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North Penn wins battle against Patriots

DePaul looks deep to make a pass to his receivers.

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TOWAMENCIN- It was a long and high scoring game between the North Penn Knights (5-2) and the Central Bucks East Patriots (3-4), but the Knights earned the win 57-43. It has been a while since North Penn showcased a strong aerial game, but after North Penn’s last three games, quarterback Steve DePaul has become one of the Knights most dangerous weapons. Match that with a wide array of running backs and versatile receivers, it’s no wonder why North Penn put up 57 points on Friday.

North Penn dominated the first quarter, and boy, did they look good doing it. Quarterback Steve DePaul immediately showcased the Knights’ aerial threat to the Patriots, who struggled covering North Penn’s Dl receivers. A 42 yard pass to Justis Henley gave Khan Jamal the opportunity to punch in a touchdown, and the Knights took an early lead 7-0 (6:52, 2 yards).

“Justis is always open. I mean, even when he’s covered he’s open. He ran great routes and I just put the ball up there for him,” said DePaul.

The Patriots were lead by junior quarterback Evan O’Donnell, who made an early mistake when trying to throw over Owen Thomas. The 6’4’’ Villanova commit had no problem intercepting a pass and running it for a 43 yard touchdown (3:23).

The Patriots lost an opportunity to score late in the quarter after fumbling the ball into the end zone immediately after recovering a North Penn fumble themselves.

“In the first quarter we were playing pretty well. The defense was solid and we scored a lot of points,” said center Matt Bevan.

Things started to get interesting in the second quarter. Cody Ventresca blocked a punt by Noah Clemens’ and DeJohn Armstrong recovered it, giving East optimal possession on the North Penn 12 yard line. It was O’Donnel who secured the Patriots first score of the game (9:56).

DePaul was continued to throw the ball well in the second quarter. After a 25 yard pass to Henley, DePaul hit junior Jake Walton for a 22 yard touchdown (7:20).

“Steve was throwing dots tonight. He was on his game all night. He was poised in the pocket, and he was making great passes, we just wanted to make plays for him,” said Henley

Steve was throwing dots tonight. He was on his game all night. He was poised in the pocket, and he was making great passes, we just wanted to make plays for him”

— Justis Henley

CB East’s Chad Guzzi had a breakout 51 yard run later in the second quarter, but was stopped short of the endzone by senior Anthony Andrews. However, O’Donnel dove into the endzone to earn the touchdown, and after a successful two point conversion, the Patriots had cut North Penn’s lead 20-15. That didn’t sit well for the Knights.

North Penn turned their game up a few notches and secured three more touchdowns before halftime. The first was an 80 yard return by KJ Cartwright. The Knights gained possession again after back to back interceptions by Shamar Edwards. His first interception was nullified after a penalty on North Penn, but the Patriots ran the same exact route on the next play, and it was deja vu for Edwards. The interception was followed by a 12 yard QB run by Henley. A 45 yard pass from DePaul to Henley capped of scoring in the first half.

“We were composed tonight, but we were never satisfied. We just wanted to keep scoring,” said DePaul.

In the third quarter, the Knights sent out Kelly Macnamara for a 25 yard field goal. Not surprisingly, it was O’Donnell who scored next for the Patriots with a 2 yard QB sneak  into the endzone.

At least in the third quarter, North Penn utilized one of their best running backs, junior Xzavier Gorski. In the quarter, Gorski had 22 and 32 yard runs, as well as a 3 yard touchdown.  

“It was all around good teamwork tonight. I  felt fresh going in during the third quarter, and I just did what I had to do to help the team win,” said Gorsky.

North Penn lead 51-22 going into the final 12 minutes. Any thoughts of the game go into mercy rule were quickly subdued after two early touchdowns by CB East in the fourth quarter. North Penn extended their lead with a 43 yard pass from DePaul to Henley diving into the endzone, and the Knights maintained a 57-43 lead to beat the Patriots.

“Steve threw a good pass, all I had to do was run,” said Henley.

“It wasn’t our best performance, but we got the win tonight, and that’s all that matters,” said Matt Bevan.

The Knights will travel to Souderton on Friday to face the Indians.

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North Penn wins battle against Patriots