BUCKINGHAM >> Not even a fumble could prevent Ethan Shine from reaching the end zone Friday night.
After finding a path through the left side of the line, a North Penn defender’s tackle dislodged the ball from the Central Bucks East senior’s grasp.
But with the ball still under his feet, Shine made a quick recovery inside the five-yard line and got over the goal line to finish off a nine-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter.
“The kid had a great tackle on me,” Shine said. “Ball popped out, I scooped it up and scored.”
Not much else slowed down Shine in a sensational rushing performance that helped the Patriots end a few decades of frustration against the visiting Knights.
Shine ran for 287 yards and four touchdowns on 40 carries as Central Bucks East built a 28-14 halftime lead then held on for a 42-35 SOL National Conference victory to beat North Penn for the first time since 2001.
“That’s the mindset the whole week and we showed that we wanted to change history right here,” Shine said.
Shine started the night’s opening running for 29 yards, collected another 23 two plays later and capped the series scoring from 15 yards out, putting the Patriots (6-1, 3-1 conference) up 6-0 at 8:12 in the first quarter.
#FOOTBALL: Final @CBEastFootball 42, @NorthPennKnight 35. North Penn forces a fumble & recovers at its own 19 with 21 seconds left but drive end when Ethan Shine makes the interception. A kneel down later, Patriots have their 1st win over NP since 2001. pic.twitter.com/ewWqenD4Or
— Mike Cabrey (@mpcabrey) October 8, 2022
“Running behind that huge offensive line and they’re literally amazing,” Shine said. “I have 30-yard runs, 40-yard runs cause of the big boys up top, just open up gaps for me.”
By halftime, he amassed 156 yards and two scores on 21 carries then in the second half provided East with both of its touchdowns to help stave off North Penn’s comeback bid.
“This is what everybody’s done against us this year,” Knights coach Dick Beck said. “We can’t figure out how to stop the run. I’m trying my best. It’s not from a lack of effort. The kids are absolutely playing hard. Just trying to get them in the right position, we can’t seem to get them in the right position.”
North Penn (3-4, 2-2) pulled to within a touchdown three times in the second half, the last at 42-35 when Dave Dawes scored on a run from a yard out with 2:05 remaining.
The Knights could not recover an onside kick but forced a Shine fumble which North Penn recovered at its own 19 with just 21 seconds left.
An 11-yard Ryan Zeltt-to-Yazeed Haynes completion had North Penn at the 30 but after spiking the ball to stop the clock Shine made up for his turnover by coming up with an interception over the middle. One kneel-down later, the Patriots had put an end to a 15-game losing streak to the Knights.
“I had to redeem myself,” Shine said. “That was a little too stressful.”
#FOOTBALL: 0:48 1Q @CBEastFootball 14, @NorthPennKnight 7. Tommy Day breaks away for a 33-yard TD run. Ethan Shine runs in for 2 to put East up 7. pic.twitter.com/oX6QKBHFz0
— Mike Cabrey (@mpcabrey) October 7, 2022
Tommy Day added 82 yards and a touchdown on nine carries while quarterback Pat Keller threw just five passes but completed four, including an 83-yard TD strike to Matt LaBouliere late in the first quarter that made it 21-7 East. Keller finished with 148 passing yards as the Patriots bounced back after losing their first game last week at Pennsbury.
“It was the offensive line,” Keller said. “They were pushing guys around all the time. And our running backs are insane, they dip, duck, dodge, everything. Running people over. We got an amazing trio of backs back there that are getting carries and they’re amazing. And the line’s opening up holes for them every single play. That was the key to our offense the first half for sure.”
Knights senior QB Zeltt found a groove after intermission, completing 14-of-20 passes in the second half – including his first eight – as he went 20-of-34 for 295 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Haynes hauled in six passes for 101 yards and a score. Dawes, meanwhile, ran for three TDs as he collected 66 yards on eight carries with Amir Major pacing the Knights with 87 yards and 10 carries.
Both teams are home for conference games Friday. CB East, which sits fourth in the District 1-6A rankings after the win, hosts Abington. North Penn, 16th in the rankings with the top 16 making the district tournament, takes on Pennsbury.
“Try to win out see if we can make the playoffs,” Beck said.
North Penn cut the Patriots’ advantage to 28-21 on the first series of the third quarter, Dawes reaching the ball over the goal line for a six-yard touchdown run at 8:10.
“He’s tough with the ball in his hands,” said Beck of Dawes. “Dave’s really good and I think that Amir Major’s really good too so both guys really complement each other well and I think (Michai) Cuffie’s a strong (runner) too.”
Central Bucks East, however, pushed its lead back to 14 on its next possession, Shine scoring from a yard out at 4:40 in the third.
After the Knights were forced to punt from their own 19, the Patriots took the ball to the North Penn 14 before a holding penalty derailed the drive – East missing a 40-yard field goal at 11:05 in the fourth to keep the margin 35-21.
North Penn proceeded to get within seven again with an 80-yard, 11-play series – Zeltt finding Bobby Hill for an eight-yard touchdown pass with 7:24 remaining.
The Knights thought they recovered their ensuing onside kick but East ended up getting possession. On a 3rd-and-5 from the NP 44, Shine picked up 12 yards then on 4th-and-1 at the 23 Shine broke through the line and dashed to the end zone for his fourth TD of the night for a 42-28 lead at 2:55.
“I didn’t know if I should’ve went down or not but I just saw it go open,” Shine said. “And I just kept on running.”
North Penn answered just 46 seconds later. Zeltt connected with Rashad McNeil for a 24-yard completion down to the East one-yard line with Dawes getting over the goal line on the following play as the Knights made it 42-35 at 2:09.
After Shine’s 15-yard touchdown run started Friday night’s scoring, the Knights blocked the extra point to keep it 6-0. North Penn then grabbed its only lead when Zeltt hit a streaking Haynes for a 30-yard touchdown pass and a 7-6 edge at 5:27 in the first quarter.
But CB East went ahead for good on a nine-play, 68-yard drive finished by Day breaking away for a 33-yard touchdown run with 48 seconds left in the opening quarter.
“They’re good up front, they’re physical,” Beck said. “We’re just struggling getting off blocks and making plays.”
A North Penn punt had the Patriots at their own 16 but three plays later on 3rd-and-9 Keller found an open LaBouliere, who then sprinted down the right sideline for an 83-yard score at 8:20 in the second quarter.
“That’s just a great play design,” Keller said. “Came streaking out from the right side and all I had to do was put it out there for him and just let him run with it.”
Dawes’ 24-yard touchdown run at 5:49 had North Penn within 21-14. East, however, was back up two scores when Shine scooped up his fumble and scored on a run from nine yards out with 1:01 before halftime.
Central Bucks East 42, North Penn 35
North Penn (3-4, 2-2) 7 7 7 14 – 35
CB East (6-1, 3-1) 14 14 7 7 – 42
CBE – Ethan Shine 15 run (kick blocked), 8:12.
NP – Ryan Zeltt 30 pass to Yazeed Haynes (Ryan Bocklet kick), 5:27.
CBE – Tommy Day 33 run (Shine run), 0:48.
CBE – Pat Keller 83 pass to Matt LaBouliere (Jack Corrigan kick), 8:20.
NP – Dave Dawes 24 run (Bocklet kick), 5:49.
CBE – Shine 9 run (Corrigan kick), 1:01.
NP – Dawes 6 run (Bocklet kick), 8:10.
CBE – Shine 1 run (Corrigan kick), 4:40.
NP – Zeltt 8 pass to Bobby Hill (Bocklet kick), 7:24.
CBE – Shine 23 run (Corrigan kick), 2:55.
NP – Dawes 1 run (Bocklet kick), 2:09.
First Downs 23 22
Rushes-yards 23-157 55-358
Passing 20-34-1 4-5-0
Passing yards 295 148
Totals yards 452 506
Punts 2 0
Penalties-yards 3-20 6-37
Fumbles-lost 0-0 4-1
North Penn: Amir Major 10-87; Dave Dawes 8-66, 3 TD; Michai Cuffie 2-14; Yazeed Haynes 1-7; Ryan Zeltt 2- (-17).
Central Bucks East: Ethan Shine 40-287, 4 TD; Tommy Day 9-82, TD; Declan Kelly 2-6; Pat Keller 4-(-17).
North Penn: Ryan Zeltt: 20-34-1, 295, 2 TD.
Central Bucks East: Pat Keller 4-5-0, 148, TD.
North Penn: Yazeed Haynes 6-101, TD; Michai Cuffie 4-65; Rashad McNeill 3-54; Xavier Bryan 3-30; Mario Sgro 2-24; Bobby Hill 2-21, TD.
Central Bucks East: Matt LaBouliere 1-83, TD; Jack Donnelly 3-65.
North Penn: None.
Central Bucks East: Ethan Shine.
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