Unbeaten Quakertown Romps in Panther FIght
William Tennent had Burns all over them.
Quakertown senior running back Rob Burns carried 11 times for 236 yards and five touchdowns- in one half- as his Panthers (4-0) mercy ruled the host Tennent (3-1) Panthers 56-7. Quakertown carried a 49-0 lead into halftime.
This was supposed to be a game to answer questions about two unbeaten teams, who had defeated struggling opponents.
“I thought it was a good night. Coming into the night, I thought if we played like we are capable of, something like this could happen,” mused Quakertown coach George Banas. “Realistically, neither team knew what we had. We showed up to play a very aggressive, downhill, in-your-face kind of football, and we came out on top.”
“I was a little surprised,” Burns admitted. “This was supposed to be our first real challenge in the regular season. We played our hearts out and got the outcome we wanted.”
The only question that remained was: when would Banas sit his starters, since the Q-Panthers dominated from minute one? (Answer: late in the second quarter)
The Tennent defense forced a three-and-out on the game’s opening possession, which seemed to foreshadow the expected tight game.
The muffed Tennent punt catch, which Quakertown recovered, was a more accurate omen. Burns burrowed in from 18 yards two plays later for the game’s first touchdown.
“Getting through that line- I can’t thank those guys up front enough,” Burns deferred. “They had a heckuva night tonight. I have to thank them for all of the yards. But seeing all that green in front of you is a great thing to see. It was definitely a momentum shifter and it gave us some confidence.”
Burns later capped a five-run drive with a one yard scoring plunge to make it 21-0.
But Burns was just getting hot. He burst through the line and weaved through the Tennent secondary covering 70 yards, in a 41-yard touchdown scamper late in the first to make the score 28-0. He had a similar 55-yard scoring run on Quakertown’s next drive. Finally, Burns carried a tackler with him across the goal line to complete a 39-yard touchdown run with 2:44 left in the half.
“My favorite running backs are Walter Payton, seeing his highlights. He had power and some moves,” Burns shared. “LaDanian Tomlinson is one of my idols and is another reason I wear 21. I try to mix it up. Whatever I see and whatever my instincts do, I have to go with it.”
When the Panthers want to season their offense, they use Garlick. 6’4” senior quarterback Tom Garlick nearly single handedly produced Quakertown’s second touchdown. Flushed out of the pocket, he connected with senior Aaron Besch for a 29-yard completion and followed it with a 37-yard strike to senior Kyle Baskin. Garlick called his own number on a six-yard sweep that gave Quakertown a 14-0 lead.
Though he only needed three pass attempts tonight, Garlick is 20-of-38 for 344 yards in 2015. “When you can be so balanced,” Banas credited. “Not only do we have a good running attack but then you have a quarterback who can run, and throw such a nice ball to Besch, to Baskin, to Burns, to (Jon) Potynski. There are a lot of weapons to spread it around. That balances it out so teams can’t really load the box and can’t put a lot of guys in the mix deep either.”
Quakertown had 406 total yards at halftime to Tennent’s 92. The Q-Panthers had more touchdowns (seven) then Tennent did first downs (four) at the break.
Quakertown has scored at least 38 points in all four of their games – which is six points more than their defense has surrendered all season.
“We played with a lot of heart tonight, and it showed on the field,” said senior linebacker Nick Bonomo, who had four tackles for loss or no gain. “Everybody was motivated all week and we just came to play. We’re all working hard busting our butts every week. But we’re all having fun together and that is what football is all about.”
“I thought our front defensive line was going to be a strength coming into this season,” Banas offered. “I thought we had a lot of depth there and a lot of guys returning who played. They played well tonight. The linebacking corps stepped up and played well tonight.
“We threw a little bit of a different defense at them, and we picked it up extremely well. It helped against the spread,” Banas concluded. “I was proud of the defense as a whole.”
Entering the game, Tennent quarterback Tyler Lynch had thrown for 402 yards. Quakertown limited him to 93 yards on 15 pass attempts.
Potynski had a 44-yard run and backup quarterback Matt Fugitt hit tight end Rob Mestayer on a 17-yard pass to round out Quakertown’s scoring. Tennent got on the board when Jake Herbert took a fly pattern 62 yards for a score late in the fourth.
At the postgame huddle, the victorious Panthers serenaded Banas with “Happy Birthday.”
“It’s just another year. I tried to keep it under wraps,” smiled the amused coach, who celebrated his birthday the day before.
But this will be a party he’ll remember for a long while.
Don Leypoldt’s book Keystones and Wishbones: Faith, Values and Football in the Delaware Valley is now available on Amazon! The book features interviews with over a dozen NFL veterans, all with Delaware Valley ties. Click here to order:
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