North Penn Advances to Eastern Final
Plymouth Whitemarsh, PA – Ralph Reeves’ four touchdowns and a merciless defense causing three costly fumbles aided North Penn in their 34-14 victory and a second consecutive AAAA, District one championship over number one seed Council Rock South last night at Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Colonial stadium.
The Knights wanted to contain the Golden Hawks very successful triple option wishbone offense, which kept every opponent off balance this season. The key to containing this scheme is to make sure that everyone on the defensive front keep their lane and not over pursue. On this night it appeared apparent from the outset that Dick Beck’s front seven was up to whatever Council Rock would throw at them.
Council Rock did not punt until the fourth quarter in their semifinal win over Garnet Valley last week. Last night they did not get their initial first down until deep into the second quarter. The Knights Derek Brandt recovered Anthony Alimenti’s fumble on the Hawks second possession at the Council Rock nine yard line. Two plays later Reeves plowed in from the two-yard line for their first score. Before the first quarter was over, Reeves scored again following another Hawk three and out and they never looked back from that point.
The Hawks fumbled again on a muffed punt caused by their own blocker being blocked into the returner. Quarterback Corey Ernst then orchestrated a nine play drive culminating with Reeves’ touchdown from the one and a 21-0 lead going into halftime.
The Hawks knew that if they had any chance of winning this game they had to start making plays and make them fast. They recovered a fumbled Knight return on a squib kick to start the second half. Council Rock quarterback Brian Donnelly then engineered an eight play drive with runs from Ryan Whiteley and Alimenti. Alimenti then scored from the one and the Hawk crowd came to life.
The Hawks needed desperately to grab momentum at that point but North Penn would not relent. The Knight defense led by Shayne Watson, George Shipp, Brandt and Reeves began to bear down on the Hawk offensive line. Council Rock was able to only get one first down the rest of the third quarter and as the fourth quarter started, Knight RB Dan Gevirtz got into the act with a 42 yard touchdown run around the left edge giving them a three score advantage. Donnelly fumbled on the Hawks next possession at their 15 yard line and Reeves followed with his fourth TD.
The win propels the Knights to their second consecutive appearance in next week’s AAAA Eastern final against the LaSalle/Nazareth Area winner. North Penn lost to LaSalle last year in that game ironically at Colonial stadium.
Notes: The Hawks two way lineman Andrew Cohen was relentless in his pursuit and blocking all night. He was double teamed regularly and put a lot of pressure on the Knight offense. Knight running back Kyle Mayfield left with a shoulder injury in the third quarter. North Penn held Alimenti to 50 yards rushing.
Scoring By Quarter
NP: Ralph Reeves 2 yard run: PAT: Brandon Mandes: 5:37
NP: Ralph Reeves: 2 yard run: PAT: Brandon Mandes: 2:13
NP: Ralph Reeves: 1 yard run: PAT: Brandon Mandes: 6:33
CRS: Anthony Alimenti: 1 yard run: PAT: Ben Solis: 8:52
NP: Dan Gevirtz: 42 yard run: PAT: Brandon Mandes: 11:51
NP: Ralph Reeves: 2 yard run: PAT: blocked: 10:54
CRS: Ryan Whiteley: 2 yard run: PAT: Ben Solis: 8:51
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