By Scott Huff
Championship week (part 2) continues in the SOL Continental Conference as North Penn (6-1 overall, 3-0 conference) faces its second unbeaten team in as many weeks when the Knights travel to iconic War Memorial Field to face the unbeaten Central Bucks West Bucks (7-0, 4-0).
Last week North Penn - the defending SOL Continental Conference champion - knocked Souderton from the ranks of the unbeaten with a decisive 47-21 score. Now the Knights face a CB West team that ranks ahead of them in the district playoff rankings and has excelled on both sides of the football against all opposition.
It brings back memories of the glory days of North Penn and CB West football when the Knights and Bucks were the elite of the conference. The good old days when legendary head coaches like (NP) Mike Pettine Jr and (CBW) Mike Pettine Sr stormed up and down the sidelines.
The Knights have never really left that elite status, and the Bucks this season have been quite remarkable with a roster of around just 40 players.
North Penn will close the season with an easier schedule between the two schools the final two weeks as the Knights travel to Central Bucks South (5-2) and host William Tennent (2-5). CB West closes with a killer schedule that includes a key conference game at Souderton (6-1) and home in a non-league game with talented Abington (6-1).
The SOL National Conference could have a conference showdown next week when resurgent Pennsbury (4-3, 3-0) will take to the road to play currently unbeaten in conference Abington (6-1, 4-0). That’s assuming that this week the soaring Falcons handle struggling Council Rock South (1-6, 1-2), and Abington must go on the road to play and defeat a talented- but wounded Truman (4-3, 3-1).
The final two weeks of the season are interesting for the three SOL National Conference contenders.
Pennsbury will have a difficult journey as it will close with conference games at Abington (6-1, 4-0) and archrival Neshaminy (3-4, 2-2). Abington will have an equally difficult journey as the Ghosts close out their conference schedule at home with Pennsbury (4-3, 3-0) and on the road with a non-league game at currently unbeaten Central Bucks West (7-0). Truman has the most favorable final two weeks with a pair of road games with a non-league game at Pennridge (1-6) and a conference contest at Bensalem (2-5, 0-4).
All you know in this SOL National Conference is that you don’t know – yet.
The SOL American Conference championship is Cheltenham’s to lose as the Panthers (6-1, 3-0) clawed Plymouth Whitemarsh (5-1, 2-1) 28-24 last week in a thriller.
Cheltenham will close out the season with games with conference games against Hatboro-Horsham (0-6, 0-3), Upper Moreland (5-2, 1-2) and Wissahickon (1-6, 0-4). Only the Golden Bears pose any real threat to the Panthers.
Plymouth Whitemarsh must win out in case of a Cheltenham stumble. The Colonials will host Quakertown (3-4, 2-1) in an elimination game this week. PW will close the final two weeks of the conference season against injury-riddled Upper Dublin (3-3, 1-2) and close the regular season with a home game against Hatboro-Horsham.
Quakertown (3-4, 2-1) – with only one conference loss – is still in the mathematical equation. The Panthers, however, must beat conference foe Plymouth Whitemarsh (5-2, 2-1) this week and winless Hatboro-Horsham in the conference finale. Q-town closes the season with non-league games against Academy Park (6-1) and rival Pennridge (1-6) on Thanksgiving.
You can’t make chicken soup without the chicken.
Two of the very best scholastic football coaches over the years in the Suburban One League are Council Rock South head coach Vince Bedesem and Hatboro-Horsham head coach Mark Schmidt. The two veteran coaches have built pristine resumes during their tenure at the high school level.
Bedesem coached the Golden Hawks to back-to-back shared SOL National titles back in the day. CR South shared a title with Abington in the 2011-2012 season and shared a title with both Abington and Neshaminy back in the 2010-2011 season.
Schmidt left Neshaminy with a glorious 161 -66 record – the most of any coach in the team’s illustrious history. He was also an assistant coach for private school power Imhotep Charter – coaching in state championship games.
Bedesem has never left his post at Rock South, and Schmidt came back to the SOL this season to become the head coach of Hatboro-Horsham. Tremendous success has followed both coaches – until this season.
Together they have combined for a 1-12 record this 2019-2020 season.
Bedesem and the Hawks (1-6) won their first game last week with a 24-6 victory over Bensalem, while the winless Hatters (0-6) were forced to cancel its game last week against private school power Germantown Academy due to numerous injuries.
There are very few, if any, that know the X’s and O’s better than this dynamic duo. However, we all know that the talent on the football field is often what wins and loses games.
And for this season, the recipe for winning for both Bedesem and Schmidt has been difficult to follow and an extremely tough season to swallow.
SOL District 1 Playoff Snapshot
If the Playoff began today
Top 16 Qualify for Playoffs
Seed Team Record Ranking Points
2 Central Bucks West Bucks 7-0 161.43
3 North Penn Knights 6-1 152.86
5 Abington Ghosts 6-1 145.71
7 Souderton Indians 6-1 140.00
10 Central Bucks South Titans 5-2 135.71
12 Plymouth Whitemarsh 5-1 133.33
15 Pennsbury Falcons 4-3 117.14
Top 16 Qualify for Playoffs
1 Cheltenham Panthers 6-1 161.43
11 Upper Dublin Cardinals 3-3 103.33
Top 4 Qualify for Playoffs
1 Upper Moreland Bears 5-2 131.43
2 Springfield Spartans 5-2 117.14
And the beat goes on…
SOL Continental Conference
Friday – 7 pm
NORTH PENN KNIGHTS (6-1, 4-0) @ CENTRAL BUCKS WEST BUCKS (7-0, 4-0)
North Penn trailed Souderton 21-20 in the first half before scoring the final 27 points to defeat the Indians 47-21. The Knights received a spectacular outing from senior RJ Macnamara who scored 4 touchdowns. Macnamara rushed for a game-high 146 yards and 3 scores and added a receiving touchdown. Freshman quarterback Ryan Zeltt completed 6 passes for 152 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Central Bucks West remained unbeaten with a huge 45-10 victory over district rival Central Bucks East. Jack Fallon rushed 16 times for 129 yards and scored 3 touchdowns for the Bucks. Jack Neri and Nick Tumolo also scored rushing touchdowns, while Bailey Moyer connected on a 43-yard field goal for the winners.
North Penn 27 – Central Bucks West 24
PENNRIDGE RAMS (1-6, 0-4) @ WILLIAM TENNENT PANTHERS (2-5, 0-3)
Pennridge lost for the sixth straight week as the Rams were defeated by visiting Central Bucks South 27-7. Quarterback Bobby Croyle completed 16 passes for 130 yards that included an 11-yard touchdown pass to Elias Dantzer.
William Tennent lost for the fourth straight week as the Panthers were defeated by Neshaminy 34-14 in a non-league contest. Tommy Santiago had 21 carries for 111 yards and scored both Black Cat touchdowns.
Prediction: (upset special)
Pennridge 14 – William Tennent 13
SOL National Conference
Friday – 7 pm
ABINGTON GHOSTS (6-1, 4-0) @ HARRY S TRUMAN TIGERS (4-3, 3-1)
Abington won for the sixth straight week as the Ghosts routed Council Rock North 35-7. Tamir Berthau completed 10 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown – and also rushed for a score. Andrick Wesh rushed 15 times for 154 yards and scored 2 touchdowns, while Caleb Baker caught 7 passes for 126 yards and a TD.
Harry S Truman lost its first conference game of the season as the Tigers were caged in a 42-20 loss to Pennsbury. Quarterback David Wilson passed for 157 yards and a touchdown, while Jordan Fant had 101 yards receiving and a score. Terrence Rogers rushed for a team-high 92 yards and a touchdown.
Abington 34 – Truman 28
BENSALEM OWLS (2-5, 0-3) @ NESHAMINY REDSKINS (3-4, 1-2)
Bensalem lost for the fifth straight week as the Owls we shot down 24-7 by Council Rock South. Ashton Barnes rushed for 61 yards and scored the lone Blue & White touchdown on a 9-yard run.
Neshaminy rebounded from its 38-13 loss to Abington to defeat William Tennent 34-14 in a non-league game. Chris James sparked the offense with 191 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Brody McAndrew threw a TD pass and also scored a rushing touchdown.
Neshaminy 45 – Bensalem 14
COUNCIL ROCK SOUTH HAWKS (1-6, 1-2) @ PENNSBURY FALCONS (4-3, 3-0)
Council Rock South collected its first win of the season as the Golden Hawks soared to a 24-6 victory over Bensalem. Brady Beres rushed for a game-high 94 yards on 21 carries, while Dawson Fresses rushed for an additional 67 yards and scored 2 touchdowns.
Pennsbury capitalized on four turnovers and exploded for 42 first-half points to dismantle Harry S Truman 42-20. The Falcons were led offensively by quarterback CJ Kohler who completed 8 passes for 153 yards and 3 touchdowns. JayVon McNeil was the leading rusher in the game with 112 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown.
Pennsbury 38 – Council Rock South 13
SOL American Conference
Friday - 7 pm
QUAKERTOWN PANTHERS (3-4, 3-1) @ PLYMOUTH WHITEMARSH COLONIALS (5-1, 2-1)
Quakertown won its third conference game with a thrilling 14-13 victory over defending champion Upper Dublin. Quarterback Will Stiech was impressive passing for 201 yards on 13 completions. Steich both passed for a score and rushed for a touchdown.
Plymouth Whitemarsh suffered its first loss of the season as the Colonials were handed a heartbreaking 28-24 loss to Cheltenham. Brian Dresnin rushed for a team-high 127 yards and a score, while Michael Paciello and Larry McLaughlin also scored rushing touchdown.
Plymouth Whitemarsh 28 – Quakertown 21
CHELTENHAM PANTHERS (6-1, 3-0) @ HATBORO-HORSHAM HATTERS (0-6, 0-3)
Cheltenham captured a key conference victory as the Panthers held on to defeat Plymouth Whitemarsh 28-24. Adonis Hunter completed 10 passes for 172 yards and a score and also scored on 2 rushing touchdowns. Nate Edwards returned a kickoff 83 yards for a TD, while Sam Sykes scored what proved to be the game-winning touchdown on a pass from Hunter.
Hatboro-Horsham canceled its game with unbeaten Germantown Academy. The Hatters cited too many injuries for the cancellation of the game.
Cheltenham 45 – Hatboro-Horsham 13
UPPER DUBLIN CARDINALS (3-3, 1-2) @ WISSAHICKON TROJANS (1-6, 1-3)
Upper Dublin lost an early lead and fell to Quakertown by a 14-13 final. It was the third straight loss for UD after the Cardinals opened the season 3-0. Jacob Rossman scored both Upper Dublin touchdowns in the defeat.
Wissahickon had its troubles offensively as the Trojans were shut out by Upper Moreland 20-0. Quarterback Aiden DeFeo completed 12 passes for 92 yards in the defeat.
Upper Dublin 20 – Wissahickon 7
Friday – 7 pm
SOUDERTON INDIANS (6-1) @ COUNCIL ROCK NORTH INDIANS (1-6)
Souderton fell from the ranks of the unbeaten as the Big Red lost to defending conference champion North Penn 47-21. Quarterback Andrew Vince completed 7 passes for 91 yards and a touchdown, and DeAndre Wakefield rushed for a team-high 87 yards and a touchdown.
Council Rock North lost for the fifth straight week as the Indians were defeated by Abington 35-7. The lone score for Rock North came on a 5-yard touchdown run by Dillon Sheehy.
Souderton 42 – CR North 7
UPPER MORELAND BEARS (5-2) @ SUN VALLEY VANGUARDS (0-7)
Upper Moreland had an excellent defensive outing as the Golden Bears shut out Wissahickon 20-0. Dai-Jahn Dukes scored 2 touchdowns to fuel the Upper Moreland offense.
Sun Valley remains in search of its first win. The Vanguards were defeated 36-0 last week by Bishop Shanahan.
Upper Moreland 28 – Sun Valley 7
MORRISVILLE BULLDOGS (4-2) @ SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP SPARTANS (5-2)
Morrisville lost for just the second time in six outings. The Bulldogs struggled both offensively and defensively in a 34-6 loss to Jenkintown.
Springfield kept it second seed in the D-1 (4A) playoffs with a 34-13 victory over New Hope-Solebury. Gabe Franczyk rushed 20 times for 134 yards and scored 3 touchdowns, while JP McGowan added 124 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Springfield 35 – Morrisville 14
SOL Continental Conference
Saturday – 11 am
CENTRAL BUCKS SOUTH TITANS (5-2, 2-1) @ CENTRAL BUCKS EAST PATRIOTS (3-4, 0-3)
Central Bucks South led 21-0 at the half and marched to a 27-7 victory over host Pennridge. Josh Consoletti threw 3 touchdowns passes for the Titans, while Sean Smith caught a TD pass and also rushed for a score.
Central Bucks East lost its fourth straight game after opening the season with three wins in a 45-10 loss to Central Bucks West. Anthony Giordano completed 10 passes for 119 yards. Pat Volko scored a rushing TD for the Patriots, while Michael Smigley booted a 33-yard field goal.
Central Bucks South 27 – Central Bucks East 24