By Scott Huff
Every coach wants his or her team to have it. Every coach isn’t quite sure how you acquire it, but it often is the difference between victory and defeat.
“Our confidence will grow with this huge win over Abington,” said Council Rock North head coach Tom Coates in reference to the Indians 34-3 win over the Ghosts. “We started the season a little unsure as to how good a football team we would be, and our confidence level began to ebb and wane during the season.
“But with the way that we played both offensively and defensively against Abington, our players are ready to show that they belong in the top tier of our league,” added Coates. “And you can’t get there without having confidence in yourself and your teammates.”
“Confidence can be like a roller coaster with high school kids,” said Pennridge head coach Randy Cuthbert. “We came out strong in our win over Hatboro-Horsham (21-12), and the players played with confidence the rest of the game.
“Success builds confidence,” added Cuthbert. “It seems that if we start off the game well is helps with our confidence and we are more successful.”
“Sometimes with high school kids, you don’t know when that confidence will kick in,” said Upper Moreland head coach Adam Beach. “The first half last week against Wissahickon we lacked in confidence (trailing 17-7), and then we turned around in the second half playing with a lot of confidence (winning 34-17).
“We didn’t get in their faces at halftime,” added Beach. “But they got the message and we played without mistakes in the second half.”
SOL National Conference
Council Rock North (5-2, 3-1) is no longer flying under the Suburban One League National Conference radar after the Indians routed host Abington (4-2, 2-2), 34-3.
“We were excited about playing Abington,” said Council Rock North head coach Tom Coates. “I have a lot of respect for the offensive weapons they have, and I thought defensively we did a tremendous job.
“Our biggest concern was to take the run away and to keep them from making big plays,” continued Coates. “(Julien) Ireland is a great back, and (Sam) Kind and (Anthony) Hensley are a great passing combination.”
Coates put a huge burden on the shoulders of Rock North defensive back Adam Yborra. Yborra was often in single coverage against Hensley during the ballgame.
“There were two plays in particular that Kind made a good throw – Hensley ran a great pattern – and Adam made a great play on the ball,” said Coates. “Plus our defensive line came up with four sacks, and that is difficult to do against a quarterback like Kind.”
The defensive line that earned a gold star from Coach Coates were senior defensive end Kevin Krimm and defensive tackle Ryan Campbell who each recorded two sacks.
Brandon Cottom who scored on a pair of five-yard TD bursts and also caught a 35-yard TD pass from Tyler Hamilton sparked the Indian offense. Hamilton also fired a 38-yard TD strike to Ty Bostain.
Next for the Indians are the Redskins of Neshaminy (6-1, 3-1).
“We are really excited about this game,” said Coates. “We lost to Pennsbury (26-6), but we were still in the game with six minutes to play.
“We have been talking about getting a chance to show that we can play with both Pennsbury and Neshaminy,” added Coates. “Now we have that chance.”
Neshaminy (6-1, 3-1) rallied from a 7-point first period deficit to throttle host Council Rock South (5-2, 2-2), 42-17. Bryan Dean had a spectacular four-touchdown performance with three rushing scores (17, 7, and 1 yards) and a receiving TD (45 yards) from Charlie Marterella. Ricky Williams scored on a sensational 99-yard kickoff return.
Next: Council Rock North @ Neshaminy (Saturday 1 pm)
Last Year: Neshaminy 45 – CR North 7.
Prediction: Neshaminy 38 – Rock North 28
Pennsbury (7-0, 4-0) remained unbeaten with a 44-0 conference win over Bensalem (2-5, 1-3). Dante Devine scored on a pair of touchdown runs for the Falcons – one on an 11-yard run – and the other on a 22-yard pass from Brandon Pepper. Pepper – who rushed for a game-high 115 yards – also scored on a 7-yard run.
William Tennent (1-6, 0-4) remained winless in the conference with a 35-0 loss to host Harry S Truman (1-6, 1-3). The Panthers were led in rushing by Tyler Hamlet who rushed for 72 yards. WT has been outscored 143-21 in its last four games.
Next: William Tennent @ Pennsbury (Friday 7 pm)
Last Year: Pennsbury 49 – William Tennent 16
Prediction: Pennsbury 42 – William Tennent 6
Abington (4-2, 2-2) has been stoned the last two weeks in conference play by Council Rock South (41-38 in overtime) and more recently by Council Rock North (5-2, 3-1), 34-3. The lone score of the game came on a second period 22-yard field goal by Ian MacMillan. Sam Kind completed 12 passes for 115 yards.
Bensalem (2-5, 1-3) was routed by unbeaten Pennsbury (7-0, 4-0) last week, 44-0. The Owls were limited to just 125 yards of total offense. Quarterback Tim Farlow completed seven passes and led the team in rushing with 41 yards.
Next: Abington @ Bensalem (Friday 7 pm)
Last Year: Abington 38 – Bensalem 13
Prediction: Abington 42 – Bensalem 20
Council Rock South (5-2, 2-2) led Neshaminy (6-1, 3-10), 14-7 in the first period, but the Skins clipped the Golden Hawks, 42-17. Greg Welch earned scoring honors for Rock South with a 64 and 66-yard touchdown runs, and Rich Bruno added a 29-yard field goal. The Hawks rushed for an even 300 yards.
Truman (2-6, 1-3) won its first conference game of the season with a resounding 35-0 win over visiting William Tennent (1-6, 0-4). Lionel Chapman scored on runs of 6 and 10 yards and Travis Thomas scored on a 5-yard run. Derron Thompson scored on a 48-yard fumble return.
Next: Truman @ Council Rock South (Friday 7 pm)
Last Year: CR South 35 – Truman 0
Prediction: CR South 38 – Truman 14
SOL Continental Conference
Pennridge (3-4, 1-2) might have proven the statement – You play to have fun – but it’s no fun losing.
“Last week we talked to the players about just having fun again playing football,” said Pennridge head coach Randy Cuthbert. “We having been playing too tight this season, and it was time to just get back to playing the game for fun.”
Of course, it is a lot more fun winning. And the Rams did just that as they won their first conference game of the season with a 21-12 victory over Hatboro-Horsham.
“We got off to a good start, and that helped.” said Cuthbert. “The night was nasty (cold and rainy) and we had to simplify some things offensively.
“(Quarterback) Kyle Peters was out with a concussion,” added Cuthbert. “But I thought that both (senior) Dan Wolfe and (sophomore) Cody Reimel did a nice job.”
Wolfe and Reimel actually alternated every other play for the Rams. Pennridge attempted just one pass – and it fell incomplete.
Pennridge led 14-0 on the strength of a 4-yard touchdown run by Dylan Moore and a 1-yard touchdown run by Ian Walbridge. Ryan Metzler answered a Hatter scoring play with an 83-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
“We are getting ready for Homecoming with Central Bucks West this Friday,” said Cuthbert. “Everyone is looking forward to it. It should be fun.”
Central Bucks West (1-6, 0-4) led rival Central Bucks East (2-5, 2-2) 14-0 in the first half, but fell to the Patriots, 22-14. Jarrett Shugars scored on a 66-yard punt return, while Jake Poeske scored on a 3-yard TD burst. Poeske led the team in rushing with 62 yards on 21 carries.
Next: Central Bucks West @ Pennridge (Friday 7 pm)
Last Year: Pennridge 35 – CB West 27
Prediction: Pennridge 27 – CB West 14
North Penn (7-0, 4-0) had its first conference ‘showdown’ game with Quakertown (5-2, 1-2) and routed the host Panthers, 43-13. The Knights racked up 375 yards of total offense and limited Q-town to only 132 total yards. Dominic Taggart scored on an 18-yard run and a 47-yard TD pass from Todd Smolinsky. Smolinsky also scored on a 5-yard run and completed 6-of-8 passes for 114 yards. Craig Needhammer found the end zone on 13 and 1-yard runs.
North Penn’s Craig Needhammer was named Star of the Month for September by Varsity365. To read about his selection, visit the web site at the following link: http://www.varsity365.com/starofthemonthseptember2009.html
Souderton (3-4, 4-0) remained unbeaten in conference play with a come-from-behind 14-10 victory over Central Bucks South (1-6, 1-3). Derek Brown scored both Indian touchdowns – one on a 25-yard pass from Connor Brokenshire – and the game winner of a 7-yard run in the fourth period.
Next: Souderton @ North Penn (Friday 7 pm)
Last Year: North Penn 33 – Souderton 10
Prediction: North Penn 35 – Souderton 14
Central Bucks South (1-6, 1-3) led Souderton early in the game 10-0, but dropped a 14-10 verdict to the Big Red (4-3, 4-0). The Titans scored a defensive touchdown when Chris Eberz picked up a fumble and rambled 78-yards for a touchdown. South place kicker Josh Williams booted a 39-yard field goal.
Hatboro-Horsham (3-4, 2-2) fell behind Pennridge (3-4, 1-2) early and finished on the losing end of a 21-12 score. Hatter quarterback Matt Hollenbeck fired a pair of touchdown passes – one to Nick Dovidio for 46 yards – and one to Connor Poston of 1 yard.
Next: Central Bucks South @ Hatboro-Horsham (Friday 7 pm)
Last Year: Hatboro-Horsham 56 – Central Bucks South 21
Prediction: CB South 21 – Hatboro-Horsham 14
Quakertown (5-2, 1-2) took a direct hit from visiting North Penn (7-0, 4-0) as the Knights cruised to a resounding 43-13 conference victory. Panther senior running back Tony Latronica rushed for 114 yards on 16 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns – one of 30 yards and the other of 1 yard.
Panther lineman Joe Meehan’s injury was diagnosed as a severe concussion. He will be out this week but is expected to return soon.
Central Bucks East (2-5, 2-2) won its second consecutive conference game with a come-from-behind win over cross town rival Central Bucks West (1-6, 0-4), 22-14. Justyn White rushed for a game-high 150 yards and scored on a 12-yard TD run. Josh Bernard threw a 19-yard TD pass and scored on a 57-yard run.
Next: Central Bucks East @ Quakertown (Friday 7 pm)
Last Year: Quakertown 27 – CB East 20
Prediction: Quakertown 28 – CB East 21
SOL American Conference
Upper Moreland (4-3, 2-2) trailed Wissahickon (3-4, 0-3) 17-7 at the close of the first half, but the Golden Bears roared out of the locker room at intermission to whip the Trojans 34-17.
“We made a lot of mistakes in the first half of the game,” said Upper Moreland coach Adam Beach. “We didn’t make many in the second half. It’s that simple.
“It is tough to play at Wissahickon, it has that different type of turf,” added Beach. “It just came down to who was going to make plays.”
Upper Moreland has one of the premier playmakers in the
area in senior Chris Smallwood. Smallwood – who has been slowed in recent weeks by an ankle injury – rushed for 115 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“I thought he ran well,” said Beach. “He had some of his explosiveness back, but he isn’t quite 100 percent. We have a bye this week, and I expect him to be 100 percent when we play Cheltenham.”
The Golden Bears also have injuries to Jordan Spector (fullback) and Terrell Watson (linebacker). Both could be back for Cheltenham.
Upper Moreland received a fine effort from quarterback Matt Sawick who completed eight passes to Royne Dennis for 165 yards that included a 43-yard TD pass.
The Golden Bear special teams also found paydirt as Greg Adamson returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown.
“We are the smallest school in the Suburban One League, and we might not have the depth that some of the other schools might have,” said Beach. “The bye week comes at a good time for us. The kids can focus more on school work, and it gives us a chance to get healthy.”
Norristown (6-1, 3-1) had another superb game turned in by Sheldon Mayer in a 28-0 shutout of Upper Merion (3-4, 2-2). Mayer rushed for 180 yards on 16 carries and scored on TD runs of 50 and 63 yards. Evan Battalio scored on a 9-yard run, while Derrick Williams scored on a 2-yard run.
Wissahickon (3-4, 0-3) is still in search for its first conference win after the Trojans lost a 34-17 contest to visiting Upper Moreland (4-3, 2-2). Brandon Gunn scored a pair of touchdowns for Wissy on runs of 30 yards and 1 yard. Ryan McDonough kicked a 33-yard field goal for the Trojans.
Next: Wissahickon @ Norristown (Friday 7 pm)
Last Year: Wissahickon 27 – Norristown 8
Prediction: Norristown 35 – Wissahickon 20
Upper Merion (3-4, 2-2) had tough sailing last week as the Vikings were whitewashed by rival Norristown (6-1, 3-1), 28-0. Tyler Zeoli led Upper Merion in rushing with 75 yards. Naim Cheeseboro- who was ejected from the Upper Moreland game two weeks ago and had a one game suspension – will be back this week.
Plymouth Whitemarsh (1-6, 1-2) played Upper Dublin (3-3, 3-0) tough for the first three quarters, but dropped a 21-13 conference game to the first place Cardinals. Terrell Steele scored on a pair of 4-yard touchdown runs for the Colonials.
Next: Upper Merion @ Plymouth Whitemarsh Friday 7 pm)
Last Year: Upper Merion 10 – Plymouth Whitemarsh 6
Prediction: Upper Merion 21 – Plymouth Whitemarsh 14
Upper Dublin (3-3, 3-0) fought off a difficult challenge from Plymouth Whitemarsh (1-6, 1-2) before defeating the Colonials 21-13. Evan Saltzman scored on a 40-yard pass from Andrew Derr, while Anthony Williams scored on a pair of long distance runs. Williams – who rushed for 200 yards – scored on runs of 52 and 83 yards.
Cheltenham (2-5, 1-2) left the confines of the Suburban One American Conference and played Unionville (4-3) last week. The Panthers lost a 28-7 non-league verdict to the host Indians.
Next: Cheltenham @ Upper Dublin (Friday 7 pm)
Last Year: Upper Dublin 22 – Cheltenham 14
Prediction: Upper Dublin 14 – Cheltenham 13
SuburbanOneSports.Com Super Seven
1. North Penn Knights (7-0, 4-0)
2. Pennsbury Falcons (7-0, 4-0)
3. Neshaminy Redskins (6-1, 3-1)
4. Council Rock North Indians (5-2, 3-1)
5. Council Rock South Golden Hawks (5-2, 2-2)
6. Norristown Eagles (6-1, 3-1)
7. Abington Ghosts (4-2, 2-2)