Pennridge Holds Pennsbury in Ground and Pound Fest
Perkasie, Pa., The Pennridge Rams survived a furious 4th quarter Pennsbury rally and hung on to defeat the Falcons, 28-27 in a second round District One AAAA playoff game last night at the Rams Poppy Yoder field.
The game featured two of the hottest teams in the state who were on nine game win streaks and undefeated in conference play this year. Both mirrored each other as being two of the more physical teams in all of District One and last night’s contest was no different.
“The kids are very resilient. I’m very proud of them”, echoed Pennridge coach Randy Cuthbert. “Our game plan coming in was to be able to match their physical style of play and I think we accomplished that. We’re trying to do something that’s never done before here and this group hung tough”.
The Rams physical play was evident from the start when they went on an opening eight minute, 70 yard, 15 play drive. John Kim opened up the scoring with a 16 yard touchdown. Pennsbury answered immediately in six plays capped by sophomore quarterback Breon Clark ‘s 27 yard screen pass to Tommy Hose which put the Falcons up 7-6.
The game then took on a defensive posture with three consecutive three and outs but late in the second quarter and the Rams, with the ball on Pennsbury’s 40, they took advantage of two Falcons personal foul penalties which resulted in Michael Class’s nine yard touchdown and a Pennridge 14-7 lead going into the locker room.
Things immediately went from bad to worse for Pennsbury at the start of the second half when the Rams scored two more touchdowns in a four minute span that increased their lead to 28-7. Class scored on a 69 yard run on their first play and the Rams hit pay dirt again when Devin Balmer recovered a Pennsbury fumble on the ensuing kickoff. Four plays later quarterback Alex Krivda hit Kyle Bigam on a 25 yard touchdown on a well executed screen pass and it appeared that this game was all but over with still seven minutes to play in the third quarter.
For three full quarters Pennridge appeared to be the best District One defensive team around. They held a Central Bucks South team that averaged over 40 points a game to only 10 in their matchup earlier in the year. They held this Falcons ground and pound offense to 10 yards rushing in the first half and everything was going according to plan for Defensive Coordinator Bob Rosenberger’s group. If there was any life left in the Falcons tank they only had 12 minutes to make a statement.
Ryon Muse put some life into the Falcons when he intercepted Krivda late in the third quarter. That put them in position to make a run and it started when Clark capped their next drive scoring from the One. Pennsbury then forced two Ram three and outs and themselves scored on their next two possessions with Daquan Mack’s one yard run and finally Shawn Pepper’s 44 yard tally with less than two minutes to play and down by a point. However Pennridge’s pressure put on the Falcons kicker Michail Kniaziewizc caused him to push his extra point try wide left.
Pennsbury had one last chance when they recovered the onsides kick with 1:47 to play. Pennridge held firm and gave the Falcons no room to run and the game ended when they sacked Clark thus giving them a second round win and a semi final test next week vs. Spring-Ford.
Pennridge will play a Thanksgiving game against Quakertown before their next round playoff. “I asked the kids if they wanted to share the SOL Continental Conference with Central Bucks South and skip the Quakertown (conference opponent) game. They wanted no part of that and opt to play Thursday.
No rest for the weary.
Notes: Hose was in on or assisted on at least half of the Falcons tackles. Pennridge has one of the most active front seven defensive alignments with Bigam, MacKenzie Crawford and John Dubyk providing a number of stops. Clark played much older than his years and should be a solid QB for the next two years.
Scoring by Quarter
PR – John Kim – 16 run – (PAT – Blocked) – 4:04
PS – Tommy Hose – 27 pass from Breon Clark – (PAT – Mikhail Kniaziewizc) – :44
PR – Michael Class – 9 run (2 Pt Conv. Kyle Bigam pass from Alex Krivda) – 4:35
PR – Class – 69 run – (PAT – Joe Unangst) – 9:32
PR – Kyle Bigam – 25 pass from Krivda (PAT – Unangst) – 7:45
PS – Clark – 1 run (PAT – Kniaziewizc) – :24
PS – Daquan Mack – 1 run (PAT – Kniaziewizc) – 5:12
PS – Shawn Pepper – 44 run (PAT – Wide Left) – 1:47
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