Back for its 12th season, the popular Intelligencer/Bucks County Courier Times ‘Let’s Talk Football’ features football beat writer Drew Markol. To stay on top of the high school football news in the area, visit the Intelligencer (http://www.theintell.com/sports/high-school/) and Courier Times (http://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/sports/high-school/) web sites.
Join Jeff Nolan and Kevin Cooney for the WPHT High School Football Scoreboard Show as they recap the night of high school football on Friday 10 p.m. to midnight on 1210AM/WPHT and the Audacy app.
SuburbanOneSports.com: North Penn defeated Central Bucks West 28-14 in one of last week’s biggest games. Your comments.
Drew Markol: “In North Penn/West, you had an undefeated North Penn team playing a one-loss West team. As West coach Rob Rowan said after the game, it was just very difficult in the early stages for West to get used to North Penn’s speed. They tried to practice against it, but until you face it, it kind of surprises you how quickly they’re moving. Khalani Eaton, the senior running back, ran for 240 yards on 20 carries or something crazy. He’s averaging over 10 yards a carry for the season. Think about that. It’s kind of hard to stop an offense when the player’s averaging more than a first down every carry.
“He has been phenomenal for three years and was all-state last year. He scored two touchdowns, one of them for 94 yards. On that play, I actually put my head down because I thought the play was over to record the run, and then you look up, and somehow he’s still moving. Dick Beck called it the greatest run he’s ever seen. It was just remarkable. I would not be surprised if every West defender didn’t touch him at some point on that play. He talked about it after the game. He said, ‘I just kept my legs moving, I finally saw some open grass and just kept going.’ That kid is big, he’s powerful, he’s fast. Every time he touches the ball, he’s a touchdown waiting to happen. Levi Carroll, the senior receiver on the outside, scored two touchdowns.
“West played much better in the second half. North Penn didn’t score. West was piling up some yardage. Dick Beck even said that his team was getting tired in the second half. It ended up 28-14, kind of what we thought it would. They’re two good teams. West at 6-2 – they’ve lost to Coatesville and North Penn. There’s no shame in that. It was a good game, a big crowd, but the outcome kind of went to form.”
SuburbanOneSports.com: Also in the National Conference, Pennridge had a big 24-7 win over Central Bucks East in an important game. Your thoughts.
Drew Markol: “I was a bit surprised by that final score. You had a 6-1 East team that hadn’t lost since opening night, and you had Pennridge who basically has to win out to get to the playoffs. They’ve only lost to CB West, Downingtown East and North Penn, and those three teams have only lost three games combined. That was a huge win for Pennridge. It now puts them at 5-3. If they can beat CB South on Friday and if they beat Abington to close out the regular season next week, you’re 7-3. I believe they’re 12th in the power rankings now, and if you do that, maybe you jump up to a top eight and get a home game in the district playoffs. That was an enormous win for Pennridge. Now an East team at 6-2 still has to play West and North Penn, and those are two very, very tough games. If they lose those games, you go from 6-1 to 6-4 and now you’re probably on the road for the playoffs.”
SuburbanOneSports.com: Upper Moreland is at Plymouth Whitemarsh on Friday. UM defeated Springfield Township 28-21 and has only one loss in the conference and PW has not lost in the conference. Your comments.
Drew Markol: “I talked to CJ Szydlik, the Upper Moreland coach, the other day. They’re ranked number one in the District One 4A rankings if the season ended today. Only four teams get in District One 4A, so obviously, they want to stay there. Beating a good Springfield Township team last week helped. If they can beat Plymouth Whitemarsh this week, it would likely earn them a share of the SOL American Conference title and also give them a pretty good boost in the rankings because you have a 6-1 5A Plymouth Whitemarsh team which also has a lot going in that game because if PW wins over Upper Moreland, they clinch the SOL American title plus they’re sixth in the 5A power points now. If you beat a 7-1 team – UM might be a classification lower than you, but it still helps. It helps push Plymouth Whitemarsh a tick or two higher in the 5A. That’s an enormous game for both teams.”
SuburbanOneSports.com: Souderton, which fell to Upper Dublin 10-7, had an open date this week since Hatboro-Horsham forfeited its remaining games. The Indians will face Cheltenham, which also had an open date after losing its game with New Hope-Solebury. Your thoughts.
Drew Markol: “It was a little fancy footwork by Souderton. They were supposed to play Hatboro, and Hatboro-Horsham cancelled the rest of its season. New Hope-Solebury also decided to cancel its game against Cheltenham. I talked with the New Hope-Solebury athletic director, Kris Foulke, the other day. They just don’t have the numbers they need, they have a lot of injuries, but they’re still hoping to play next Friday against William Tennent when they’re going to dedicate their new football field. That game is still on. Kris Foulke said he was very glad that Cheltenham was able to find a game, so I don’t know who called who, but when New Hope backed out of Cheltenham, either Cheltenham called Souderton or Souderton called Cheltenham and said, ‘Let’s play.’ However, it worked, I’m glad it worked because the power points that Souderton would have gotten with a forfeit win over winless Hatboro-Horsham would not have been much, but if they can beat a solid 5A in Cheltenham, that’s going to help them. It’s about getting into one of those 16 spots. On the flip side, if you’re Cheltenham, you beat a solid Souderton team and you’re a 5A, that’s going to help you when it comes to your playoffs. That was some good maneuvering to put that game together so quickly. They’re both in the same boat. They both have the exact same amount of time to get ready for each other. Sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”
Drew Markol’s Picks (Winner in Bold)
Abington @ Pennsbury
Quakertown @ Bensalem
Central Bucks East @ North Penn
Pennridge @ Central Bucks South
Central Bucks West @ Neshaminy
Harry S Truman @ Council Rock South
Upper Moreland @ Plymouth Whitemarsh
Souderton @ Cheltenham
George School @ Springfield Twp
William Tennent @ Wissahickon
Upper Dublin @ Council Rock North