Cheltenham weathering tough schedule

After stumbling out of the gates dropping its first game, Cheltenham was able to work its self into the win column with a 19-12 win over Bishop McDevitt.

Last Friday the Panthers faced stiff competition from the defending Suburban One Continental champions Quakertown as Cheltenham conceded a 42-6 loss as Quakertown put up 444 yards of total offense.

“They were physically dominant,” Cheltenham coach Joe Gro said of Quakertown. “They’re a pretty good football team, but beyond that we made seven trillion mistakes.”

Although Gro acknowledges that Quakertown was the “far superior” team he was still disappointed to see the effort that his team put together last week.

Mistakes whether large or small have proven to hurt Cheltenham on the early season and so far the Panthers have proven that they don’t have the quality of team to be able to commit such errors and be able to recover them.

“If we had played flawless, we could have maybe made it game, but the first play of the game was a touchdown,” Gro said. “The kid blew coverage, (something we went over) all week. It was a young kid but we had other simplistic things that weren’t right.”

Cheltenham now flips its attention to league play as the Panthers will start the Suburban One League American Conference schedule with a 1-2 record. The schedule makers didn’t do Cheltenham any favors as it takes on conference favorite, and possibly the best team in all of the Suburban One League, Upper Dublin. Gro called this year’s Cardinals team one of the best he’s seen in his 29-year stint at the helm of the Panthers.

“They have three and four year starters,” Gro said of Upper Dublin. “If I put one of my best teams together I think we could play football with Upper Dublin if I go back though my history. I’ve been here for 29 years, this is the best Upper Dublin team I’ve seen.”

The good news for the Panthers is some reprieve is on the horizon. While there are “no gimmes” in league play the schedule gets a bit easier after they weather the storms of Quakertown and Upper Dublin.

“Upper Moreland, Upper Merion, Springfield (and) Wissahickon, I got to be able to say ‘look men put our team on the field and let’s play football,’” Gro said.

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