North Penn holds off Pennsbury 27-20 for 1st place in SOL National

FALLS >> The North Penn defense had to hold one final time.

A fourth-down stop gave Pennsbury the ball back at its own 40 down seven in the final minute Friday night. Five plays later, the Falcons were 18 yards closer to the goal line, but with just seven seconds left the only option was a Hail Mary from quarterback Mike Alley.

The heave was met in the end one by a pack of Knights and Justis Henley was the one to come down with the interception as visiting North Penn took sole possession of first place in the Suburban One League National Conference with a 27-20 Week 8 victory.

North Penn quarterback Reece Udinski looks for a reciever against Pennsbury during their game on Friday, Oct. 23, 2015. (Gregg Slaboda/The Trentonian)
North Penn quarterback Reece Udinski looks for a reciever against Pennsbury during their game on Friday, Oct. 23, 2015. (Gregg Slaboda/The Trentonian)

“We made some mistakes, but I was proud of how hard we played,” Knights coach Dick Beck said. “I thought defensively we played hard, I thought the linebackers – (Nick) Isabella had the game of his life defensively and that was pretty big, that was pretty big for us, Isabella playing so well.”

Henley also helped North Penn go up by two scores just 18 seconds into the second half, taking a lateral pass from Spencer Jones on the opening kickoff of the third quarter down to the Falcon 27. Junior wide Jake Hubler receiver caught five passes for 117 yards, 67 coming on touchdown in the fourth as the Knights (6-2, 5-0 conference) won their fifth straight.

“We knew it was going to be a close game coming in,” said junior quarterback Reece Udinski, who was 13-of-20 passing for 260 yards. “We just wanted to stick to our game plan, run the ball, throw the ball and I think that we mixed it well and that really helped us get the win tonight.”

Nyfease West ran for a pair of touchdowns in the first half as North Penn won its 15th straight matchup with Pennsbury (6-2, 4-1), which had its five-game win streak snapped. The Falcons have not beaten NP since 1996.

“Our conference is where we really want to step up big,” Udinski said. “So I think that’s what we did and I thought it was a great game.”

Alley was 3-of-8 passing for 33 yards and led Pennsbury in rushing with 86 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Chris Rupprecht had 61 yards and a score on 17 carries.

Up 14-8 at halftime, North Penn used some trickeration to begin the third, as Jones threw from the sideline back to Henley at the 15, who dashed 63 yards, with a horse collar tackle penalty putting North Penn at the Falcon 13. Nick Isabella ran into the end one on the next play and NP was leading 21-8 at 11:42.

“That was just a game plan thing. I thought we could hit it,” Beck said. “And it set up pretty good I thought. I thought Spencer did a great job throwing it and I thought Dante Watson’s block on the edge out here was probably the key that sprung it.”

Pennsbury drove down the North Penn 19 on the next drive, but Alley’s throw to the end zone on 4th-and-12 from the 25 was incomplete. But the Falcons knocked Nyfease West for a three-yard loss on a 4th-and-1 and got the back at their own 42. Eleven plays later, Rupprecht’s two-yard touchdown run made it 21-14 with 10:46 in the fourth.

“I think back, I probably should of punted it,” Beck said. “Thought we had a good play. You know, a kid got beat on the block, I think if he makes his block, we got a shot. But hey, their corners do a great job and forcing.”

Hubler, however, came up huge on the Knights’ next possession. On a 3rd-and-8 from the NP 33, the junior wide receiver hauled in a pass from Udinski, shed off a tackle attempt and darted down the sideline for a 67 yard score with 8:43 left.

“I don’t know what to say, he just made a play,” said Udinski of Hubler. “Hell of a player and he came up big tonight, that was a huge play.”

A pass interference call on North Penn on 3rd-and-12 helped Pennsbury on its drive, as did a five-yard run by Rupprecht to convert a 4th-and-5 at the Knights’ 24. Five plays later, Alley found Luke Snyder for an 11-yard touchdown. A failed two-point conversion made it 27-20 at 3:01.

North Penn recovered the onside kick. The Knights picked up one first down, but not a second as Udinski was sacked by Greg Lichtenstein on 4th-and-3 at the Pennsbury 31.

Starting at Falcons’ 40 with 53.5 seconds left, Alley hit Rob Daly for a 19-yard gain on 3rd-and-11 down to the 42. But two incompletions left Pennsbury with just seven ticks and Alley’s desperation toss went to Henley.

North Penn grabbed a 6-0 lead at 3:38 in the first quarter as West capped a 10-play, 67-yard drive with his two-yard touchdown run.

After the teams traded three-and-out, North Penn drove to the Pennsbury 26, but came up short on 4th-and-2. The Falcons took the ball and nine plays later Alley found the end one on a 32-yard run at 5:14 in the second quarter. Pennsbury made it 8-6 as Rupprecht to a sideways snap on a swinging gate formation and ran it in for two.

The Knights took the lead for good on the next series. Udinski was 4-for-4 for 62 yards on the six-play, 72-yard drive that ended with West’s two-yard TD run. Udinski hit Owen Thomas from the two-point conversion for a 14-8 advantage at 2:50.

“I think my line did a great job today,” Udinski said. “We had some hiccups here and there, but our receivers got open, caught the ball, made plays after the catch.”


North Penn687627

North Penn

Player Comp Att Pass Yds Pass TD Int. Rush Att. Rush Yds Rush TD Rec Rec Yds Rec. TD Sacks Def. Int XPM XPA FGM FGA
Nyfease West0000012232000000000
Reece Udinski1320260107-220000000000
Ricky Johns000000001160000000
Jake Hubler0000000051171000000
Justis Henley000000002370000000
Nick Isabella000008491000000000
Justin Ostopowicz000001102370000000
Nick Vasger000000002360000000
Owen Thomas000000001170000000


Player Comp Att Pass Yds Pass TD Int. Rush Att. Rush Yds Rush TD Rec Rec Yds Rec. TD Sacks Def. Int XPM XPA FGM FGA
Rob Daly000002302220000000
Mike Alley38330021861000000000
Daulton Hose0000014500000000000
Chris Rupprecht0000017611000000000
Luke Snyder000002-301110000000
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