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Short Fields Doom Titans at North Penn

Written by: on Friday, September 29th, 2017. Follow Don Leypoldt on Twitter.

 

By Don Leypoldt

To Run in the October 5th Bucks County Herald

 

  1. 42. 25.

That’s not an audible call. It’s the CB South yard line where the host North Penn Knights (4-2, 3-0 Continental) started three straight second quarter drives. All three drives resulted in touchdowns in the Knights’ 40-9 Thursday win.

“Clearly North Penn is a very good football team,” said CB South coach Tom Hetrick, whose Titans (5-1, 2-1 Continental) suffered their first loss of the year. “They have legitimate athletes who when put in space and given the ball can make special plays. In the first half, we handed them really good field position on a couple of occasions. That didn’t help.

“Our guys fought and it wasn’t a lack of effort,” Hetrick continued.

North Penn converted a third-and-nine and two fourth downs on their opening drive. Steve Depaul hit Joey Beck on a beautiful bootleg for a 19-yard touchdown that gave the Knights a 6-0 lead. The lead doubled to 12-0 at 8:30 in the second quarter on Anthony Andrews’ 21-yard touchdown run.

South responded with a 14-play drive that ended at the Knight-11. 5’6” tailback Ryan Watson showcased his speed on the edge and his toughness in running inside.

“We had a nice outside run game,” Watson said. “We stuck with it. They had a lot of blitzes and we got banged up a couple of times but we kept with it.”

Ryan Shoch’s 28-yard field goal put the Titans on the board, but Depaul threw a touchdown pass to Justis Henley on the next drive. A South fumble gave North Penn the ball back with 53 seconds left and Depaul needed just four plays for another scoring aerial. The Knights took a 26-3 lead into halftime.

South’s Jason Horvath snuffed out North Penn’s opening second half drive with an interception in the end zone. It was his third this fall. Horvath also scored South’s lone touchdown, grabbing a nine-yard Josh Consoletti offering early in the fourth quarter to make the game 33-9.

“It was a fade,” Horvath said. “We tried to get something going.”

Touchdown runs by K.J. Cartwright and Henley completed the scoring for North Penn. Cartwright’s 124 yards led all rushers; over half of those came on his scoring carry.

Watson gained 94 yards on 22 carries while Consoletti added 43 on ten lugs; the Titans’ 193 rushing yards were just 15 fewer than North Penn’s. “We thought we could run the ball against these guys from watching film,” Watson stated. “We didn’t like the outcome but there is some good stuff that can come out of this.”

Sophomore Consoletti was making just his second career start in place of the injured Jack Johns. Johns caught a 32-yard pass and punted effectively. Consoletti handled himself well against one of the State’s traditional powerhouses.

“If we start tweaking or cutting pieces of the playbook,” Hetrick noted, “that’s us saying we don’t have confidence. And we legitimately do. We have confidence that (Josh) is going to get better every game. I appreciate how he has handled the last couple of weeks.”

“We had to move on from Jack,” Horvath added. “We had a good start and we need to keep it rolling.”

South’s win streak was predicated on the strength of their defense, who allowed just 48 points in their first five games.

“It starts with our front four,” Hetrick explained. “We have some strong and athletic kids up front. It should be that your inside linebackers (Matt Norris and Matt Tobey) make all of your tackles. And it is that way because our front four are disruptive and keep people off of our linebackers. Our linebackers are very good football players.”

Football is a family affair for South. Leading tackler Norris’ brother Nate plays for Lehigh. Leading sacker Noah Collachi’s father Adam played for West Chester and was the head coach at Council Rock North. Johns’ brother Mike started at quarterback for Virginia.

“You take notes from their posture and how they handle the game,” said Watson, whose brother Tyler plays for East Stroudsburg. “You’re going to lose in football. Last year, (Tyler) kept our heads up and that is what I’m going to try to do with this team.”

South hosts another 5-1 team this Friday in Neshaminy. The Redskins, who escaped with a narrow win at Abington on Thursday, might have been caught looking ahead to the Titans.

“We need to play better as a team,” Horvath said. “But we’re a good team. We need to go back and watch the film. There were things we messed up on but we’ll come back next week.”

“This one should hurt,” Hetrick told his charges post-game. Then he shifted direction. “But 5-1 isn’t shabby either.”

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