North Penn crushes Abington to clinch SOL National crown

TOWAMENCIN >> North Penn scored on its fourth offensive play, again on its eighth, and would go on to reach the end zone on each of its first six possessions Friday night.

Then, with seven minutes to go in the first half, came the hurdle.

Nick Isabella caught a swing pass from quarterback Reece Udinski, leapt over an Abington defender at the 20-yard line, then raced the rest of the way for one of his four touchdowns on the night, sending the Knights on their way to a 63-21 win over Abington.

“In my head, I was like, ‘I don’t really know how to juke, so I guess I’ll just hurdle,'” Isabella said of the play.

“I guess it was just an on night,” he said of his four trips to the end zone. “It was good blocking and everything, read the hole, and hit it.”

North Penn goes soaring into the District One Class AAAA Playoffs, having completed a perfect run through the Suburban One League National Conference and capturing its third consecutive conference crown and 11th in the last 14 years.

“It’s great. These kids did it three years in a row,” said coach Dick Beck, who has guided the Knights to nearly a dozen conference or division crowns since taking over in 2002. “That’s really our goal early. Let’s get the conference title and then we’ll get in the playoffs.”

The Knights scored just one minute and 20 seconds into the contest on Friday, as Isabella, on his way to racking up 119 all-purpose yards, found a seam and raced away for a 27-yard score and a quick 7-0 lead.

Abington’s passing attack and quick receivers had their moments in the first half, with quarterback David Kretschman hitting George Reid on a fade to the back corner of the end zone, tying the game at seven apiece.

But North Penn’s offense was not stopped in the first half, not including a three-play possession in the final seconds.

The Knights took a 14-7 lead on a 12-yard run by Nyfease West and then after the defense forced a turnover on downs, North Penn (8-2 overall, 7-0 conference) scored in just one play, with Udinski throwing a deep strike to wide receiver Ricky Johns to increase the margin to 21-7.

“We can’t do anything without the line,” Isabella said of the unit, which put on a dominant performance at Crawford Stadium.

“I thought they played well tonight – probably their best night,” Beck said. “I thought we were coming off the ball in a wave.”

Defensively, the Knights’ pass rush continued to create 3rd-and-longs for Abington, with Korey Thompson and Keith Earle each coming up with sacks, and early in the second quarter, Isabella’s second rushing TD, this one a 23-yarder, widened the margin to 27-7 — the extra-point attempt would be no good.

Isabella’s catch, run, hurdle and score would give North Penn a 34-7 advantage, and another touchdown run by West, his second of the night, made it a 41-7 lead late in the second.

Abington (1-9 overall, 1-6 conference) went 50 yards in seven plays, scoring on a 15-yard pass from Kretschman to Reid, but Isabella’s fourth touchdown of the evening, this one a four-yarder, followed by a two-point run by West, gave the Knights a 49-14 lead early in the third, enforcing the mercy rule and the running clock.

The celebration could then start a little early for the Knights.

“To do it three years in a row…not many teams have done it,” Isabella said of the National crown. “It feels awesome to be with my friends, and get it done.”

Deion Robinson and Spencer Jones each added rushing TD’s for the Knights, and Reid capped a three-touchdown night in the fourth quarter for the Ghots, catching a 50-yard scoring strike from Kretschman.

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