NEWTOWN, Pa. >> It has become completely evident the Pennsbury High School football team is totally incapable of doing anything easily this year.
On a night in which the Falcons were hoping to post their first convincing win of the entire season, Pennsbury instead barely survived against Council Rock South, 21-19.
The positive in all of this is the Falcons are now 5-3 and will be in a strong position for a possible playoff berth if they can beat Abington at Falcon Field next Friday night. What’s not so good is Pennsbury still doesn’t look very much like – well – a playoff team.
Although Rock South came into this game struggling with a record of 1-6, it didn’t take long to see Vince Bedesem’s team was not going to go down quietly to its seventh defeat.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Golden Hawks opened the scoring with a 83-yard drive that featured a 51-yard bolt by junior quarterback Christian Jabbar. The Rock South TD seemed to wake up the Falcons, who came right back with a 70-yard, 15-play drive capped by a 1 yard-sneak by junior quarterback Zach Demarchis. This drive featured some hard running by senior running back Joe Meglen, who led Pennsbury’s ground game with 110 yards on 17 carries.
Truth be told, the drive also featured two huge personal fouls on the Golden Hawks. The second one came on a successful field goal, prompting Pennsbury to turn down the three points and accept a first and goal at the 3 yard line.
The Falcons’s first TD was the end of the scoring in the first half, but not the action as Pennsbury barely avoided a safety after giving up field position when it muffed a punt.
No matter how the season might be going, you always know Bedesem will have his team ready to play. Sure enough, Rock South regained the lead late in the third quarter when a 29-yard pass from Jabbar to split end Andrew Vera led to a 1-yard TD plunge by Jake Diaz.
It was here where the game swung in the Falcons’ favor. And the guy who sparked it was junior David Burke with a 56-yard kickoff return to the Hawks’ 19 yard line. Four plays later, Demarchis was in the end zone on a 3-yard keeper.
It looked like Pennsbury might finally be in control when Rock South then fumbled on its own 17 yard line and Meglen scored on a 7-yard run to build the Falcon lead to 21-13.
In keeping with the trend of Pennsbury’s season, the Hawks got right back in the game with a clutch 12-play, 79-yard drive that ended with another 1-yard dive by Diaz. The touchdown was largely set up by a 39-yard strike from Jabbar to a wide open Nick Gallo.
Because of a missed extra point on its second TD, Rock South had no choice but to go for a two-point conversion at this point, with less than four minutes remaining. A desperation attempted pass, however, failed when Tyrone Hodges Jr. put pressure on Jabbar and made him throw wildly.
Pennsbury could have put the game away with a first down, but twice had to punt as the clock wound down. Both of the Golden Hawks’ last two possessions ended on interceptions by senior defensive back Abe Polster. The Falcons also got a big sack from junior standout Mike Gobora in the last minute.
It sure wasn’t pretty, but then again, nothing has been that way for Pennsbury in this rebuilding season. The fact the Falcons now have five wins is encouraging in the sense they are playing an unusually large number of underclassmen.
Contact Rick Fortenbaugh at email@example.com, or @RickFort7 on Twitter
Pennsbury 21, Council Rock South 19
(Oct. 14 at CR North)
PENNSBURY (5-3) 0 7 7 7 – 21
CR SOUTH (1-7) 0 7 6 6 – 19
CRS — Tyler Berghaier 1 run (Gold kick)
P — Zach Demarchis 1 run (Knop kick)
CRS — Jake Diaz 1 run (kick failed)
P — Demarchis 3 run (Knop kick)
P — Joe Meglen 7 run (Knop kick)
CRS — Diaz 1 run (pass failed)