Pennsbury looks for defense to catch up with capable offense
FAIRLESS HILLS, Pa. >> All signs point towards another playoff appearance and successful season for the Pennsbury High School football team.
Just how successful it will be will largely hinge on whether it can get back to playing Pennsbury-style defense because its offense is sure to put its share of points on the board.
A year ago, Pennsbury got off to a rough 0-3 start before rebounding to win five of its next six to squeeze into the playoffs.
In addition to yielding too many points, the biggest problems in many of its losses were failing to hold leads late in the fourth quarter and getting off the field when its defense was seemingly in a good position.
“We had to be the worst (defensive) team in America in third-and-long situations,” said coach Dan McShane. “We need to fix that. We’ll try to platoon guys, but we want our best players on the field as much as we can.”
The Falcons will have a productive backfield, starting with senior quarterback Drew Hensor. He’s an athlete with very good speed and will be a more productive passer with another year under his belt.
He’s got a host of capable backs to hand the ball to, including seniors JayVon McNeil and Brad Mickels. McNeil showed a real nose for the end zone last year and is a tough inside runner.
Two other weapons are seniors Jeremiah Sawbo and Josh Boyda.
“We’re going to get Sawbo the ball a lot,” said McShane of a wide receiver/running back. “He’s a real playmaker. And Boyda is very versatile. He’s our Swiss army knife.”
Pennsbury 2019 Schedule
Providing the blocking will be the likes of seniors Andrew Hamacher, Mike Wallick, John Irvine and Trevor Williams. As always, the Falcons are not lacking for size up front and have the physicality to wear down many teams.
Bolstering the defense are two transfers from Bensalem in Shane Emmons and Christian Bond. They will join a group that includes linebacker Jake Schilling, Sam Burke, Williams, Mickels, Matt Carey and Zach Zauzig.
The kicking game is also in good hands with punter Tommy Kubicka and place kicker Brady Burgfechtel.
Pennsbury should certainly be in the hunt for a league title and if it can fare well in its non-league games get a decent seed for the District 1 Class 6A playoffs. A much better start to the season would certainly help.
Should the Pennsbury defense rebound and play up to its past standards, it could be another in a long line of memorable years at Falcon Field.
By Rick Fortenbaugh; email@example.com