By Stephen Godwin Jr.
Warminster >> Consistency and penalties plagued William Tennent against Central Bucks East as the Patriots spoiled Senior Night for the Panthers with a 35-14-win Saturday at William Tennent High School.
William Tennent (0-5) as it struggled to move the ball early in the game before the Patriots (2-3) opened the scoring.
Central Bucks East quarterback Evan O’donnell fount Chris Lochetta streaking toward the corner of the end zone for a 25-yard score.
O’donnell seemed to pick apart the Panthers whenever he had time as he finished 17 of 21 for 397 yards and four touchdowns.
One of O’donnell’s least shining moments came on a drive late in the second quarter.
William Tennent’s Nick Kaminski and Jake Herbert combined to sack O’donnell. A play later, the Panthers’ Dan Goodz came up with an interception when O’donnell attempted to go deep.
Defense turned into offense as William Tennent’s running back Sean Bragen converted a critical third down into a 69-yard scamper for a touchdown with 53.1 second left in the first half.
Bragen said that is one of the plays the team practices all week and credited his teammates for staying vocal for success on the ground.
“We knew that would be one of our reads on that particular play,” Bragen said. “The line executed their job and the coach called the right play and I just had to do what I had to do.”
Bragen finished the game with 123 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown.
The play proved costly as the Panthers starting center Mike Baker went down with an ankle injury.
Baker left the game and did not return.
“He is one of our best players,” William Tennent coach Leo Plenski said. “He commands everything on the offensive line, so that one was a tough one to swallow. Our back-up center came in and we moved the ball well at times and then we were slow at times, but then we picked it back up.”
That left too much time on the clock for O’donnell as completed three big passes, including one to Lochetta again with 3.9 seconds left.
That put his team up 14-7 at halftime.
O’donnell worked quickly into William Tennent’s red zone on the first drive in the third quarter, but gave away a fumble to the Panthers’ Yusuf Aladinov.
Central Bucks East took advantage of the turnover when William Tennent quarterback Mitchell Vierling hit Ryan Emmerich with a one-handed touchdown grab to knot the game at 14.
Vierling transferred from Central Bucks East the summer of 2016, but had to sit out until his transfer was approved by the PIAA District One Committee.
That made scoring against his old mates all the sweeter.
“I wanted to win. I wanted to win so bad,” Vierling said. “We just wanted to change some things up and mess with their defense and see what they could do.”
Vierling ended the game 12 for 23 and one touchdown.
That high note was short lived as O’donnell responded on the first play of the proceeding drive.
O’donnell went back to Lochetta once more for a 65-yard strike to give his Patriots the lead back at 21-14.
Central Bucks East scored twice more in the fourth quarter as William Tennent could not sustain any offense.
That led to William Tennent picking up its 22nd straight loss.
“Every time we did something well and scored a touchdown we gave one right back.,” Plenski said. “We have to commit to stop penalizing ourselves and making plays to hurt us instead of keeping the drive alive. It’s tough because this team hasn’t won in so long that they forget how to win. We have to get them out of that mentality so we can get one on the board.”
The Panthers will get their next opportunity Oct. 6 at Souderton High School.
Email Stephen Godwin Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @StephenGodwinJr.
Central Bucks East 35, William Tennent 14
Central Bucks East 7 – 7 – 7 – 14- 35
William Tennent 0-7-7-0 – 14
CBE – Lochetta 25 pass from O’donnell (Cannon III kick)
WT – Bragen 69 run (Devor kick)
CBE – Lochetta 28 pass from O’donnell (Cannon III kick)
WT – Emmerich 30 pass from Vierling (Devor kick)
CBE – Lochetta 65 pass from O’donnell (Cannon III kick)
CBE – Novroski 16 pass from O’donnell (Cannon III kick)
CBE – Ventresca 10 run (Cannon III kick)
First Downs 14 7
Rushing 20-79 20-162
Passing 17-21-397 12-23-78
Total yards 476 240
Fumbles lost 1-1 0-0
Punts Av. 0 0
RUSHING – Central Bucks East: Ventresca 13-49, 1 TD; O’donnell 6-24, Guzzi 1-6. William Tennent: Bragen 14-123, 1 TD; Vierling 5-37, Lochetta 1-2.
PASSING – Central Bucks East: O’donnell 17-21 1 int, 397; 4 TDs. William Tennent: Vierling 12-23, 78.
RECEIVING – Central Bucks East: Lochetta 6-159, 3 TDS; Novroski 7-99, 1 TD; Ventresca 5-79. William Tennent: Emmerich 2-46, 1 TD; North 3-12, Schweizerhof 2-9, Bragen 1-8, Forr 1-7, Francis 1-4.
INTERCEPTIONS – Central Bucks East: None. William Tennent: Goodz.