WARMINSTER >> After William Tennent trimmed the Souderton football team’s lead to 24-20 in the third quarter Koby Khan provided a swift response for the Indians.
Getting a path through the line, Khan took it and dashed 70 yards to the end zone on the first play of the ensuing drive, regaining a double-digit advantage for Souderton in Friday night’s Suburban One League Continental Conference contest
“I had to cut back on it a little bit but I saw a huge hole,” he said. “I saw Chris Newlin coming across, block the safety for me and I just saw a big opening and just took it and scored.”
Khan gave Big Red a cushion, but the Indians did not fully shake the host Panthers until Camerin Carroll’s 23-yard touchdown run with 5:05 left the fourth as Souderton put an end to a three-game losing streak with a 38-20 victory.
“It’s a great feeling,” Khan said. “We have North Penn next week, so we wanted to get back on a positive note and it’s been tough past three weeks that we’ve had and we just wanted to get a win. Hopefully we get a win next week at North Penn and end up being 7-3.”
Kahn ran for 160 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries, caught three passes for 61 yards and also had an interception that set up a field goal in the third quarter. Quarterback Joe Curotto was 13-of-20 for 163 and ran for a TD as Souderton (4-3, 1-3 conference) is back above .500 after a three-week swoon followed a 3-0 start.
“It’s a really good league and there’s going to be a lot of good games, there’s a lot of physical football teams in our league and we lost two, three tough ones in a row here and we had to get that bad taste out of our mouths and we did,” Souderton coach Ed Gallagher said. “It wasn’t pretty, but hats off to Tennent for coming and fighting and they didn’t stop playing, the continued to compete the entire night. And their kids fought hard and thankfully we had enough to put them away there in the end.”
William Tennent (0-7, 0-3) took advantage of Souderton turnovers for all 13 of its first half points. And after a Dylan Molyneaux 35-yard field goal made it 24-13 at 8:13 in the third, the Panthers pulled within four 53 seconds later. Mitchell Vierling’s pass was knocked in the air by an Indians defender, but the ball fell into the hands of Ray Galdi, who then sprinted for a 63-yard score.
But after Khan’s 70-yard touchdown, the Panthers came up empty on their final three drives – going 3-and-out on two – with the loss stretching Tennent’s winless streak to 14 games.
“At the end of the day this is a little better than getting blown out like we have last year, but at the same time, you know it’s seven games played, seven games we were in, we definitely should of walked away with at least five wins by now,” William Tennent coach Leo Plenski said. “But I feel sorry for the seniors that it’s not going the same way, but we’re going to keep working, keep battling, stop shooting ourselves in the foot.
“We know we have the three toughest games on our schedule coming up, but we’re going to compete and we’re just not going to quit.”
— Mike Cabrey (@mpcabrey) October 8, 2016
Souderton’s defensive front pressured Vierling all night, but the Panther QB did toss for 125 yards and three touchdowns and one interception of 6-of-17.
“He set the tone early with that touchdown pass on that fourth down,” Plenski said. “It gives us another option to play quarterback that we’ve been struggled with. He did give us some life, but at the end of the day, we ended up giving up the big play and shooting our self in the foot.”
Both teams are on the road Friday. Souderton takes on North Penn while William Tennent visits Pennridge.
The Indians’ 3-0 start was its first since 2006. But Pennridge handed Big Red its first loss 38-10 in Week 4 while close losses to Central Bucks South (7-0) and Central Bucks East (37-36) had Souderton a 3-3 and just inside the 16-team District 1-6A playoff field – tied for Pennridge at 15 – in the latest power rankings.
“It was just a tough couple three weeks,” Khan said. “So that’s why this week was big for us. We wanted to come out, get a win going into North Penn. But like I said, it was just a tough couple weeks. We have a couple setbacks and we just wanted to get back on the right foot.”
Carroll – who finished with 84 yards on nine carries – started the game’s opening possession with a 45-yard run. Four plays later, Khan capped the 64-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run at 9:44 in the first quarter.”
Tennent tied things at seven after recovering a muffed punt return at the Souderton 21, Vierling hitting Tyler Lynch in the end zone on 4th-and-goal from the three at 5:02.
Curotto began the next Souderton series with a 35-yard completion to Carroll and ended the six-play, 73-yard drive with a touchdown on a 1-yard QB sneak as Big Red went up 14-7 at 3:00.
Khan was the catalyst on the Indians’ next scoring drive in the second quarter. The senior caught two passes to convert third downs – taking a screen for 30 on 3rd-and-12 at Souderton 30 while going for 20 on a shovel pass on 3rd-and-5 from the Tennent 35. Khan then collected his second TD on a 15-yard run to make it 21-7 at 6:31.
Souderton, however, fumbled away the ball on its next two possessions, the Panthers taking advantage the second time – Vierling connected with Ryan Savage for a 49-yard touchdown with 2:15 left in the half.
— Mike Cabrey (@mpcabrey) October 8, 2016
“Execution-wise, our first two possessions were nearly flawless,” Gallagher said. “So, really couldn’t ask for much more and then all of a sudden we start shooting ourselves in the foot, holding penalty, we fumble a couple of times, it just some uncharacteristic things that we got to clean up. And we gave them a couple extra chances defensively as well.”
Khan intercepted Vierling on the first drive of the third quarter and set Souderton up at the WT 28. The Indians turned the pick into points on Molyneaux field goal from 35 yards out at 8:13.
Down 31-20 in the fourth, a roughing the punter penalty on Souderton gave a Tennent drive new life but the Panthers eventually turned the ball over on downs at the Indians 40 with 7:12 left.
Souderton’s fifth rushing TD came on the ensuing drive – Cameron scoring from 23 yards out as Big Red went up 18 with 5:05 to go.
Top Photo: William Tennent’s Dan Goodz takes down Souderton receiver Shane Day after a short pass during their game on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)