Council Rock South vs. North Penn Preview
North Penn Knights: 11-2: Suburban One Continental Conference champs (11 seed in tourney)
Council Rock South Golden Hawks: 12-1: Suburban One National Conference champs (1 seed in tourney)
Location/Time: Colonial Stadium, Plymouth Whitemarsh HS, Friday, December 2 at 7:30
At Stake: The District One Title and an Eastern, Pa title game vs LaSalle/Nazareth winner
Coaches: Vince Bedesem for Council Rock South, Dick Beck for North Penn
Offense: The Hawks average over 28 points a game using primarily a wishbone triple option offense. They rarely throw the football and rely primarily on the four backs for yardage. Quarterback Brian Donnelly has played good enough to be the SEPA player of the year operating the offense. He has over 1,300 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns. Anthony Alimenti is a deep tailback with speed around the edge and has over 700 yards and nine touchdowns. Donnelly puts Alimenti in great position at times to get to the edge before the defense because of his sensational ball control. Ryan Whiteley is the fullback of the pure ground and pound variety and is a favorite choice of Donnelly’s when the Hawks need to chew some clock. North Penn uses multiple formations taking advantage of the speed of their backs Dan Gevirtz and Kyle Mayfield. Gervirtz plays a lot like Kevin Guylas from Allentown Central Catholic. He has run for over 400 yards in the last three weeks and last week had touchdowns on the ground, receiving and on a punt return. Quarterback Corey Ernst has very good play action capability and can do a lot with his legs. Gevirtz, Reeves and Shayne Watson are all quality receivers. Mayfield is a 1,000 yard rusher with breakaway speed. Ralph Reeves comes in as a fullback on goal line situations and runs off tackle much like Whitely. Both teams’ offenses are very physical with the Knights throwing more that Council Rock.
Defense: Council Rock has given up an average of 11 points a game since week two with a very physical front seven. The leader of the Golden Hawk defense without question is University of Maryland commit P.J. Gallo. The outside linebacker has sensational lateral movement and a great ‘point of attack” tackler. Andrew Cohen spearheads their defensive line and has a motor that always runs. Alimenti is in on many of the tackles and is a very good cover corner. North Penn has given up an average of eight points a game since week three. MLB Ralph Reeves is everything for North Penn that Gallo is for the Hawks. The four year starter has played virtually injury free this year after playing much of last year with a broken wrist and has dominated in the run game. Watson is a pure speed rusher from defensive end and Gevirtz has made plays from the safety position. Both defenses almost mirror one another in scheme and many play on both sides of the ball for each team.
Special Teams: Both teams have accurate field goal kickers in Brandon Mandes for North Penn and Ben Solis for Council Rock. Solis also does a very good job at directional punting and has pinned some of his punts within the opponent’s 20 yard line. Neither team has had to punt much this season. Gevirtz is a breakaway threat at punt and kick returns for the Knights.
Lines: The “Big Uglies” up front very well may be where this game is decided because of the physical style of play each employs. North Penn is led by 320 pound John Garland and 285 pounder T.J. Smink. The Hawks counter with Cohen, Eric Gallo and Tom Trampe who themselves are great run blockers. Both teams have great blocking TE’s (P.J. Gallo and Reeves). This is also a big reason for the success in each team’s run game.
Will the Knight defensive front be able to maintain their gap integrity vs. the Hawks triple option attack?
Will heavyweights Smink and Garland be able to wear down the Hawks defensive front if they have a lead in the fourth quarter?
Will Bedesem roll the dice and have Donnelly throw more in this game?
Will Ernst look more to his TE (Reeves) in the second half?
Will the Knights be able to avoid the turnovers that have plagued them in their previous four losses over the last two years?
Can the winner get to Hershey?
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