Fairless Hills, Pa. >> It’s not often you get a second chance in life and the Pennsbury High School football team made sure it would get it by beating Central Bucks South, 17-0, Friday night at Falcon Field.
With this victory in the first round of the 16-team PIAA District 1 Class 6A playoffs, Pennsbury (9-2) advanced to a quarterfinal round game next Friday night at Neshaminy. It will mark the first time these archrivals will play each other in the postseason and give the Falcons a chance to avenge an extremely frustrating 21-20 loss to Neshaminy last week.
Although Pennsbury’s offense moved the ball well in the first half before the game degenerated into a flag fest in the second, it was Pennsbury’s swarming and physical defense that was the dominant unit all game.
After a C.B. South kick returner opened the game by fielding the ball on a knee on his own 1 yard line to start the game, Pennsbury quickly recorded a safety when Mike Gobora tackled a Titan running back in the end zone.
This led to a somewhat bizarre series of events, beginning with the Falcons failing to cover the ensuing free kick and then having a punt blocked which set up South’s only scoring opportunity of the night with the ball at the Pennsbury 5 yard line.
But just when it looked like a South running back might reach the end zone, he was separated from the ball and Pennsbury recovered in the end zone. This led to an 80-yard, 13 play Falcon drive culminated by a 6-yard touchdown pass from Zach Demarchis to Austin Palmer.
“We tried to approach it like this was a normal week,” said Palmer. “We knew what we had to do.”
In the second quarter Pennsbury more or less iced the game on a 7-yard TD run by Demarchis after Gary Minnes intercepted a pass and returned it to the C.B. South 7 yard line.
The windy conditions made it difficult to throw the ball and the normally very accurate Demarchis was just 10 for 24 through the air. What the Warrington team could not do, however, was contain Demarchis when he ran the ball. The result was 167 rushing yards for the Falcons senor on 18 carries.
Although turnovers and penalties allowed South to have decent field position at times, it didn’t matter because it was totally unable to move the ball for the Falcons. C.B. South was held to minus 13 rushing yards in the first half and had negative rushing yardage for the game.
It wasn’t much more successful in the air, completing 9 of 16 passes for 62 yards. Nasan Robbins also recorded an interception an interception in what was arguably the team’s best defensive effort of the year.
“We concentrated on fundamentals all week and were able to put on a show,” said defensive lineman Jared Troyano. “We wanted a chance to avenge our loss to Neshaminy.”
If the second Pennsbury-Neshaminy game is anything like the first one, it’s going to be quite a night on Heartbreak Ridge.
District 1 Class 6A Tournament
Pennsbury 17, Central Bucks South 0
(Nov. 3 at Pennsbury)
CB South (7-4) 0 0 0 0 — 0
Pennsbury (9-2) 10 7 0 0 — 17
P — Safety, running back tackled in end zone
P — Palmer 6 pass from Demarchis (Basalyga run)
P — Demarchis 7 run (Knop kick)
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