Pennridge got back on the winning track with its 31-7 win over Council Rock South. To view game action photos, please visit the Photo Gallery.
By Scott Huff
Newtown - Not this week – and hopefully never again for the Pennridge Rams.
Last week Pennridge found a way to deliver a 24-21 overtime victory to a Bensalem team that the Rams had dominated everywhere on the field but not on the scoreboard. Critical fumbles in the red zone and key penalties in the overtime simply got in the way to an expected Pennridge victory.
“To be honest, I’m still not over it,” said Pennridge head coach Randy Cuthbert after the Rams (2-1) collected a commanding 31-7 victory over host Council Rock South (0-3) at Walt Snyder Stadium. “If that had been the last game of the year, we would have had to live in agony for a whole year.
“But give our players credit, we had a great week of practice, and we were ready when it was time to play this week,” added Cuthbert. “We played with great discipline on both sides of the football.”
The spotlight on the offensive side of the ball once again focused on the extraordinary talent of junior running back Michael Class. Class was terrific with 256 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 30 carries.
“Mike is fast, strong, and tough,” said Cuthbert of his heralded speedster. “But what some people don’t see is his great vision to see the open holes. Our offensive line communicates very well, and when Mike hits a crease, he’s gone. But we are far from a one-man team.”
Michael Class agrees with his head coach.
“This is a team with special players, and I’m not the only player that can make big plays,” said Class. “MacKenzie Crawford, Kyle Bigham, and Alex Krivda all can make big plays. And my offensive line was great and gave me some nice running room.
“Last week was tough because of the turnovers,” added Class in reference to the three Ram fumbles inside the 10-yard line against Bensalem. “We knew that if we could secure the ball, we would be able to do well tonight.”
The spotlight on the defensive side of the football focused on the talents of Pennridge senior middle linebacker Alex Fedele.
“In order to beat the triple option offense that Council Rock South runs, you have to be able to take away their fullback,” said Cuthbert. “And Alex did a great job of shutting him down. It was his responsibility to handle the fullback, and Alex was able to do that.”
“I was told to get the fullback, and I tackled him on every play,” smiled Fedele, who calls the defensive signals for the Rams. “They like to run the ball up the middle, and I just tried to do my job.
“We had a tough loss last week, but we just pushed it aside and worked harder this week,” continued Fedele. “We came out this week and played with pride.”
Pennridge came out on its first offensive drive of the game and pieced together a nine-play scoring march that covered 60 yards. Class ripped off gains of 16 and 13 yards, while the scoring play came on a fourth down aerial from quarterback Alex Krivda to Kyle Bigham. Joe Masgi added the placement to give the Rams a 7-0 lead.
The second Pennridge possession also resulted in a nine-play scoring drive. This drive covered 79 yards, featured a 26-yard dash by Class and was culminated on a one-yard touchdown blast by Crawford.
The lead stretched to 19-0 as the Rams took advantage of good field position to punch in their third score in as many drives. Class jetted for his longest run of the night in this series – a 38-yard run – and capped the scoring march with a nifty seven-yard scoring effort.
The highlight of the night for Rock South came on its next drive. The scoring drive – which began with a 50-yard kickoff return to the Ram 37-yard line by senior Aaron Presley – culminated with a 12-yard scoring pass from junior quarterback Greg Paprocki to senior Christian Crane.
Rock South’s Dylan Moyer added the placement to cut the margin to 19-7 in the second period. The Golden Hawks would get no closer.
“We just have to keep our heads up – keep fighting,” said Crane who led the Hawks in rushing with 65 yards on 13 carries. “Things are tough right now, but we will bounce back. We will pick it up – myself included.”
Pennridge put the game away with an impressive drive that began in the waning moments of the third quarter and spilled midway through the final period. The relentless 14-play, 90-yard drive featured no less than 10 runs by Class, who also earned scoring honors with a two-yard run.
The final Ram score came late in the fourth period when backup quarterback Matt Pasquale scored on a quarterback keeper from nine yards out. Pennridge – which scored five touchdowns but converted just a single conversion after touchdown – would close out the scoring at 31-7.
“To beat a team like Council Rock South, you have to play assignment football,” said Cuthbert. “And we handled our assignments well.”
And – unlike last week – walked off the field a winner.
Pennridge Rams 13 6 0 12 - 31
Council Rock South Hawks 0 7 0 0 - 7
P: Kyle Bigham 21 pass from Alex Krivda (Joe Masgi kick)
P: MacKenzie Crawford 1 run (kick failed)
P: Michael Class 7 run (pass failed)
CRS: Christian Crane 12 pass from Greg Paprocki (Dylan Moyer kick)
P: Michael Class 2 run (pass failed)
P: Matt Pasquale 9 run (kick failed)
Pennridge Council Rock South
23 First Downs 10
377 Rushing Yards 128
61 Passing Yards 12
438 Total Offense 140
0-0 Punts / Avg 2-36
1-15 Penalties / Yards 2-10
Rushing: Michael Class 30-256 & 2 TD; MacKenzie Crawford 13-64 & TD; Kyle Bigham 2-36; Sifee Good 2-3; Matt Pasquale 1-9 & TD; Devon Balmer 1-4; John Kim 1-3; Imeir Simmons 1-2; Alex Krivda 1-0. Totals – 52-377 & 4 TD.
Passing: Alex Krivda 5-8-0-61yards and TD.
Receiving: Micah Stutzman 3-25; Kyle Bigham 1-21 & TD; Michael Class 1-15. Totals – 5-61 & TD.
Council Rock South
Rushing: Christian Crane 13-65; PJ Steinmetz 11-41; Greg Paprocki 10-14; Vincent Alimenti 3-8; Rocco Spadaccino 2-0. Totals – 39-128.
Passing: Greg Paprocki 1-4-0-12 yards and TD.
Receiving: Christian Crane 1-12 and TD.