Second quarter run lifts Hatboro-Horsham over North Penn

TOWAMENCIN >> It was a game that realistically could have been won by either side.

But Hatboro-Horsham prevailed, 11-10, over host North Penn Thursday afternoon in a Suburban One League Continental Conference grudge match primarily because of a second-period run by the Hatters that turned an early 3-1, first-period North Penn lead into an 8-4 Hatboro-Horsham lead 12 seconds into the third quarter.

“That second quarter was the difference in the game,” lamented Knights head coach Rick Smith after his team, which dropped its second game in its last three, fell into a crowded pile of teams trailing first-place Central Bucks East. “When they went on that run, they took over the game.”

The run began innocently after the Knights had built an early lead, with back-to-back goals by Logan Eldridge that knotted the score at 3 with 9:56 left in the first half.

North Penn’s Nick Keim scored 1:40 later to delay the visitors’ first lead. But Pierre Armstrong tied it again at the 6:32 mark. And this time, the Hatters kept scoring.

Before the half would end, Eldridge would score two more times, sandwiched around a tally by Tim McPoyle, and the Hatters would not trail again.

“The key to the game is that we came together as a team,” Eldridge said. “Our communication was good, and we stayed strong.”

“The ball bounced our way a couple of times,” said Hatters head coach John Kurek, “and we were able to ride the momentum a little bit.

“North Penn has a very good team. They work hard and they play hard, and Rick has done a real good job coaching them.”

The North Penn deficit reached four goals when the Hatters’ Ian Reilly scored early in the third quarter.

But the Knights went on a run of their own, with Jake Diamond scoring three times in a 4-0 burst that tied the game with 3:43 left in the third period.

But the Hatters used goals from Armstrong and Bryan Remailey to take a 10-8 lead into the final 12 minutes.

That lead became 11-8 when Remailey scored 12 seconds into the fourth.

North Penn’s Luke Homan scored 37 seconds later to pull the home team to within 11-9, and it was anybody’s game.

But Hatboro-Horsham held firm.

The Knights got within 11-10 when Keim scored with 6:43 left.

But they would never get the equalizer.

Despite a man-up situation in the final 2:25 and possession in the Hatters end with 25 seconds left, North Penn could not beat Dan Jamison in the game’s dying moments.

“We just got the breaks at the end and pulled it out,” Kurek said. “But we have to keep playing hard, grinding them out one game at a time.”

“We just made too many little mistakes in a big game, and that was the difference today,” Smith lamented.

LAX-ENDS >> Eldridge finished with four goals, while Armstrong compiled two goals and two assists and Remailey added two goals. Jamison finished with seven saves. … North Penn was led by Keim’s four goals, and got three more from Jake Diamond and two goals and two assists from Homan. Matt Rinck had seven saves for the Knights. … Hatboro-Horsham travels to Pennridge Friday night while North Penn celebrates Senior Night with a matchup against Souderton.

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