QUAKERTOWN >> Hatboro-Horsham has a lot of speed on the perimeter on offense and a strong-armed mobile quarterback in Chris Edwards.
Friday, in a swirling mist at Quakertown, the Hatters reminded everyone that they can run the ball pretty well too. By pounding the ball on offense and stuffing up the run on defense, Hatboro-Horsham was workmanlike in a 27-6 win over the host Panthers in a very tough place to play and get a win.
The constant on both sides was the play of the Hatters’ line.
“All credit goes to our line, without the line, we’re not going to be able to get those first downs,” Hatters back Anthony Kwiatanowski said. “Our line was big part of this win.”
Conditions weren’t great, with the teams combining for five fumbles in the first half but once Hatboro-Horsham settled down, it started moving the ball effectively and consistently. Edwards only threw 10 passes but ran 17 times for 56 yards. Adam Suder ran for 21 yards, Kwiatanowski picked up 89 yards and Calvin Broaddus had 77 yards on just two carries.
“We’ve been practicing hard the last three weeks,” Hatters offensive/defensive lineman Chris Edmondson said. “We had an off week between Souderton and Upper Moreland and that’s where we decided to turn our season around.”
Hatboro-Horsham scored first when Edwards ran in from three yards out with 3:59 left in the first quarter. Quakertown’s standout tailback Noah Wood made it 7-6 when he ripped off a 35-yard TD run on the first play of the second quarter, a failed kick keeping the Hatters in front.
The 35-yarder was Quakertown’s biggest play of the night and the Hatters run defense only gave up three other runs of eight yards or more all game. Wood and fullback Christian Patrick are tough runners and don’t go down easily, but the Hatters got a lot of guys to the ballcarrier very fast on Friday.
“We wanted to get a good push off the line,” Edmondson said. “They have a great running back and we wanted to stop him in the backfield before he could get anything going. We had to get to him first and let the other guys kind of finish them off.”
Kwiatanowski was an effective runner in the first half coming out of the receiver spot. He had 28 and 19-yard gains on end-arounds in the first half and had a couple good runs on the Hatters’ second scoring drive. In the second half, Broaddus would take one of those sweep plays, stop and cut up the middle of the field and go 68 yards for a touchdown.
Edmondson said Quakertown was lining up in a Wide-9 style defense so he tried to push his man out of the way to let the runners make that cut upfield. Kwiatanowski said the team wanted to go straight downfield at Quakertown and the best way to do it was put the ball in some very fast guys’ hands.
On a 4th-and-goal at the Panthers’ one-yard line, Edwards appeared to be stacked up, but rolled off the pile and managed to get knocked into the endzone with a mere two seconds left in the first half to push the lead to 14-6.
“That was huge,” Kwiatanowski said. “To be able to pound the ball in going into half and knowing we’re getting the ball back (to start the second half), it was a momentum changer and really showed to them what we’re all about.”
Broaddus’ big play came with 4:48 left in the third quarter to put the Hatters up 20-6. Quakertown responded by methodically moving the ball down the field until it got to the Hatters’ 39. There, Hatboro-Horsham’s defense firmed up, giving up a one-yard, three-yard and run for no gain, then getting the ball back after an incompletion.
It was a whole host of guys on defense like Robert Fitzgerald and Nick Chapman making the stops all night. Much of it started with Edmondson.
“Having big No. 60 anchoring both sides of the line is a good feeling to have as a coach,” Hatters coach Mike Kapusta said. “He comes off the ball really well, has impeccable technique and he’s one of these kids that plays four quarters, hard, and you just count on him every play. Having him there makes play calling a lot easier.”
Fitzgerald helped force another punt in the fourth quarter when he tackled Patrick for no gain on second down then sacked Austin Clarke for a seven yard loss the very next play.
Kwiatanowski iced the game with 1:26 left when he scored on a 12-yard run. The win was technically the third straight for Hatboro-Horsham after picking up a forfeit from Springfield Twp two weeks ago then topping major rival Upper Moreland last week.
Kapusta said the focus won’t ever go beyond the week at hand, but after a rough start to the year, things are righting themselves for the Hatters.
“We’re looking at staying undefeated in our new season here,” Kapusta said. “The league season started and we pushed the reset button and said we’re starting a new season, we’re starting fresh and we’re doing well right now and the kids are fired up.”
HATBORO-HORSHAM 7 7 6 7 – 27
QUAKERTOWN 0 6 0 0 – 6
HH – Chris Edwards 3 run (Jin-Wook Kim kick) 3:59
Q- Noah Wood 35 run (Kick fail) 11:52
HH – Edwards 1 run (Kim kick) :02
HH – Calvin Broaddus 68 run (kick fail) 4:48
HH – Anthony Kwiatanowski 12 run (Kim kick) 1:26
1st Downs 13 10
Rushes-Yards 50-243 42-152
Passing 6-10-0-0 6-15-0-0
Passing Yards 79 61
Total Yards 322 213
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 3-1
Penalties-Yards 5-30 3-30
Punting 3-34.3 5-26.4
Rushing: HH- Chris Edwards 17-56, Adam Suder 8-21, Anthony Kwiatanowski 13-89, Calvin Broaddus 2-77; Q- Noah Wood 15-77, Nick Lefkoski 7-16, Christian Patrick 17-62, Austin Clarke 3-(-3)
Passing: HH- Edwards 6-10-0-0-79; Q- Clarke 6-15-0-0-61
Receiving: HH- Brandon Crews 1-17, Nick Chapman 1-11, Broaddus 2-28, Ben Ejimonyeugwo 1-21, Kwiatanowski 1-2; Q- Tim Shevlin 2-29, Nick Cass 3-26, Patrick 1-6