North Penn and Central Bucks West are gonna battle like it’s 1999.
That’s the last time that each squad took an undefeated record into this regular-season match-up, and this time around it’s the 3-0 Knights hosting the 3-0 Bucks in what will be the Suburban One League Continental Conference opener for both squads.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Crawford Stadium.
North Penn is coming off three impressive non-league victories, the latest of which was a 38-0 shutout of rival Pennsbury. The Bucks held off Quakertown last week, 21-12.
An improved West team has already matched its win total of 2015 (3-7). The Bucks know the challenge they’re up against in taking on perennial power North Penn.
“It’s nice (to be 3-0),” Bucks coach Chas Cathers said after last week’s victory over the Panthers, “but we’re gonna re-focus and get our sights set on North Penn.”
West’s defense has been doing a solid job, particularly up front, and has been getting contributions from a variety of backs in the running game, including T.J. Rakowsky and Griffin Shields.
The Bucks alternate quarterbacks, mixing it up between mobile Ryan Moylan and Joshua Crecca. Wide receiver Kevin O’Hanlon could be poised for a big game as the Bucks may need to open it up more to keep up with high scoring North Penn.
The Knights’ offense got a big lift last week when Nick Dillon returned to the backfield, following superior blocking on the way to four rushing touchdowns.
Quarterback Reece Udinski has wide receivers Ricky Johns and Justis Henley to throw to, giving opposing defenses a lot to account for.
It’s been 17 years since the Knights and Bucks met with unbeaten marks, and that was surely a big one: the final regular-season contest of 1999 in a game that decided the Suburban One National title.
CB West, coached by Mike Pettine, prevailed 17-7, and would go on to beat North Penn, coached by Pettine Jr., in the district semifinals on the way to capturing its third straight PIAA Class AAAA crown.
Since then though, the matchup has been very much in North Penn’s favor, as the Knights have taken nine of 10 from the Bucks, including nine straight. West’s last win over North Penn came in Week 10 of 2000 (13-7).
One of the oldest rivalries around, the two teams have met 87 times, the first meeting taking place way back in 1925. West is ahead in the overall series, with 47 wins, 36 losses and four ties.
Top Photo: North Penn’s Nick Dillon takes a hit takes from La Salle’s Austin Lemke during their game on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)