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Suburban One League

Early visits turning difficult for Penn Wood

FALLS TWP. >> It was a career night for Kennedy Poles. And he’d just as soon trade it back for a win.

“We lost,” said Poles, who hauled in three touchdowns Friday night for Penn Wood. “I want to win. Stats don’t mean as much unless you win.”

Pennsbury took advantage of a number of costly Penn Wood penalties in the first half. The Falcons scored on two drives that were extended by penalties — one a personal foul, another an encroachment — en route to a 41-28 win over Penn Wood.

The win notched a 2-0 start for Pennsbury, which opened the season with consecutive wins against Academy Park and the Patriots.

First-year Penn Wood coach Ato Troop talked with his players after the game, warning them about avoiding the urge to sit on the bench unless they’re hurt or being tended to by a trainer, and about avoiding careless penalties.

“Accountability is a big part of (coaching), that no matter what happens you have to keep going with it,” Troop said. “Things aren’t going to be perfect; with employment, family, whatever. I need guys who are going to keep fighting, no matter what the scoreboard says.”

Pennsbury, buried in a third-and-8 on its opening drive, escaped on a 66-yard connection between quarterback Zach Demarchis and Justin Shutt. (“They did a bubble-and-go, and our guy bit,” Troop said.) A play later, the Falcons found the end zone and jumped in front.

On Pennsbury’s next two possessions, the Falcons benefited greatly from Penn Wood miscues, including that encroachment call on a fourth-and-4 situation in the second quarter.

Poles gave Penn Wood life before halftime with the first of his three touchdown receptions, off a 45-yard pass from Desman Johnson. His second-half touchdowns came via backup Brian Parker’s arm.

Still, Poles had a tough time enjoying the spotlight in an otherwise dull game.

“Everybody should be able to turn up, to have the same energy,” he said. “I don’t know. I can’t explain why it’s that way. I don’t give up. I was just raised that way by my parents.”

The loss leaves Penn Wood (0-2) in an unsettling spot. The Patriots had built up great levels of optimism following last season’s seven-win campaign that culminated in a District 1 Class 6A playoff berth. Now, they are winless through two games, with another road date at Council Rock North to come.

“We have to turn it around,” Poles said. “We have to go day by day and put this in the past. Next week is a new week for us.”

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