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North Penn survives slow start to cruise past William Tennent

WARMINSTER >> North Penn has been a force so far this season on its way to an undefeated record while boasting a 24.5 point average margin of victory. Friday night was no different as the Knights beat Suburban One League Continental Conference foe William Tennent 52-6.

“We had a slow first quarter but after that I thought things went pretty good,” North Penn head coach Dick Beck said. “They converted couple third downs on us that scoring drive but besides that we did a nice job.”

Early on it looked as if the Panthers may be able to hang with the heavily-favored Knights. After North Penn shot out to a 10-0 lead, Tennent was able to work the ball through the air on a drive capped by a 17-yard touchdown catch by Tyler Lynch, bringing the score to 10-6 and causing a few spectators to wonder if this would be a tougher test for the Knights than expected.

However, that score seemed to just bring the Knights offense to life as they answered with back-to-back touchdowns of their own to make it 24-6 at half and never looked back.

“Our defense was making some good stops early on and we forced them to punt a few times and got that turnover and we were looking good,” William Tennent head coach Leo Plenski said. “Then, with two minutes left before half time, all of a sudden we forgot how to play.”

That lone score was the only real positive in this one for a Tennent offense that has struggled all season. The Panthers finished with negative 11 yards rushing as the big bodies on the North Penn front seven used their size to dictate play.

To make matters worse, North Penn was loading the box, often having nine men play close to the line and daring Tennent to throw it. The Panthers had moderate success doing just that, but could not sustain it.

“We thought we’d be able to come in and run the ball a little bit and that wasn’t the case,” added Plenski. “It’s momentum a lot of the times, we’re playing the top team in the area we knew that but we just couldn’t keep it up.”

The North Penn offense was just too much for Tennent as well. A defensive unit that held its own against the Knights early on looked tired as the game went on, and just simply did not have the depth to stop senior quarterback Reece Udinski or running back Nick Dillon as they pushed the ball up and down the field to seal the win in the second half.

Dillon was especially impressive as he racked up 145 yards on 17 carries and reached paydirt four times, gashing the defense for big chunks of yards both inside and out.

“He’s been big for us all year,” said Beck of Dillon. “We’ve been trying to have him break out for a while now. He hasn’t really gotten this many carries in a game and I think he handled it really well and looked great.”

The win brings the Knights to 9-0 and as we head to the playoffs they may be the team to beat in the area.

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