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North Penn advances to District 1-AAAA quarterfinals with rout of Unionville

EAST MARLBOROUGH >> Early on, Unionville had the look of a team making its first playoff appearance in three years, while North Penn displayed the attributes of a program that has lived in the postseason for the past decade and a half.

The Knights took advantage of a botched punt attempt by Unionville to open the scoring, dominated the second quarter to lead by 21 at the break, and was nearly flawless after halftime.

It was an efficient, opening-round business trip for North Penn, which marched to a 48-7, mercy-rule victory over the Indians in a District 1 Class AAAA Playoff contest, on the turf at chilly Unionville High School.

Bob Raines--Montgomery Media Justin Ostopowicz, right, makes the first score for North Penn during the Nov. 13, 2015 game at Unionville.

North Penn’s Justin Ostopowicz, right, scores the first touchdown for the Knights during their District 1-AAAA first round game against Unionville on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. (Bob Raines/Montgomery Media)

“That was awesome. Big game like that – can’t beat it,” said Justin Ostopowicz, a running and receiving threat in North Penn’s balanced attack. “We prepared for them well, our defense stepped up, and (the Indians) weren’t getting anything on us. That’s awesome.”

The win sends the ninth-seeded Knights to top-seeded Downingtown East, which survived a scare by No. 16 Plymouth Whitemarsh Friday night.

After a low snap on a punt attempt set up the Knights with a 1st-and-goal at the seven, it took NP just two plays to move in front, as Ostopowicz raced in for the score and a 7-0 NP lead.

It was just the beginning of an offensive performance that was as balanced as it was overwhelming: a couple 100-yard rushing performances by Nyfease West (115) and Nick Isabella (104), along with quarterback Reece Udinski connecting with a half dozen receivers for 143 yards.

“I thought our balanced attack would really do us well in a game like this,” Knights coach Dick Beck said. “I think that’s our game – get everybody involved. We have three guys running the ball, five or six guys catching the ball.”

The No. 8 Indians (8-3) were held without a first down in the opening quarter while the Knights’ offense began to warm up.

North Penn’s third possession was a 12-play drive that carried into the second quarter, with Isabella scoring on a nine-yard run to double the margin to 14-0.

Isabella found the end zone again on the Knights’ ensuing drive, lunging into a pile at the goal line for a one-yard score that stretched North Penn’s lead to 20-0.

Unionville’s finest moment of the game came when quarterback Brendan Boyle hit Brandon Boon down the seam for a 37-yard score, tightening the contest to 20-7.

But Justis Henley’s 66-yard kickoff return set the Knights up at the Unionville 24, and on the very next play, Udinski threw a strike to wide receiver Ricky Johns, who made a nice grab in tight coverage for the score, with just eight seconds left in the half.

A two-point conversion catch by Jake Hubler made it a 28-7 lead at the break.

Scores by Isabella, his third of the night, Dontae Stewart and Tyler Gillett padded the NP advantage after the break, enforcing the mercy rule with 10 minutes to go.

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