The Souderton football team already has a postseason mentality heading into Friday night’s home contest with Central Bucks West.
“Next week is a one-game playoff for us. If we win we’re in, if we lose, there’s no good scenarios if we lose,” said Indians coach Ed Gallagher last Friday after Big Red’s 35-7 win over Truman. “Even if we sneak in, we’re sneaking in going to Crawford (Stadium to play North Penn) Week 1 which we don’t want to do. We need to win next week and secure a better seed in the playoffs and go see what we got.”
Kickoff at Souderton is set for 7 p.m. with the game broadcasted on the radio on WNPV 1440 AM and online at www.wnpv1440.com.
Souderton (5-4) enters its final Suburban One League Continental Conference in the District 1-6A playoff field per the latest power rankings, but does not have much room for error. Big Red is tied with Penn Wood for 13th with a 128.9 points average, with No. 15 Pennridge (127.8) and Haverford (120.0) rounding out the 16 teams right now on the inside.
District hopes for Central Bucks West (4-5) are still alive, but the Bucks needed a lot of help after falling to Central Bucks East 23-6 last Friday. West is 20th in the rankings, with Bensalem, Downingtown West and Pennsbury — 17-19, respectively — ahead of the Bucks.
Both Souderton and Central Bucks West opened the season with 3-0 starts but have struggled since.
The Bucks dropped two straight, beat winless William Tennent and now enter Friday on a three-game skid. Souderton meanwhile lost three in a row, falling to 3-3 before winning two of its last three — victories over Tennent and Truman sandwiching a Week 8 loss to North Penn. A win over West gives the Indians their first season over .500 since 2012 and should earn them a playoff spot for the first time since 2010.
“We’re definitely a strong team,” Souderton offensive lineman Andrew Stein said after the Truman win. “The middle three games where we lost three in a row, that definitely wasn’t us. Two really close games against CB South and CB East, we really didn’t play like we should of those games. And we easily could be 8-2.”
Koby Khan is a few yards away from breaking Souderton’s career rushing record after going for 203 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Homecoming victory over Truman. For season, Khan has 1,248 yards and 15 TDs on 170 carries for and Indians offense collecting 259.9 yards on the ground per contest.
The Bucks have a used a two quarterback system all season with Ryan Moylan a threat to run or throw while Joshua Crecca has more of the Bucks’ passing yardage. Whoever the QB, Kevin O’Hanlon will be their main target as he leads West with 30 receptions for 577 yards and five TDs.
• Pennridge has no wiggle room sitting in 16th in the District 1-6A power rankings — the Rams need a win at Central Bucks East Saturday to have any chance of playing the postseason.
Pennridge (5-4) has lost to four of the top five teams in the rankings — No. 2 Neshaminy 31-24 Week 2, No. 3 Perk Valley 38-20 Week 3, No. 1 North Penn 45-21 Week 5 and last week falling to No. 5 Central Bucks South 21-14.
CB East heads into this week ninth after beating Central Bucks West for a second straight win.
• Plymouth Whitemarsh can clinch the outright SOL American Conference title for the first time since 2013 with a win at Quakertown Friday night. The Colonials — 10th in the 6A power rankings —have won eight straight since losing to Souderton in their season opener. A Quakertown win gives Upper Dublin an opening to split to title with PW. Upper Dublin hosts Upper Moreland Friday. UD is 4th in the District 1-5A rankings while Upper Moreland is 14th with the top 16 making the tournament.
• North Penn can finish the regular season for the fourth time under head coach Dick Beck if the Knights can defeat host Abington at 7:30 p.m. Friday. North Penn had previously gone 10-0 under Beck in 2003 — winning the PIAA Class AAAA title — along with 2008 — reaching the state semifinals — and 2009, when it reached the district final.
Top Photo: Souderton’s Koby Khan runs a hand off up the middle against Central Bucks East during their game on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)