North Penn holds on 14-7
With the rain coming down hard and the field becoming a quagmire, whoever scored first in the much anticipated match-up of #1 St. Joe’s Prep and #2 North Penn would have a big edge in the game.
North Penn jumped on the scoreboard first and held on as #2 defeated #1 14-7 at Crawford Stadium in Lansdale Friday nite.
North Penn now leads the all time series 3-1 with wins in 2000, 2007 and this year. The Prep’s only win came in 1997.
Ronnie Akins returned a punt 66 yards with 4:09 to go in the first quarter as the Knights (3-0) went up 7-0. Akins returned another punt 15 yards and was 1 step from breaking that return for a score as well. Prep head coach Gil Brooks stated earlier in the week that Akins could be the best athlete that the Hawks could face all season. Akins has touched the ball 15 times on the season and has 4 touchdowns.
Tyler Smith then increased the North Penn lead to 14-0 as he went 96 yards for the touchdown with 18 seconds left in the first quarter. Smith ended with 151 yards on 13 carries. Brendan Mc Manus was perfect on both of his PAT’s in the game but did miss on a 42 yard field goal. McManus also came up real big in the punting game with a 33 yard average on 8 punts.
St. Joe’s, (2-1) tried almost exclusively running between the tackles in the first half, using their size advantage up front. However, it was North Penn’s speed that kept the Hawks off the scoreboard in the first half.
It finally paid off on their first possession of the third quarter driving 73 yards on 4 plays as Michael Yeager rumbled 60 yards with 3:14 to go cutting the North Penn lead to 14-7. Yeager finished with 123 yards on 14 carries. North Penn had recieved the opening kickoff of the second half and chewed over 8 minutes off the clock but a number of penalties and a high snap over the head of Quarterback Justin Davey prevented North Penn from scoring. St. Joe’s ended the game with 167 yards rushing and 28 yards passing, while North Penn had 182 yards in the muddy field and 18 yards in the air.
The Prep had 1 last chance to tie the game as they got the football on their 5 yard line with over 1 minute to go but was unable to do anything with it.
“I’m happy with the way we played defensively,” said Knight head coach Dick Beck. “I understand that the ball is wet and field conditions, but we can’t make the mistakes we made in this game and expect to go anywhere,” he added.
Both teams start play in their respective leagues next week as North Penn is home with Central Bucks South and St. Joe’s Prep begins play in the AAAA Divsion of the Catholic League on the road again at LaSalle.
“What we’ve done up to now is nothing,” said Beck “Our season starts next week.”
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