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Kantor throws 3 TDs, Pennridge shuts down CB West

DOYLESTOWN >> After watching his team give up a long touchdown on the first snap for the second straight game, Pennridge football coach Jeff Hollenbach now has a set plan to make sure it won’t happen the next time.

“I told (defensive coordinator) Mike Barainyak, play one next week we are playing a prevent defense,” he said. “Play one, we’re playing a prevent defense and I don’t care, we’re putting everyone like 35 yards back and let them get 10, I don’t care. They’re not getting 70. I just couldn’t believe it.”

Seventeen seconds into Friday night’s Suburban One League Continental Conference, host Central Bucks West had a 6-0 lead as quarterback Joshua Crecca connected with Ricardo Washington deep down the left side for a 71-yard score.

“It was a tough move — a double move and he just bit on it,” Rams senior Nick Tarburton said. “Stuff we can work on, stuff we can fix and we’ll get better from it.”

It didn’t take too long for the Pennridge defense fix things Friday night. The quick strike ended up being the lone points West collected against the Rams’ constant pressure. Meanwhile, junior quarterback Zak Kantor throw for three touchdowns and Pennridge left War Memorial Field with a 26-6 victory.

“I’m mainly proud of the team coming together in a situation like this, there’s pressure — we got to win this game And except for play one, we played pretty well,” Hollenbach said.

Last Thursday against Council Rock South, Pennridge (5-2, 2-1 conference) surrendered a 75-yard TD run on that contest’s first offensive play. The Rams rallied to beat the Golden Hawks 35-28, but only scored the go-ahead touchdown with 3:32 in the fourth quarter.

Friday night against West (5-2, 1-2), the Rams never trailed after Kyle Schetter crossed the goal line on a two-yard run at 7:31 in the first quarter. A pair of Kantor touchdown passes to Shane Hartzell and Ryan Garner extended the advantage to 20-6 at halftime.

“We were definitely flat and we weren’t prepared to be honest with you,” said Tarburton of the CR South game. “But this week we made sure we prepared and just got after it.”

Pennridge held the Bucks to negative 11 yards rushing due to the Rams sacking Crecca six times. West’s senior quarterback did have 182 yards and a touchdown on 10-of-23 passing but he was also intercepted twice.

“I think our defense was on the field a little too much today and we couldn’t get in a rhythm on offense and that’s something that we need to work on,” CB West coach Chas Cathers said. “Pennridge is a really good football team and I still believe we got a great team too. We have some guys that played all four quarters and played tough. And we got to constantly work and we got to fix some issues on offense, which we will. We’ll get back to work on Monday.”

Kantor completed 7-of-10 for 133 yards and three touchdowns, hitting Ryan Garner four times for 104 yards — 59 coming on a touchdown late in the first half.

“Zak did some really good things,” Hollenbach said. “I had him running the ball a little bit and it’s not hard to tell his strength is more in passing but he still did some good things running the ball. But yeah, just managing the team, making sure we’re not offsides, making sure people are in the right spot, he’s growing up as a quarterback.”

Garner also ran 12 times for 49 yards while Josh Pinkney — back after missing the two previous games due to injury — had a game-high 58 yards on 13 carries for the Rams, who won their second straight win along with a fourth consecutive victory over CB West.

“Josh was, I think, a little tentative. I don’t think it was the Josh that we’re used to and I wondered about that coming in,” Hollenbach said. “But he’ll get better, he’ll get better from week to week.”

Central Bucks West was held to single digits for the first time this season as the Bucks had their two-game win streak snapped. West, which came into Friday third in the District 1-6A power rankings, tries to bounce back on the road next week against Central Bucks South.

Pennridge, which was 14th in the rankings — 16 teams make the playoff field — visits William Tennent.

“We needed this, especially compared to like last year,” Hollenbach said. So we got Tennent, CB South and CB East coming up. Those are just game we need to win if we want to go anyplace. So this was a huge win for us.”


Down 14-6, West drove to the Rams 38 but Joe Devine picked off Crecca. Still down eight, a blocked punt by Jake Reichwein set the Bucks up at the Pennridge 32 at 3:02 in the second quarter. West, however, turnover the balls on downs at the 27.

“They brought a lot of pressure and we need to be able to execute,” Cathers said. “We had a couple mishaps with some of our offensive checks at the line of scrimmage which we just got to be in sync, all 11 players got to be in sync. We had some mishaps there and against a good team like Pennridge that’s going to come back and bite you.”

Pennridge proceeded to go up 20-6 on the next series, Kantor finding a wide-open Garner for a 59-yard touchdown with 1:21 left in the first half.

The Bucks’ first possession after halftime began at the 50, but on 3rd and 4 at the Rams 44 West was called for a false start and Chris Feralio’s sack forced a punt.

“The d-line was tearing them up, holding them up,” Tarburton said. “And I was coming free a couple times and just got around them and made a couple plays.”

In the fourth, West stuffed a Rams run on 4th and goal from the 1 but the Bucks proceed to go three and out — giving Pennridge back the ball 38 yards from the goal line. The Rams scored six plays later to put the game away, Tarburton shrugging off a few tackle attempts to take a Kantor shovel pass in for a 20-yard touchdown at 3:25.

Pennridge grabbed a 7-6 lead with a five-play, 40 yard drive in the first quarter. Kantor connected with Garnet for a 28-yard completion down to the West 2 and Schetter scored from there at 7:31 on a run the next play.

Kantor made it 14-6 as he capped a seven-play, 54 yard drive by rolling right and hitting Hartzell in the end zone for a three-yard touchdown at 10:58 in the second quarter.

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