SuburbanOneSports.com: In last weekend’s opening round of the District One 6A Tournament, the eight games were decided by an average margin of 30 points. Your comments.
Drew Markol: “This happens a lot. Seemingly every year, the first round is full of blowouts. It helps the argument that there’s too many teams in the field, but you look at the games, and number nine North Penn beat number eight CB South, and number 11 Plymouth Whitemarsh beat number six Abington. They may have been lopsided, but maybe there’s something wrong with the seedings. I don’t know what the answer is. My answer is always the same – if we did away with the district tournament, then you wouldn’t have this problem.
SuburbanOneSports.com: Seven SOL teams will be competing in the District One 6A tournament. Your thoughts.
Todd Thorpe: “There were a lot of huge games out there last week. You start with Abington at CB West. Both teams had clinched a conference title, but they were playing for a high seed in districts. It really had a playoff feel. CB West puts up 45 points and pulls away from Abington, which is another impressive win for West. They head into districts as the two seed. I don’t know if a two seed has ever been as doubted every week as much as they are. They head to districts, and you say, ‘Ridley has such a great playoff tradition,’ but West has just defied all odds all year, beating Abington. Especially since Abington has been playing so well in the previous weeks. It was just huge for them, and they should be very confident going in, and Abington has to look at it as a wake-up call – ‘You know what, we didn’t play our best game, but that’s going to recharge us now for the playoffs.’ Abington gets a home game with PW. There are no secrets when you play teams that are so close by.
SuburbanOneSports.com: Abington defeated Pennsbury 49-28 to clinch sole possession of the SOL National title. Your thoughts about that conference.
Todd Thorpe: “You’re got to give credit to Abington. They’re a team that constantly has had to prove themselves to everybody all year – they’re not going to beat Neshaminy, they’re not going to beat Truman, they’re not going to beat Pennsbury. Well, not only have they beaten these teams, they’re thumping these teams. Abington is the real deal. They have explosion at the quarterback and the running back positions that nobody else in that league has, and that’s the difference. Andrick Wesh, in the last two weeks, has been one of the best running backs around. He is an explosive one-play, home run hitter at running back. Last week, Pennsbury gave Abington everything they had. Pennsbury had some really impressive drives where they just ran the ball right down Abington’s throat, and every single time Abington would answer with a huge play. Pennsbury never really was able to make it competitive after the first quarter. That’s a credit to Abington and what they’ve done. I think Abington has clearly established themselves as the best team on this side of District One.
SuburbanOneSports.com: Central Bucks West defeated North Penn for the first time since 2000 and put itself in a position to win the conference title with a win over Souderton on Friday night. Your comments.
Drew Markol: “That was one of the best games I’ve seen in a long time excitement-wise. It was rare to see North Penn lose a game, let alone a Continental Conference game, but they were just sloppy with the football. They had five turnovers, which is unheard of. The fact that they were still in the game tells you that they’re still really good. There were a couple of points in the second half – North Penn was pounding away at its run game, which is what it does. Sophomore Khaloni Eaton had close to 170 yards rushing. He’s the perfect running back for that type of offense because it’s four and five yards at a time. He just pounds, and it just sucks up the clock. He rarely loses yardage.
SuburbanOneSports.com: The big game in the SOL National was Pennsbury’s 42-20 win over Truman. Your thoughts.
Todd Thorpe: “I wasn’t there, but I watched it (on WBCB1490.com’s live stream). After the first quarter, it was kind of pointless because the game was decided. Pennsbury forcing four turnovers early – two fumbles and two interceptions by Drew Hensor - totally set the tone. I was over at practice last week at Pennsbury, and that was a defensive group that was very confident going into that game. They weren’t too overconfident, but they were determined to make a point and make a statement, and they did. Defensively, aside from the Penn Wood game, that’s just been a very, very good football team this year, and they shut down what Truman was trying to do.
SuburbanOneSports.com: The SOL Continental boasts a pair of undefeated teams in Central Bucks West and Souderton with two marquee games coming up this weekend. Talk about that conference.
Drew Markol: “Good job by CB West (a 35-0 winner over Pennridge). They got a big lead on Pennridge – they were up 28-0 at the half - and took it to them right away. West is 6-0, and they probably clinched a playoff spot already. They haven’t been 6-0 since they went to the state finals in 2000 when they were 14-0 and they lost in the state final. It’s just been a remarkable season for a team that only has a roster with 40 players. You don’t see 6A programs that small. Jack Fallon, their running back who has been a touchdown machine, scored a couple of touchdowns against Pennridge, and they barely played him in the second half. They know they can’t play him because if he gets hurt they’re in trouble. They go out and build big leads, and they’ve been able to do that. I don’t know if they’ll be able to keep doing it, but it’s working so far.
SuburbanOneSports.com: In National Conference play, Truman pulled off the big win at Neshaminy. Your thoughts.
Todd Thorpe: “That was just tremendous for Truman. It really was one of the bigger wins in their history. To go to Neshaminy and win at Harry Franks Stadium and do it in the manner they did - they really were unstoppable on offense in the first half especially. Their junior fullback Dajuan Harris really had kind of a coming out party, at least on the offensive side of the ball with 180 yards and five touchdowns in the first half. Here’s a guy who lines up at fullback, but he’s quick enough to play tailback. In a lot of sets, they put him at tailback. On defense, he starts at linebacker where for Conwell Egan he played a little defensive end. On one play, he went running at full speed and stopped a pass reception with Neshaminy’s best receiver, Ian Sheehan. He’s just a kid with a tremendous amount of athletic ability and natural football ability. He’s really got a lot of potential, and he’s still getting used to the system.
SuburbanOneSports.com: Quakertown took a 0-3 record into its SOL opener at 3-0 Upper Moreland and won 31-6. Your thoughts?
Todd Thorpe: “When you look at that game, I think that’s a case where people look at non-league games and put too much stock in whether teams won or lost. Obviously, Quakertown played the tougher non-league schedule, and they were a much better team than Upper Moreland last week. Despite the fact that one was 3-0 and the other was 0-3, it didn’t really matter. Quakertown had played all schools that were bigger than them, and Upper Moreland hadn’t. That doesn’t mean Upper Moreland is going to have a bad year from here on out. It just means that their level of competition as a team was a lot less than what Quakertown had faced. Quakertown was battle tested against some really good opponents. Who knows if Quakertown carries this over against other good teams? It’s tough to say, but that’s a big win for them. I give them a lot of credit because after 0-3 you can be really down. It’s tough to believe your coach when he tells you – ‘You’re just as good as this team.’ When you go out there and prove it – they could turn this into something with another win this week.
SuburbanOneSports.com: The three Central Bucks schools enter league play with a combined 8-1 record. Your thoughts about those programs.
Drew Markol: “We’ll learn more about CB West than we have already this week when they play CB South. The Bucks are 3-0 and they look good. They mercy-ruled Quakertown in the rain on Friday night, and Quakertown is not a bad team. They’re young and they get worn down sometimes. You look at West, and the teams they have beaten are a combined 0-6. Now they have to play CB South – a team they haven’t beaten since 2013. It will be interesting, and it will actually be a very good test for West to see where they are. They have a small roster with only 41 kids, but they look good. Jack Fallon, the senior fullback, is a very good player. He’s probably a D-1AA player. The quarterback, Jack Neri, is big, and he’s got a good arm. West has some talent, but they’ve got to play somebody who’s going to hit them back basically. They’ll get that against CB South on Friday. That will be an interesting to see because South, East and West – their goals are always to win that CB Cup.
SuburbanOneSports.com: Pennsbury was edged by Penn Wood 38-35 in a wild game. Todd, you covered the game. Your thoughts?
Todd Thorpe: "There were a lot of penalties. It's easy to point to the end of the game and say, "If this would have happened, Pennsbury would have won,' but really, they dominated the first half in terms of time of possession. I thought they did a really good job of containing and hitting the talented Penn Wood quarterback Desman Johnson in the first half. They got a lot of pressure on him in the first half and kept him under wraps. Really, Penn Wood hit two big plays â€“ one was a running play and the other was a kick-off return. To trail at halftime by one, it had to be really shocking.
"In the second half, I thought Desman Johnson got it going a little bit. To Pennsbury's credit, they never stopped moving the ball. They moved the ball the whole game. Whether it was running in the first half or throwing in the second half, they did a very good job of moving the ball, and they had two possessions in the last four minutes to win the game. They had a couple of interceptions â€“ the second one was a little bit of desperation but the first one they were moving down the field and you really liked their chances.