FAIRLESS HILLS – If the Pennsbury High football team goes on to have a winning year and make the playoffs, it will not be difficult to identify one of the key points of the season.
Following yet another dismal half of futile offensive football and trailing by two touchdowns at the half, Pennsbury, out of seemingly nowhere, got untracked.
The result was two third quarter scores and although the Falcons blew a great scoring opportunity in the fourth quarter, they did go on to beat Bensalem, 28-21, in a double overtime thriller Friday, Sept. 30 to leave both teams at 3-3 on the year.
In the end, it came down to a Bensalem running back on the verge of taking the ball into the end zone on a second-down play in the second overtime, only to have it come loose. The ball then rolled out of the side of the end zone and the refs ruled it a touchback.
Although Bensalem argued the call, it was to no avail as Pennsbury pulled off a victory that seemed entirely unlikely for the first 24 minutes.
In that first half, Bensalem took the lead on a 35-yard bomb by Drasaun Moore to a wide open Isiah Murray down the right sideline. Pennsbury was unable to move the ball in the first half and then compounded its woes when it threw an interception in the dying seconds of the second quarter. On the play, Keith Parrish grabbed the ball and raced 50 yards for a pick six to give the Owls a 14-0 halftime lead.
Whatever was said in the locker room at halftime, it was a totally different Pennsbury offense in the third quarter. And the way the Falcons got it going was with its traditional Ground and Pound attack by inserting Joe Meglin as a second back along with Nasan Robbins.
With Meghlin picking up some tough inside yardage and also throwing some key blocks for Robbins, Pennsbury started the second half with a 78-yard drive on 13 plays and scored on a 1-yard run by Tyrone Hodges Jr.
After quickly forcing a punt, Pennsbury struck again when a 25-yard run by Robbins led to a 4-yard TD run by Hodges.
The momentum was now all with the Falcons and in the fourth quarter an interception by Hodges led to a long drive and a first and goal at the Bensalem 7 yard line. With at least a field goal seemingly in the bag, Pennsbury instead went backwards as a chop block and a fumbled eventually forced to Pennsbury turning it over on downs.
Bensalem went first in overtime and scored on the very first play when Malcolm Carey burst up the middle for a 10-yard TD. Pennsbury needed only one play to score itself on a 10-yard keeper by quarterback Zach DeMarchis.
DeMarchis then scored what proved to be the winning TD with a six-yard run on third down. Bensalem came about as close as you can to forcing a third overtime, but the fumble and touchdown ended the Owls bid to beat the Falcons for the first time since 2010.
The coach of Bensalem that year was — of all people — current Pennsbury head coach Dan McShane.
After losing 28 in a row, Bensalem has made significant progress this year. Pennsbury has not, but the win cover the Owls could serve as a big step in the right direction.
Pennsbury 28, Bensalem 21
(Sept. 30 at Pennsbury)
BENSALEM (3-3) 0 14 0 0 7 0 — 21
PENNSBURY (3-3) 0 0 14 0 7 7 — 28
B — Murray 35 pass from Moore (Corbett kick)
B — Keith Parrish 50 int. return (Corbett kick)
P — Tyrone Hodges 1 run (Knop kick)
P — Hodges 4 run (Knop kick)
B — Malcolm Carey 10 run (Corbett kick)
P — Zach Demarchis 10 run (Knop kick)
P — Demarchis 6 run (Knop kick)