Turnovers doom Norristown in sloppy loss to Quakertown

QUAKERTOWN >> The Norristown football team faced a tall task when it traveled to Quakertown to face the undefeated Panthers on a sloppy Friday night.

It became even tougher when the Eagles fumbled three times in the first quarter — including their first two snaps from scrimmage. It proved to be impossible when all three fumbles turned into Quakertown touchdowns and the Panthers cruised to a 49-7 win at Alumni Field.

“That’s huge,” Quakertown coach George Banas said of the turnovers. “The wind sort of gets taken out of you if you’re the team that’s actually turning it over. The opponent – for instance us tonight – we get excited, we’re up 13-0. I think tonight it may have hurt us a little bit because we maybe got a little bit too overconfident and sort of sat back because we thought maybe it would continue, but Norristown came to battle. I’m happy with how we responded.”

Norristown stopped Quakertown’s first possession on downs at the Eagles 16-yard line. On the next play, there was confusion between quarterback Desmond Gorski and running back Corey Davenport that resulted in a Davenport fumble recovered by Quakertown’s Noah Wood.

The very next play, Panthers quarterback Tom Garlick rolled out and ran for a 16-yard score.

Norristown’s next play from scrimmage was another miscommunication between Gorski and Davenport. This time Gorski put the ball on the carpet and Wood made another recovery.

Three plays later, Nick Bonomo took a handoff 18 yards for the touchdown.

“When you put yourself behind the 8-ball against a team like that,” Norristown coach Jason Powel said, “and they go up two touchdowns, you’re really fighting for your life to get out already.”

The Eagles’ Sinclair took over at quarterback and led a scoring drive that ended with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Derik Cross Jr. and the extra point cut the deficit to six, 13-7. Norristown’s defense followed that by forcing a punt and it appeared the Eagles were building some momentum.

After a Sinclair keep on a read-option for 38 yards, Norristown had first down at Quakertown’s 25-yard line. The next play Davenport was stacked up for a five-yard loss and tried to lateral to Sinclair, but the ball fell to the turf and the Panthers recovered.

“Our kids kept fighting,” Powel said. “We came back there for a little bit. We moved the ball down the field then we made a not-so-smart play and it takes the air out of it.”

Quakertown responded with an 11-play drive that ended with a Garlick touchdown pass to Kyle Baskin and the route was on.

Garlick and Baskin connected on another touchdown later in the second quarter to take a 27-7 lead into the break.

Rob Burns ran for a pair of third quarter scores to go along with his game-high 147 rushing yards.

The final touchdown of the night was a 31-yard scamper by running back Jared Kishbaugh.

Garlick finished the game 5-for-10 passing for 75 yards and two touchdowns. Bonomo totaled 61 yards on the ground with a score.

Davenport finished with 79 yards rushing to lead Norristown and Sinclair added 73.

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