SOL Football Forecast (9-16-21)


Photo courtesy of Geanine Jamison Photography.



By Scott Huff


This week the Suburban One League will have a full slate of cross-over games between the National and Continental Conferences.


And the American Conference will open its 2021 conference schedule with a full slate of games.  William Tennent will play a non-league game.


The SOL has shuffled the conference football deck numerous times over the years, and this latest deal has looked like a bad deal for some, and a great deal for others. 


There are some real question marks in my mind in how the conferences were aligned.  To be very honest, I just don’t quite get it.


Bad deal # 1 – Upper Dublin.


It almost seems like the Cardinals are being punished for having a very successful program in the recent past.  Head coach Bret Stover has done wonders with the program he has constructed over the years.


Upper Dublin is clearly the smallest team in the SOL Continental Conference with only 511 male students.  The average male enrollment of the teams on the Flying Cardinal conference schedule is 692.


This week unbeaten Upper Dublin was ‘rewarded’ with a cross-over game with unbeaten North Penn.  North Penn has the largest male enrollment in the SOL with 1,523 male students – 1,012 more male students than Upper Dublin.


Upper Dublin has played that David role to Goliath before when facing North Penn – and things turned out much like the biblical story for the Cardinals.


The year was 2015 and Upper Dublin finished the regular SOL American Conference season unbeaten and was a perfect 10-0 for the season entering the district one playoffs.


North Penn was unbeaten in the 2015 SOL National Conference and was 8-2 with non-league losses only to PCL power La Salle (24-12) and Downingtown East (28-24) entering the district one playoffs.


Upper Dublin swept through PIAA District One play with victories over Garnet Valley (35-3), Upper Darby (45-14), and Pennsbury (24-14).


North Penn swept through PIAA District One play with victories over Unionville (48-7), a revenge win over Downingtown East (27-14), and Neshaminy (28-7).


Nobody, and I mean nobody, gave Upper Dublin a snowball’s chance in …. well … against North Penn in the District One final.


I guess that snowballs actually have that chance in … well … as Upper Dublin secured a stunning 46-21 victory over North Penn to capture that District One championship.


Enrollment doesn’t guarantee wins and losses – but it sure does level the playing field.


Great deal # 1 – Souderton


The Big Red – both the defending District One and SOL Continental Conference champion - also finds itself in that same SOL Continental Conference.


Souderton, however, has the largest male enrollment in the conference with 828 students.  The average enrollment of the teams on the Big Red conference schedule is 647.


In fact, Souderton has the same male enrollment as Pennridge (829) and Abington.(828) – and more than both Central Bucks East (756) and Central Bucks West (743).


 Pennridge, Abington, CB East, and CB West are all in the SOL National Conference.  A conference that boasts the four highest enrollments in the league in North Penn, Pennsbury, Neshaminy, and CB South.

This is not to diminish the championships that Souderton achieved last year.  There should be no asterisk attached – COVID or otherwise, to the tremendous season the Big Red had in 2020.


Head coach Ed Gallagher has every right to be proud of the job his players and coaching staff did over the course of the challenging 2020 football season.


Victories over eventual 5A champion Upper Dublin (28-7) to win the SOL Continental Conference, PAC champion Spring-Ford (27-24) in the District One semifinal, and SOL National Conference champion Pennridge (31-17) in the District One final were impressive.


And to Souderton’s credit – the Big Red scheduled North Penn this year in a non-conference opener.  Souderton was more than competitive with the host Knights  – leading at the half 17-14 and leading in the third quarter 24-21 – but fell hard to North Penn, 42-27.


The other bad SOL conference deals include – CB East and CB West in the National Conference who have enrollments similar to SOLC teams - along with Hatboro Horsham that should be in the SOLA conference.


Bensalem, Plymouth Whitemarsh and William Tennent received good conference deals.  The Owls have an enrollment comparable to the National Conference schools, while the Colonials and Panthers have enrollment figures closer to SOL Continental Conference.


The only thing you know for sure is that the Suburban One League will shuffle the deck once more in the future.  And some programs will love the cards they are dealt – and some surely won’t.


Like I said – enrollment does not guarantee wins and losses – but it surely does level the playing field.


2021 - National Conference Enrollment

Football – Male students only

  1. North Penn – 1,523
  2. Pennsbury  – 1,094
  3. Neshaminy  – 1,055
  4. Central Bucks South - 918
  5. Pennridge – 829
  6. Abington – 828
  7. Central Bucks East - 756
  8. Central Bucks West – 743


2021 – Continental Conference Enrollment

Football – Male Students Only

  1.  Souderton – 828
  2. Bensalem – 787
  3. Council Rock South - 757
  4. Truman – 669
  5. Quakertown – 640
  6. Council Rock North – 599
  7. Hatboro Horsham – 563
  8. Upper Dublin – 511 – 5A


2021 – American Conference Enrollment
Football – Male Students Only

  1. William Tennent – 633
  2. Plymouth Whitemarsh – 579 – 5A
  3. Wissahickon – 525 – 5A
  4. Cheltenham – 517 – 5A
  5. Upper Moreland – 385 – 4A
  6. Springfield – 295 – 4A
  7. New Hope-Solebury – 219 – 3A


If the Suburban One League was aligned strictly by enrollment


The SOL National Conference would consist of North Penn, Pennsbury, Neshaminy, CB South, Pennridge, Souderton, Abington, & Bensalem


The SOL Continental Conference would consist of CR South, CB East, CB West, Truman, Quakertown, William Tennent, CR North, & Plymouth Whitemarsh.


The SOL American Conference would be Hatboro-Horsham, Wissahickon, Cheltenham, Upper Dublin, Upper Moreland, Springfield, & New Hope-Solebury.


P.S.  Could you imagine if the Central Bucks school district decided not to split into CB West, CB East, & CB South high schools?  A merged Central Bucks would number a staggering 2,417 male students.


Suburban One League D-1 Playoff Snapshot

If the PIAA District One playoffs were to begin today…


Current PIAA District 1 – 6A

Football Rankings

16 teams qualify out of 32 teams

  1.   North Penn Knights (3-0) 150.00 average

6.   Quakertown Panthers (3-0) 136.667

7.   Souderton Big Red (2-1) 110.00

9.   Central Bucks East (2-1) 106.667

9.   Central Bucks West (2-1) 106.667

11 .Pennridge Rams (2-1) 103.333

16. Bensalem Owls (2-1)     96.667


Current PIAA District 1 – 5A

Football Rankings

16 teams qualify out of 24 teams

  1.   Upper Dublin Cardinals (3-0) 160.00
  1.   Plymouth Whitemarsh Colonials (2-1) 116.667


Current PIAA District 1 – 4A
Football Rankings

4 teams qualify out of 9

  1.   Upper Moreland Golden Bears (3-0) 160.00


And the beat goes on…


SOL National/Continental Challenge
Friday - 7 pm

Upper Dublin Flying Cardinals (3-0) @ North Penn Knights (3-0)
Last Week:

Upper Dublin remained unbeaten with a 23-12 SOLC victory over Bensalem.  Colin O’Sullivan threw touchdown to Tawfiq Bartlett and Tristan Cairnes.  O’Sullivan completed 10 passes for 131 yards. Bartlett also scored a rushing touchdown for the Cardinals.  Nyfise McIntyre rushed for a team-high 91 yards on 18 carries.
North Penn remained unbeaten with a 35-0 mercy-rule SOLN conference victory over Pennsbury.  The Knights scored all 35 points by the close of the first half.  Khalani Eaton scored on runs of 8, 51, & 10 yards.  Quarterback Ryan Zeltt threw a pair of touchdown passes – one of 6 yards to Tyler Beam – and a second one to Levi Carroll covering 11 yards.
North Penn 42 – Upper Dublin 14


Quakertown Panthers (3-0) @ Abington Ghosts (1-2)
Last Week:

Quakertown scored over 40 points for the third straight week as the Panthers clawed Council Rock South 41-13 in a SOLC conference contest. Tyler Woodman scored on a TD run of 16 yards and scored on a 23-yard pass from Will Steich.  Steich also scored a rushing touchdown and added a TD pass to Zach Fondl.  John Eatherton scored on a 61-yard punt return.
Abington could not generate any scoring offense in a 21-0 SOLN conference loss to Central Bucks West.  Quarterback Johnny Dzielawa completed 18 passes for 144 yards in the loss.  The Ghost defense  managed a second half shutout against the Bucks.

Quakertown Panthers 28 – Abington Ghosts 14

Souderton Big Red (2-1) @ Neshaminy Redskins (0-3)
Last Week:

rolled to a 42-16 victory over Council Rock North in a SOLC conference game.  Elijah Goods scored the touchdown trifecta scoring on offense, defense, and special teams.  Goods scored on a 3-yard run on offense, scored on a 90-yard interception return on defense, and scored on a 46-yard punt return on special teams.  Brayden Porter scored 3 touchdowns for the Big Red – one on a 54-yard pass from Nate Hageman and on runs of 24 and 61 yards.
Neshaminy remained winless in a 28-14 SOLN conference loss to Pennridge.  The Redskins were tied 7-7 at the half and 14-14 at  the end of 3 quarters.  Nunzio Zydzik scored on touchdown runs of 1 and 2 yards and was the team’s leading rusher with 78 yards on 16 carries.
Souderton Big Red 35 – Neshaminy Redskins 14

Council Rock North Indians (1-2) @ Pennridge Rams (2-1)
Last Week:

Council Rock North
was mercy-ruled by Souderton in a 42-16 SOLC conference game.  The scoring plays for the Indians came on a fumble return for a touchdown by Dylan Siveter, a 23-yard touchdown pass from Jagger Matera to Will Sciodia, and a 35-yard field goal by Sawyer Koza.
Pennridge won for a second straight week as the Rams defeated Neshaminy 28-14 in a SOLN conference game.  Tyler Wetzel was the leading rusher with 131 yards on 11 carries.  Nate Mossbrook scored 2 rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter to break a 14-14 tie and seal the deal for Pennridge.  Mossbrook scored on runs of 16 and 24 yards.
Pennridge Rams 31 – Council Rock North Indians 8

Central Bucks West Bucks (2-1) @ Council Rock South Hawks (0-3)
Last Week:

Central Bucks West
registered a shutout in a 21-0 SOLN victory over Abington.  Ganz Cooper figured in all 3 scoring plays for the Bucks, scoring 2 short rushing TDs and firing a 39-yard TD pass to Vinny Cherubini.  Eli Boehm rushed for a game-high 147 yards on 15 carries.
Council Rock South led 7-6 early in its 41-13 SOLC conference loss to Quakertown.  The Golden Hawks grabbed the lead on a 5-yard touchdown run by Chase Myers.  Myers also caught 2 passes for 71 yards.  Thomas Woloshyn also scored for the Golden Hawks on a 2-yard run.
Central Bucks West 35 – Council Rock South Hawks 7


Hatboro-Horsham Hatters (0-2) @ Central Bucks South Titans (1-2)
Last Week:

Hatboro Horsham lost for the second straight week by the mercy-rule as the Hatters were topped by Harry S Truman, 42-0.  Hatboro Horsham was competitive in the first quarter trailing the Tigers by a 7-0 margin.
Central Bucks South rallied from a 24-6 deficit but failed to capture a win in a 24-19 SOLN loss to rival Central Bucks East.  Cole Maholtz rushed for 105 yards and scored 3 touchdowns on runs of 2, 3, & 23 yards.  Patrick Maerz completed 12 passes for 184 yards in the loss.
Central Bucks South 42 – Hatboro Horsham 6


Harry S Truman Tigers (1-2) @ Pennsbury Falcons (0-3)
Last Week:

Harry S Truman had one of the biggest turnarounds on SOL history with a 42-0 SOLC conference victory over Hatboro Horsham.  The Tigers had lost 41-0 to Souderton the week before – a turnaround of 83 points.  Terrell Delp passed for 121 yards and fired 2 TD passes to Ronell Bradley – one of 8 yards and one of 38-yards.  Kayden Rossi scored on a 68-yard run, while Makai Jackson scored on a 72-yard run.
Pennsbury remained winless and was mercy-ruled for the third straight week by North Penn (35-0) in a SOLN conference contest.  The beleaguered Falcons have been outscored by a margin of 112-0 so far this season
Truman Tigers 35 – Pennsbury Falcons 13


Saturday – 11 am

Bensalem Owls (2-1) @ Central Bucks East Patriots (2-1)
Last Week:

Bensalem lost for the first time this season in a 23-12 SOLC conference setback against unbeaten Upper Dublin.  The Owls led the game by a 6-2 score at the close of the first half.  Josiah Leonard once again scored long-distance touchdowns on sensational runs of 78 and 70 yards.

Central Bucks East received a sensational outing from Ethan Shine in a 24-19 SOLN victory over rival Central Bucks South.  Shine carried 33 times for 238 yards and scored on touchdown runs of 15 and 50 yards.  DeCLan Kelly scored on an 8-yard run, while Jack Corrigan kicked a field goal for the Patriots.
Central Bucks East Patriots 31 – Bensalem Owls 24


Suburban One League
American Conference

Friday – 7 pm

Springfield Spartans (2-0) @ William Tennent Panthers (0-2)
Last Week:

Springfield had a bye.

William Tennent did not play.
William Tennent Panthers 14 – Springfield Spartans  13

Wissahickon Trojans (0-3) @ Upper Moreland Bears (3-0)
Last Week:

led 21-14 at the close of the first half but was unable to close out the game in a 35-27 non-league loss to Methacton.  Aidan DeFeo completed 18 passes for 238 yards that included a 15-yard TD pass to Kyle Lehman.  Lehman rushed for a game-high 78 yards on 20 carries and scored on runs of 10 and 12 yards.
Upper Moreland led 21-6 but was forced to hold on in the final period to secure a 21-19 non-league victory over Phoenixville.  Cameryn Jackson carried 20 times for 120 yards and scored on a 24-yard run.  Quarterback Byron Hopkins threw 2 touchdown passes – one of 14 yards to Ryan Olexa – and the other of 36-yards to Mekhi Lyles.
Upper Moreland Golden Bears 35 – Wissahickon Trojans 27

New Hope-Solebury Lions (1-2) @ Plymouth Whitemarsh Colonials (2-1)
Last Week:

New Hope-Solebury
kicked a late field goal in the fourth quarter to secure its first win with a 9-8 non-league victory over the Academy of the New Church.
Plymouth Whitemarh rolled over Norristown 49-8 in a mercy-rule non-league game.  Nate Kern scored 2 touchdowns on runs of 1 & 35.  Aiden O’Brien, Greg Feinberg, Zion East, and Taji Hubbard also scored rushing touchdowns for the winners.  O’Brien fired a 32-yard scoring pass to Chris McLaughlin.
Plymouth Whitemarsh Colonials 49 – New Hope-Solebury Lions 6


Non-League Game

Friday - 7 pm

Norristown Eagles (0-3) @ Cheltenham Panthers (0-3)
Last Week:

Norristown fell for the third straight week as the Eagles were routed by Plymouth Whitemarsh, 49-8.
Cheltenham fell for the third straight week as the Panthers were routed by Archbishop Wood, 49-0.
Cheltenham Panthers 21 – Norristown Eagles 13