7-Up: Quakertown Stays Perfect in win at CB West
CB West honored their 2015 Hall of Fame class at halftime of Friday night’s Quakertown game. Three of the inductees played on undefeated Buck football teams.
The 2015 Quakertown Panthers are mimicking those unbeaten squads well.
Using great defense and a steady diet of senior running back Rob Burns, Quakertown (7-0) emerged with a hard fought 28-7 win against the host Bucks (2-5). Burns rushed for 229 yards and three scores on 27 carries, putting him at nearly 1,200 yards on the year.
“He is truly a complete back at this point,” said Quakertown coach George Banas. “I think the knock last year might have been that he didn’t have the power and he really took that to heart in the offseason. He has the wiggle, he has the speed to take it to the house and now this year, he has added that power dimension.”
Burns ended Quakertown’s opening drive- which covered 86 yards- by scampering 14 yards to paydirt on a fake sweep. That play also put Burns over 1,000 yards on the season. A similar play broke Burns free for a 23 yard run later in the second quarter.
“We knew coming into the game that they had some big boys up front and we tried to hit the outside on them,” said Burns. “We had success with it so we kept going back to it. Luckily, we have speed on the outside and guys who can make plays.”
West sophomore running back T.J Rakowsky broke off a nifty 32 yard run on the next possession. But one play later, junior linebacker Noah Wood belted quarterback Eddie Shields for a seven yard loss, effectively killing the drive.
“Our coaches put us in some really good formations and we ran a blitz off of the backside,” said Wood, who entered the game as Quakertown’s leader in tackles for loss. “I was able to make the play and that gave us some momentum on the drive to turn things around.”
Burns added a touchdown on a seven yard run with 4:23 left in the first half. And Burns’ seven yard dash up the middle to put the Panthers up 21-0 started the second half. Quakertown marched 80 yards on 13 plays in the opening drive, keyed when senior quarterback Tom Garlick hit classmate Aaron Besch on 4th and 11 to set up first and goal.
West got their score early in the fourth quarter. A Jake Reichwein 29 yard run and a pass interference call moved West to the Q-19. The Panthers pushed West backwards on two straight running plays, but Shields hit Reichwein over the middle for a 25 yard touchdown pass.
Quakertown answered, recovering the onside kick and moving 50 yards in eight plays. Senior Nick Bonomo took it in from the nine to make the game 28-7.
Senior running back Jon Potynski (12 touches for 66 yards) did an excellent job of spelling Burns. Garlick completed 11 of 15 passes for 105 yards. His counterpart Shields completed 7 of 16 aerials for 89 yards.
The Panthers have outscored their opponents 296 to 46 this season. They have yielded more than seven points just once. “We know that the guy next to us is going to do their responsibilities,” said Wood, “and when they do their responsibilities we’re going to be okay. Everybody wants to make plays but we’re all out there as one team. That is what makes the core of our defense strong. We’re deep and that helps us. If someone goes down, we know the next guy in is going to do his job just as well as the first one.”
West turned in a strong performance on the heels of a difficult loss to Council Rock South. Prior to that, the Bucks strung together consecutive wins against Norristown and at Harry Truman.
A balanced offense, CB West entered the game with almost a 50/50 split in passing and rushing yards. “We break down film,” said Banas on preparing for West. “Their triple option is something you don’t see but once a year. You try and come up with a good scheme, get a backup plan and a third backup plan.”
Skill players like Rakowsky (10 carries for 38 yards), Reichwein (7 touches for 73 yards) and leading receiver Kevin O’Hanlon are all undergrads.
“Rakowsky did a great job last week and we gave him the opportunity to run the ball,” said West coach Chas Cathers. “We use Reichwein when he can give us a breather at halfback. They both did a nice job.
“We wanted to battle a good Quakertown team into the fourth quarter and I think we did that,” Cathers assessed. “With the amount of injuries that we had defensively, I was really happy with the guys who stepped up and continued to battle throughout the game.”
Quakertown now faces the toughest part of their schedule. Their remaining opponents are 12-7. “Coming into tonight, we couldn’t have a let down,” says Banas. “We couldn’t be looking forward. I think we had a workman’s mentality and we got the result that we needed.”
“We get realistic here,” echoed Burns. “These next three games are going to test us, so we’ve got to see what we have.”
But this Friday, a Panther team that had never won on War Memorial under Banas’ otherwise successful tenure, could share in that unbeaten feeling.
Don Leypoldt’s book Keystones and Wishbones: Faith, Values and Football in the Delaware Valley is now available on Amazon! The book features interviews with over a dozen NFL veterans, all with Delaware Valley ties. Click here to order
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