WARMINSTER >> William Tennent entered Friday night’s Suburban One League Continental Conference finale looking for their first conference win in two seasons.
Unfortunately for the Panthers, it finished its season without one, falling to Central Bucks South 35-7. The Panthers finish the year 0-10 but return a lot of talent both at skill positions and on the line next season.
“There were numerous times this season and there were numerous times in each game that we played that we looked like a complete football team,” Tennent coach Leo Plenski said. “We played well against some of the bigger schools (and) we knew switching leagues was going to be complicated.”
Friday night’s game featured some mistakes by the Panthers in which Plenski dubbed “inconsistencies” that cumulatively hurt Tennent throughout the game.
On the Titans first drive, they faced a 3rd and 8 from the 9-yard line. The Panther forced an incomplete pass but the drive was extended on a roughing the quarterback penalty that resulted in a South score.
On the ensuing kickoff, Tennent failed to recover a pooch kick that South turned into a touchdown three plays later. The next Panthers drive they were faced with a third and two but a false start penalty pushed them back five yards as they failed to convert.
The very next drive, Tennent had a 2nd-and-2 on the Titans 41-yard line. Sean Bragen ran for what would have been a first down but his run was called back on a holding call and once again Tennent could not convert.
All these Panther miscues happened in the first half which led to them trailing 28-7 at halftime, not to mention a 76-yard scoring drive by South right before half that took only 25 seconds to punch it in the end zone as it took over with just 33 seconds on the clock.
“It’s consistency,” Plenski said. “It’s not like we’re going out there trying to commit penalties. Some kids are playing overly aggressive. It’s tough, we’re not going to tell kids to hold or to hit the quarterback after the play. That’s football when your 0-9 nobody is going to give you a good call.”
Completing a season without a win is never a good feeling and its hard to search for silver linings however the Panthers played just about as hard a schedule as any team has played this season.
“There’s a lot of ifs, ands or buts but I can sit here and say I’m proud of a lot of these guys,” Plenski said. “There’s teams like North Penn and all these playoff teams in there that we played well for a good amount of time and just found a way to lose it.”
Although the Panthers have now completed a second straight season without a conference victory Plenski is still hopeful a young corps of players will start to round into form next year.
“The only game we were really out (of) at the beginning of the game was Pennridge. Besides that game, I can sit here and say that we did compete. So, anybody that says we shouldn’t be in this league or any other complaints, we’re not going to complain about it,” Plenski said. “We’re going to get there. I’m not going to sit here and quit on these guys.”