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Quakertown football beats C.B. East – Keeps playoff hopes alive

Written by: on Friday, October 24th, 2008. Follow Don Leypoldt on Twitter.


By Don Leypoldt


Originally run in the Bucks County Herald on October 22nd.


For two quarters on Friday, the Quakertown/ Central Bucks East shootout that masqueraded as a football game could have been held at the OK Corral. 


The two offenses put up 41 points.  C.B. East tailback Devon Passman ran for 153 yards.  Quakertown quarterback Ryan Tinknell passed for 146 yards.


And that was just the first half. 


Ultimately the Panthers (6-2, 3-2) prevailed with a critical 27-20 road win over the Patriots (4-4, 3-2).


On the game’s opening drive, linebacker Eric Fath flushed Patriot quarterback Kyle Bernard from the pocket at the C.B. East 40.  Bernard was hit hard and coughed up the football; linebacker James Haywood pounced on it and advanced the ball to the Patriot 21. 


Tailback Tony Latronica ran a right sweep 21 yards to paydirt on the next play to put the Panthers up 6-0.


C.B. East responded with a four play, 70 yard drive that ended when Passman slipped through a gap on the left side of the line, shed a tackler and burst 50 yards for a touchdown.  Dylan Gossler blocked the PAT attempt.   


The Panthers punched back with a seven play, 64 yard drive of their own.  Tinknell (7 for 15, 163 yards)- Quakertown’s own “pass man”- found the Liberty-bound Fath (seven touches for 96 yards) open in the left flat and linked up with him on a 35 yard touchdown streak.  The duo connected again on the two point conversion.


Midway through the second quarter, Bernard (11 for 17, 94 yards) capped a seven play, 48 yard Patriot drive by hitting wideout Chris Harmon in the end zone on a fade pattern.  Bernard’s laser to running back Nick Miller on the conversion tied the game at 14.


With 41 seconds left in the half, tight end Scott Schneider made a nifty one handed catch of a 9 yard Bernard pass at the goal line to give East a 20-14 lead. 


Gossler blocked his second PAT of the game, which gave Quakertown momentum.  Tinknell promptly fired a 37 yard screen pass to Kurtis Roberts, who exploited a napping C.B. East defense


“That’s our hot call if there is no one lined up over someone,” said Roberts. 


Tinknell then hit Latronica in stride on a crossing pattern and he sprinted 40 yards for a touchdown, giving the Panthers a 21-20 lead at intermission.


Coach John Donnelly’s no-huddle offense was firing on all cylinders.  “There are different options, formations and ways to get the plays in.  Every time we work hard, it gets easier and easier,” noted Tinknell.


Nor was Coach Tim Michael’s Patriot offense faring any worse.  “Our line was moving the ball and working together as a group.  Devon is a hard runner who found the holes and made us go forward,” said Schneider.


But the second half enabled the defenses to shine.  “We moved our tackles to a wider alignment.  We had a few guys get nicked up but we had some guys who did a great job coming in and manning the fort,” described Donnelly.


Quakertown’s lead widened to 27-20 after a nine play, 76 yard march.  Tinknell scored on a three yard naked bootleg, set up by Latronica’s heavy lifting.  The gritty running back rushed for 134 yards on 25 carries on the night. 


It looked like East would roar back with an answer, but Roberts’ interception- his second of the night- killed the foray at the Panther 14.


The pick was merely a warm-up for future Roberts’ defensive heroics.  He dove and deflected a fourth and goal halfback option pass to an open Miller in the end zone two drives later.  It iced the game. 


 “Our coach always tells us to stay in our zone, don’t let our guy get behind us and make plays.  That’s what we did,” said Roberts matter-of-factly.


Last week’s demoralizing 49-13 loss to North Penn could have derailed Quakertown’s storybook season.  They are 6-2 after a 1-11 campaign last year. 


“We said immediately ‘We have to put this behind us.’  That was our mantra,” explained Donnelly.  “The most important game right now is what we’re looking at, not what we just finished.”


After stumbling in their first two games, the Patriots have still won four of their last six.  Their last two losses have come against Quakertown and North Penn who are a combined 16-2.


“We’ve been playing with injuries and we’re starting to figure out how to get over those.  Other than that, it is just us playing the way we should be able to,” said Passman.


The speedy Passman broke the 1,000 yard mark, thanks to his 160 yard output.  Tinknell also went over 1,000 yards passing on the season.  “Every time I throw the ball to (Fath and Latronica), I feel it’s going to be a touchdown,” said the southpaw signal caller, deferring to his teammates.


But individual statistics were not the focus on Friday- playoffs are. 


“We just want to be the first team in Quakertown history to win a playoff game,” stated Tinknell.  Friday’s victory moves the Panthers one step closer to his wish. 

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