Q’Town Offense Too Much in Win Over South
By Don Leypoldt
To run in the 10/15 Bucks County Herald
Central Bucks South Titan quarterback Matt Johns (10 for 22, 236 yards) threw for 144 yards and two touchdowns while his southpaw counterpart, Quakertown Panther Ryan Tincknell (6 for 10, 97 yards), tossed a pair of touchdowns and a two-point conversion pass of his own…
In the first 15 minutes of the game.
The Panthers (5-1, 1-1) eventually pulled away from the host Titans (1-5, 1-2) in Friday’s AFL, er SOL Continental clash, winning 42-23. If you missed this year’s Willow Grove air show, the first half in Warrington may have sufficed.
On the third play of the game, Johns found tailback Jon Eisemann (12 carries/55 yards) streaking down the sideline. Eisemann snagged John’s beautiful deep ball and sprinted to the end zone for a 76 yard score.
Quakertown answered immediately; senior RB Tyler Burke (6 carries/136 yards) swept 45 yards on the Panthers’ first play from scrimmage. Tincknell closed the drive by rifling a six-yard touchdown pass to TE Mike Olimpo.
“That first drive, it was critical to bounce back right away,” assessed Quakertown coach John Donnelly. “Especially after the emotional loss we had last week against Hatboro. But we had a tremendous week of practice and the guys showed a lot of fight and drive tonight.
“(South) is a good offensive football team. They have a lot of fire power over there and we tried to contain them the best we could.”
Panther LB Edwin Gonzalez recovered a Titan fumble at the CBS-35 one play later.
“Our defensive coordinators did a great job coming up with a game plan,” commended Donnelly. “They put guys in position and more importantly, the guys executed the game plan and did a super job…especially our outside linebackers in forcing the ball back inside to where the pursuit was coming from.”
After tailback Tony Latronica (12 carries/73 yards) converted a key 4th and 5 to keep the Panther drive alive, Tincknell found running back Nick Perrine five plays later on a swing pass. Perrine took the pigskin nine yards for the score.
Johns’ encore to Eisemann’s bomb occurred on the next drive. Facing a third and 19 at the CBS-49, Johns stood calm in the pocket and unloaded another long pass downfield to home run threat Chris Eberz. Eberz caught it for the touchdown, giving the Titans’ a 14-13 lead.
“We knew they would be setting up in a Cover-2,” explained Johns, “so we practiced all week a slant down the middle. I dropped back, pumped faked, stepped up in the pocket and just let it go.”
A 23 yard completion from Tincknell to Olimpo (3 catches/34 yards), and two costly Titan 15-yard penalties, helped Quakertown march 70 yards on seven plays. Latronica swept right on a six yard touchdown run and grabbed Tincknell’s bootleg conversion pass to give the Panthers a 21-14 lead.
Eisemann fielded the pooch kickoff and returned it 30 yards to the Q-47. The Titan drive ended with Josh Williams booting a 25 yard field goal.
Two plays into the third quarter with the ball at the Q-49, Tincknell, back after missing three games due to a dislocated elbow, found an open Latronica sprinting down the right sideline. The pass put the Panthers up 28-17.
“We ran that play in the middle of the game and I hit the tight end,” recalled Tincknell. “Afterwards, I saw Tony wide open and he would have run for a touchdown. I told Coach at the half. We ran that play at it worked.”
After holding the Titans on a three-and-out, Quakertown advanced to the Titan 28. Tincknell, on a slick quarterback option pitch, flicked the ball to Latronica who took it to the house.
“Against Cheltenham, I got hurt on 19 option. I told Coach ‘Let’s run 19 option and get it over with’” Tincknell smiled. “Tony took it and made a play out of it.
“Obviously, I was a little excited (to come back). There were some jitters here and there but when you get on the field, it’s a whole different thing,” Tincknell said. “The feeling goes away. I didn’t worry about (getting hurt) the whole game. I just worried about the game.”
“He’s a great competitor. I love his fight,” is how Donnelly described Tincknell. “He really rehabbed his butt off to get back to this point. He showed no rust, that’s for sure.”
DB Josh Copeland’s interception snuffed out a methodical Titan drive at the Q-18. Burke needed only three runs to single-handedly move the 82 yards for a touchdown. His stutter stepping 64 yard sprint on a trap set up his seven yard run for the score and a 42-17 Panther lead.
Johns rallied the troops. Despite taking a beating on the play, he let in enough rush to set up a screen that Dave Lorenz took 41 yards to the Q-8. Eisemann then punched it in the end zone.
Quakertown came into tonight having just been dealt their first defeat of the year: a 26-21 home loss to Hatboro-Horsham. C.B. South entered Friday’s game coming off of their first victory- a strong 17-7 win over C.B. West.
While Quakertown has not been held under 21 points this season, tonight was the first game where South scored over 20.
The Panthers have a deep stable of running backs, but seniors Latronica and Burke have done the bulk of the ground work, rushing for nearly 900 yards between them.
Without one “go-to” guy offensively, South has opted to share the wealth. Ten different Titans have at least half-dozen touches this season. Eisemann, who accounted for almost 40% of the Titans’ yards, led the charge tonight.
Johns is a 6’3” sophomore with a senior’s arm and poise. “It’s coming along,” he explained. “Coach (Bart Szarko) calls the plays and I just make the best out of it. Fortunately we got two touchdown passes out of it tonight.”
Johns did; but Tincknell bounced back to throw for three scores and the win- a conference road victory that gives Quakertown some momentum going into their huge matchup with North Penn next Friday night.
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