead the Indians.
Council Rock North (1-0) will travel to Central Bucks South next Friday.
Council Rock North     0-7-0-7   14
West Chester East      0-13-0-0   13

The Trojans traveled to Martin Luther King on Friday night, and after trailing 10-6 at the half, the Trojans showed heart and perseverance as they came back to earn the hard-fought win.
The defense shut out MLK in the second half.  Rasheed Wright came up with a big interception, and Jalen Smalls provided some big hits. The offense was paced by Antaun Lloyd, who scored one touchdown and ran all over the field. John Dixon and Jalen Smalls also added rushing touchdowns, and the line controlled play in the second half, resulting in a great team win.
Wissahickon (1-0) will host Central at home next Friday.
Wissahickon   6-0-7-7   20
Martin Luther King     0-10-0-0   10

Marcus Griffin intercepted a pass and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter, breaking a 7-7 tie and giving the Redskins their final margin of victory.
With 6:32 remaining in the opening half, the Redskins got on the scoreboard when Mike Crescenzo capped a 66-yard scoring drive with a one-yard plunge. The drive was highlighted by a 31-yard completion from sophomore quarterback Brody McAndrew to Oleh Manzyk. Roman answered with a touchdown to send the two teams into halftime deadlocked 7-7. That tie stood until Griffin’s clutch interception.
Neshaminy (1-0) will host Pennridge next Friday night.
Roman Catholic    0-7-0-0   7
Neshaminy        0-7-7-0   14

Josh Pinkney was explosive out of the backfield for the Rams, scoring on runs of 28 and 60 yards while rushing for 134 yards on just nine carries.
The visiting Eagles trailed by just one (8-7) after Izaiah Webb punched it in from one yard out late in the opening quarter. Pinkney scored on his first of two TD runs to put the Rams on top 14-7 after one quarter. It marked the beginning of a 33-0 Pennridge tear to close out the game.
In the first half, the Rams, who led 28-7 at the intermission, also received an interception return by Kyle Schetter and another touchdown scamper by Pinkney.
In the second haf, Ryan Garner’s second touchdown run and another interception return for a TD by Schetter closed out the scoring for the Rams, who amassed over 400 yards of total offense.
The Rams’ defense limited the visiting Eagles to just 165 yards of total offense.
Pennridge (1-0) will be on the road at Neshaminy on Friday.
Norristown     7-0-0-0   7
Pennridge     14-14-7-6   41

The Indians raced out of the gate to a 24-0 lead and went into halftime on top 24-6. William Leyland put Souderton on the board with a 36-yard field goal in the first quarter, and the Indians were off and running. Bret Vince hauled in an 18-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Dean DiPisa. Dylan Auen scored on a four-yard run, and then it was Jeremy Tammaro taking it in from a yard out to put the Indians on top 24-0.
In the second half, Charmay Lubulo and DeAndre Wakefield scored on runs of four and 44 yards respectively.
Oscar Hughes, Ty Goods and Andrew Vince each had an interception to spark a standout defensive effort by the Indians.
Tammaro (76 yards) and Wakefield (73 yards) led a potent Indians’ ground game.
Souderton (1-0) will be on the road at Quakertown next Friday.
Penn Wood     0-6-0-8   14
Souderton    3-21-0-13   37

La Salle took a seemingly comfortable 28-0 lead after a one-yard touchdown run by Manny Quilles at the 8:39 mark of the third quarter, but the Knights came roaring back.
Just over a minute later, Xzavier Gorski scored from 17 yards out to put the Knights on the board, and in the closing minute of the third quarter, Khan Jamal took it in from a yard out to make it a 28-14 game heading into the final quarter. A touchdown pass from quarterback Steve DePaul to Justis Henley, who opened the game behind center, made it a 28-21 game with more than 10 minutes remaining.
A defensive stop by the Explorers on fourth down set the stage for a 27-yard touchdown pass from Isaiah Jones to Marvin Harrison, all but icing the win in a battle of two of the area’s elite squads.
Jones, who was sidelined last year with a torn ACL, threw for over 100 yards and also surpassed the century mark on the ground. For the Knights, DePaul threw for 130 yards in the second half while Henley had over 100 receiving yards.
North Penn (0-1) will travel to Downingtown East next Friday.
North Penn     0-0-14-14   28
La Salle         0-21-7-13   41

The Spartans trailed 20-0 at halftime and managed only a third quarter touchdown by Kyle Brunner on a 10-yard run, but football is back at Springfield Township after not fielding a team last year.
Springfield Township (0-1) will travel to Lower Merion on Friday.
Springfield Township  0-0-6-0   6
Boys’ Latin           12-8-0-14   34