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North Penn airs it out in win over Souderton

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TOWAMENCIN >> He was as humble as he was prolific.

“Well I didn’t do much of the work. I think all of my receivers need the credit,” North Penn quarterback Reece Udinski said after a masterful, five-touchdown performance against rival Souderton Area Friday night. “Ricky (Johns) had some great catches, some great yards after the catch, and I thought our receivers caught the ball well, especially considering the weather.”

Mark C Psoras--The Reporter North Penn's Justin Ostopowicz ,30, shrugs off Souderton defenders for a big gain.

North Penn’s Justin Ostopowicz (30) shrugs off Souderton defenders for a big gain during first-half action of their contest at North Penn High School on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. (Mark C Psoras/The Reporter0

The Knights’ collective effort in the passing attack led the way to a 39-14 win over Big Red, as North Penn improved to a perfect 3-0 in Suburban One League National Conference play.

Udinski threw for a whopping 330 yards, completing 18 of 24 passes, as only six of his balls hit the soggy Crawford Stadium grass.

“We just wanted to play our game, and I think that’s what we did,” said the quarterback who helped his team win its third straight, improving to 4-2 on the season. “I was really proud of our guys, and they stepped up big. And we just came out here and got a win, and that’s all we needed to do.”

After Souderton (3-3, 1-2 conference) struck first on a 15-yard touchdown run by Alec Morshead, Udinski and the Knights went to work.

An 11-play drive reached the end zone on the strength of an eight-yard touchdown pass from Udinski to Nick Isabella, tying the game at seven apiece on a cool, wet night at Crawford.

Then, Udinski went deep.

After a three-and-out by Big Red (3-3), the Knights (4-2) scored in just three plays when Udinski threw a 55-yard scoring strike — hitting Johns deep downfield in stride — to put North Penn ahead for the first time, 14-7, in the final minute of the first quarter.

Mark C Psoras--The Reporter North Penn's Justin Ostopowicz ,30, cuts through Souderton defenders for a big gain.

North Penn’s Justin Ostopowicz (30) cuts through Souderton defenders for a big gain during first half action of their contest at North Penn High School on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. (Mark C Psoras/The Reporter)

“That’s one we work on in practice a lot,” said Udinski, a 6-foot-4, 170-pound junior. “We’ve hit it a couple times this year, and I’m glad it’s still working for us.”

The Knights’ defense forced five consecutive punts by Souderton to close out the half while the NP passing attack continued to connect.

This time, Udinski threw a short outlet pass to Johns, who dodged one defender, put on a spin move to evade another, and then was off running to a 40-yard score that put the Knights ahead 20-7 midway through the second quarter.

North Penn went to the break in commanding fashion, with tight end Keith Earle catching a deflected pass to provide a 26-7 advantage.

“Keith Earle had a great night catching the ball, Nick Vasger has great hands, and I thought Justin Ostopowicz made some great catches on some wheel routes,” Knights coach Dick Beck said.

Six different receivers caught passes for the Knights, with Isabella adding 53 yards on the ground. The defense didn’t surrender a first down in either the second or third quarters.

Mark C Psoras--The Reporter North Penn reciever Ricky Johns ,8, hauls in a pass ahead of Souderton defenders for a touchdown during first half action of their contest at North Penn High School on Friday October 9,2015. Photo by Mark C Psoras

North Penn reciever Ricky Johns (8) hauls in a pass ahead of Souderton defenders for a touchdown during first-half action of their contest at North Penn High School on Friday, Oct. 9,2015. (Mark C Psoras/The Reporter)

“I was pretty happy with it, in all phases,” Beck said of the game. “Running the ball, passing the ball, playing defense, playing pass defense, rushing the passer, everything — I was pretty happy.”

Udinski finished the first half completing 13 of 18 passes for 281 yards and four scores, while Johns had four catches for 126 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Johns caught his third scoring strike of the night — a nine-yarder, to make it a 33-7 North Penn lead early in the third. A speedy and tall target at 6-foot-4, Johns finished the night with eight catches for 168 yards.

Isabella’s two-yard run followed by Brandon Taragna’s five-yard plunge for Souderton completed the scoring.
Big Red started the game off strong, but it would be North Penn’s night — through the air.

“They’re a really good football team,” Souderton coach Ed Gallagher said of the Knights. “We knew we were gonna have to play near perfect, and it just didn’t happen.

“Udinski threw the ball really well and the receivers caught everything — even one that went through our hands. Udinski’s a huge gain for them. He’s really a solid quarterback.”

Top Photo: North Penn quarterback Reece Udinski hurls a pass over Souderton defenders during first-half action of their contest at North Penn High School on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. (Mark C Psoras/The Reporter)

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