(Photo courtesy of Kim Supko: https://solsports.zenfolio.com/f1016771659)
Football Forecast – 4
By Scott Huff
The 2021 Quakertown football season was arguably the finest season in Panther history.
- The Black Cats were a remarkable 13-1 overall and captured the Suburban One League Continental Conference championship with a perfect 7-0 record.
- The conference victories were impressive during the regular season as Q-town rolled to decisive wins over Council Rock North (42-7), Council Rock South (41-13), Upper Dublin (31-0), Souderton (36-14), Bensalem (42-7), and Harry S Truman (50-6).
- Quakertown was also perfect during the regular season with non-conference wins over Southern Lehigh (42-7), Abington (36-20), and Neshaminy (35-10).
- The Panthers moved on to the PIAA District One playoffs where they defeated Souderton (33-7) in a rematch in the first round and proceeded to impress as they defeated Downingtown East (42-21) in the quarterfinal round.
- The Quakertown playoff run came to an abrupt halt in a competitive 58-39 shootout loss in the PIAA District One semifinals against top-seeded Garnet Valley.
- But then to put the gravy on the turkey – and to leave a wonderful taste of victory in the mouth of the Q-town community - the Panthers shutout arch-rival Pennridge, 21-0, on Thanksgiving morning.
And in 2021 Quakertown head coach George Banas added to his already impressive resume.
- Banas began this 2022 season with an overall record of 81-61 (.570) during his 12-year tenure.
- In the last 8 years under coach Banas, the Panthers never had a losing record in the conference and only once were the Black Cats under .500 overall in that 8-year span.
- Quakertown in the last eight seasons has a terrific 46-15 (.754) conference record under Banas that also included a SOL Continental Conference title in 2014. And the Panthers are an outstanding 56-28 (.667) overall in the last 8 seasons.
However, the 2022 Quakertown football team to date has not been able to duplicate the tremendous success of the 2021 team.
What a difference a year makes!
- The good news was that the 2022 Panthers were able to duplicate what the 2021 team did in the opening game of the season – defeat Southern. Lehigh. Q-town rallied late in the game before the faithful at Alumni Field and captured a 42-28 non-league win.
- The bad news was that the 2022 Black Cats were routed in order by North Penn (49-7), Central Bucks West (56-14), and last week by Plymouth Whitemarsh (49-0). Being outscored 154-21 in SOL non-league games is surely not good news.
- Granted, North Penn (2-2 in 2022) is the defending SOL National Conference champion – Central Bucks West (1-3) was itself a PIAA playoff team a season ago – and Plymouth Whitemarsh (2-2) was the defending SOL American Conference champion.
Q-town lost a talented core of its players to graduation – including an outstanding 3-year starting quarterback in Will Steich (Widener) and a terrific two-way lineman in Fred Retter (Kutztown University). And Zach Fondl was one of the premier receivers in all the Suburban One League.
Also included in that magnificent 2021 Panther graduating class that were huge contributors in the District One playoff run were Tyler Woodman, Lex Williams, Kaden Roesener, Zach Greulich, Anthony Schiller, and Blake Griesemer.
But unlike a private high school (don’t get me started), Banas cannot simply wander around Bucks, Montgomery, and Lehigh counties and recruit elite replacements like an Archbishop Wood, La Salle, or St. Joe Prep.
Quakertown will begin its defense of the SOL Continental Conference this week as the Panthers will be on the road to play Council Rock South. It looks like the Panthers should be able compete with Rock South, Rock North, Harry S Truman, and Bensalem in the conference.
Both Souderton (9/30/22) and Upper Dublin (10/28/22) might be a much stiffer test for Banas & his Black Cats to pass in Continental Conference play.
And then there is always Pennridge on Thanksgiving Day (11/24/22).
Quakertown football trivia – George Banas began his coaching tenure at Quakertown in 2010. Who was the Panther head coach in 2009?
Not Republican, not Democrat, but Independent
The Suburban One League expanded in 2020 to include both Lower Moreland and New Hope-Solebury. LM and NHS both were members of the Bicentennial Athletic League.
Both Lower Moreland and New Hope-Solebury have decided that each would compete outside the SOL and play an independent 2022 football schedule. Both schools cited low numbers in their respective football programs.
Understandable in that Lower Moreland is a 4A school with a male enrollment of 319 boys. New Hope-Solebury is a 2A school with a male enrollment of just 171 boys.
Hatboro Horsham is also playing an independent schedule outside the SOL. The Hatters also cited low numbers in their football program.
However, Hatboro Horsham is a 5A school with a male enrollment of 518 boys. Not too sure what’s going on there.
Hatboro Horsham (0-3) will be on the road this Friday to play Lower Moreland (1-3).
The Hatters have lost games this year to Upper Moreland (41-0), Springfield (Montco – 21-6) and William Tennent (30-18). The host Lions have lost to Springfield (Montco - 45-6), Bristol (35-0), and Nativity BVM (45-12).
Lower Moreland has defeated Jenkintown, 20-14.
New Hope-Solebury (1-3) is on the road this Friday as the Lions will meet Upper Moreland (3-1).
New Hope-Solebury was awarded a forfeit victory this season over Renaissance Academy and has lost games to Academy of the New Church (34-8), Lansdale Catholic (42-6), and Jenkintown (6-3).
The remainder of the schedule for Lower Moreland includes New Hope-Solebury (1-3 record), George School (2-2), Harriton (1-3), and Morrisville (0-3).
The remainder of the schedule for New-Hope Solebury includes Pennington (NJ) (1-1 record), Lower Moreland (1-3), Harriton (1-3), South Hunterdon (NJ) (3-0), and George School (2-2).
The remainder of the schedule for Hatboro Horsham includes Council Rock South (2-2 record), Marple Newtown (4-0), Council Rock North (1-3), and Twin Valley (3-1).
Answer to Q-town football trivia- the head coach of the Panthers in the 2009 season was none other than the current head coach of Central Bucks East – John Donnelly.
Another ‘One’derful Win
William Tennent won its first game of the season as the Panthers defeated Hatboro Horsham, 30-18, in a non-league game.
Quarterback Timothy Lawson stole the offensive spotlight for the Black Cats scoring 3 touchdowns on runs of 49, 91, & 1 yards. WT scored 10 points on special teams as Kyle Flack booted a 34-yard field and Joe Hebling returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown.
William Tennent struggled last season and finished with a 1-9 record. The lone victory of the season came when the Panthers routed New Hope Solebury in the last game of the season, 55-20.
The Black Cats will try to make it two wins in a row as they will travel to play the Central High School Lancers. Central plays its football in the Philadelphia Public League.
William Tennent has not won back-to-back games since the 2019 season when the Panthers defeated Palumbo Academy (49-20) and Council Rock North (35-10) on consecutive weeks in September.
And the beat goes on…
SOL National Conference
Friday/September 23, 2022
Pennridge Rams (2-2, 1-0) @ Central Bucks East Patriots (4-0, 1-0)
Pennridge won its National Conference opener as the Rams shutout host Abington, 34-0, to extend its defensive shutout number to 8 quarters. The Rams whitewashed Bensalem 35-0 two weeks ago. Brennan Fisher rushed for a game-high 119 yards on 20 carries in the Abington win. Nate Mossbrook scored on runs of 70 & 10 yards. Trevor Fuhs scored on an 84-yard interception return, while Jack Walker returned a fumble 43-yards for a touchdown.
Central Bucks East won its National Conference opener with a huge 21-7 victory over previously unbeaten Central Bucks South. Ethan Shine scored 2 touchdowns for the Patriots on runs of 79 and 7 yards. Shine finished the game with a game-high 217 yards. Pat Keller fired a 16-yard touchdown pass to Jack Donnelly.
Prediction: Central Bucks East Patriots 24 – Pennridge Rams 14
Pennsbury Falcons (3-1, 1-0) @ Central Bucks South Titans (3-1, 0-1)
Pennsbury won its National Conference opener as the Falcons defeated Central Bucks West, 26-21. Galamama Mulbah sparked the offense scoring 3 touchdowns on runs of 24, 13 & 1 yards. Cade Gabbett tallied a defensive touchdown with a 65-yard fumble recovery for a score.
Central Bucks South lost its National Conference opener against Central Bucks East, 21-7. It was the first loss of the season for the Titans. The only CB South score came on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Brett Szarko to Sebastian Paccione.
Prediction: Central Bucks South Titans 24 – Pennsbury Falcons 21
Central Bucks West Bucks (1-3, 0-1) @ North Penn Knights (2-2, 1-0)
Central Bucks West lost its National Conference opener against Pennsbury, 26-21. Conor McFadden scored two long distance touchdowns for the Bucks – one on a 90-yard kickoff return – and the other on a 95-yard pass from Ganz Cooper. Cooper also fired an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jack Williams.
North Penn opened its National Conference season with a thrilling 35-28 overtime victory against Neshaminy. Ryan Zellt completed 19 passes for 327 yards and 4 touchdowns. The game winner came in overtime as Zellt threw a 10-yard scoring strike to Mario Sgro.
Prediction: North Penn Knights 38 – Central Bucks West Bucks 28
Abington Ghosts (2-2, 0-1) @ Neshaminy Redskins (2-2, 0-1)
Abington lost its National Conference opener in a 34-0 setback against Pennridge. The Ghosts, despite the lopsided loss, outgained PHS 258-224 in total offense. Joshua Brown rushed for a game-high 71 yards on 12 carries, while Brooklyn Browne rushed for 62 yards on 10 carries.
Neshaminy lost its National Conference opener in overtime to North Penn, 35-28. Markus Barnett was once again the featured back for the Redskins as he rushed for a game-high 183 yards on 38 carries.
Prediction: Neshaminy Redskins 24 – Abington Ghosts 14
SOL Continental Conference
Friday/September 23, 2022
Harry S Truman Tigers (1-3, 0-1) @ Souderton Indians (3-1, 1-0)
Harry S Tuman opened its Continental Conference season with a 14-6 loss to Council Rock South. The only touchdown for the Tigers came on a 20-yard run by Rondell Bradley.
Souderton opened its Continental Conference season with a 35-14 victory over Council Rock North. Chris Kerns rushed for a game-high 85 yards and scored 2 rushing touchdowns. Jared Zimmerman completed 9 passes for 90 yards, while Caleb Hageman scored on an interception return.
Prediction: Souderton Indians 38 – Harry S Truman Tigers 13
Bensalem Owls (1-3, 0-1) @ Council Rock North Indians (1-3, 0-1)
Bensalem opened its Continental Conference season with a 33-7 loss to unbeaten Upper Dublin. The Owls - after opening the season with a 24-6 win over Norristown – have been outscored 110-7 in the Birds last three games.
Council Rock North lost its Continental Conference opener to Souderton, 35-14. The Indians – after opening the season with a 21-7 victory over Wissahickon – have been outscored 136-34 in the last 3 Rock North games.
Prediction: Bensalem Owls 21 – Council Rock North Indians 14
Quakertown Panthers (1-3, 0-0) @ Council Rock South Hawks (2-2, 1-0)
Quakertown lost a non-league game to Plymouth Whitemarsh, 49-0. The Panthers trailed 42-0 at the half, were 0-12 passing, and rushed the ball 31 times for 82 yards.
Council Rock South opened its Continental Conference season with a 14-6 victory over Harry S Truman. The winning touchdown came on a 34-yard scoring strike from Chase Ennis to Jake Zarnowsky.
Prediction: Council Rock South Golden Hawks 24 – Quakertown Panthers 17
SOL Non-League Games
Friday/September 23, 2022
Upper Dublin Cardinals (4-0) @ Wissahickon Trojans (0-4)
Upper Dublin opened its Continental Conference season with a 33-7 victory over Bensalem. Nyfise McIntyre scored a rushing touchdown for the Cardinals, while Colin O’Sullivan scored a rushing TD and fired a touchdown pass to Chris Kohlbrenner. Austin Pendleton booted 2 field goals for the winners.
Wissahickon remained winless for the season as the Trojans were defeated 33-7 in a non-league game against Simon Gratz.
Prediction: Upper Dublin Cardinals 45 – Wissahickon Trojans 7
Upper Darby Royals (2-2) @ Cheltenham Panthers (2-2)
Upper Darby defeated Lower Merion, 42-14, in a non-league game.
Cheltenham ended a 2-game losing streak with a hard fought 7-6 victory over Chestnut Hill. The only score of the game came on a Jamal Banks touchdown run, and the margin of victory came on an extra point converted by Josh Grady.
Prediction: Upper Darby Royals 20 – Cheltenham Panthers 13
Plymouth Whitemarsh Colonials (2-2) @ McCaskey Red Tornado (1-3)
Plymouth Whitemarsh evened its record @ 2-2 marching to a 49-0 non-league victory over Quakertown. Luke Winterbottom rushed for 130 yards and a touchdown on only 4 carries. Quarterback Aiden O’Brien completed 5-6 passes for 211 yards and 3 touchdowns. Seve Spruill caught an 80-yard TD pass, while Nazye Boggs caught TD passes of 62 and 25 yards.
McCaskey lost a non-league game against Hempfield, 42-7.
Prediction: Plymouth Whitemarsh Colonials 27 – McCaskey Red Tornado 13
William Tennent Panthers (1-3) @ Central Lancers (2-2)
William Tennent captured its first victory of the season as the Panthers defeated Hatboro Horsham, 30-18, in a non-league game.
Central defeated Martin Luther King in a non-league game, 29-18.
Prediction: Central Lancers 21. – William Tennent 13
New Hope Solebury Lions (1-3) @ Upper Moreland Golden Bears (3-1)
New Hope Solebury lost a non-league game to Jenkintown, 6-3.
Upper Moreland rebounded from its loss to Interboro with a resounding 42-19 non-league victory over Executive Education Academy Charter School. Stephen Broderick was the big man on campus as he rushed for 261 yards and scored 4 touchdowns.
Prediction: Upper Moreland Golden Bears 42 – New Hope Solebury Lions 7
Suburban One Sports.com
Last Week in [XXXX]
1.Upper Dublin Flying Cardinals (4-0) --- 
2. Central Bucks East Patriots (4-0) --- 
3. Central Bucks South Titans (3-1) --- 
4. North Penn Knights (2-2) --- 
5. Pennsbury Falcons (3-1) --- 
6. Souderton Indians (3-1) --- 
7. Neshaminy Redskins (2-2) ---