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Knights defense leads them past Green Raiders and into the quarterfinals

Knights+QB+Solomon+Robinson+under+center+right+before+the+snap.
Knights QB Solomon Robinson under center right before the snap.

Knights QB Solomon Robinson under center right before the snap.

Image provided by North Penn Television

Image provided by North Penn Television

Knights QB Solomon Robinson under center right before the snap.

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WISSAHICKON- While the game location may have been moved from a swamped Crawford Stadium to a soaked Wissahickon turf stadium, the Knights undefeated win streak remained untouched after three forced turnovers and four end zone visits.

The North Penn Knights defeated the Ridley Green Raiders 26-16, advancing the Knights onto the quarterfinals of the PIAA 6A playoff tournament, while the Green Raiders were eliminated from the postseason. North Penn entered the Wissahickon turf as the 1 seed after going 10-0 in the regular season while the Green Raiders entered the contest as the 16th seed after hoisting a 6-4 record in the regular season.

While heavy rain was constant in the forecast throughout warmups and much of the game, mother nature’s attempts to affect the Knights proved unsuccessful as the Knights offense hit the scoreboard first with a 62-yard pass and catch between senior quarterback Solomon Robinson and senior running back Shamar Edwards.

“Solomon had a great night tonight and I was really proud of him. Some of the throws he made were right on and as for Shamar, he’s a heck of a player. He’s been one of our MVPs and we hope he just continues to do it,” explained Knights head coach, Dick Beck.

The Green Raiders would respond to the Knights touchdown in a matter of seconds with a kickoff return for a touchdown by Ridley senior, Elijah Yakapasuo. The game would be tied at 7-7 throughout much of the rest of the first half, until the Knights were able to take back the lead with just under a minute left before halftime. Robinson floated a pass to the back of the end zone and connected with junior Evan Spann, for a red zone touchdown with 0:44 remaining in the 2nd quarter. North Penn would head to the locker room leading the Raiders 13-9 after a 2-point conversion attempt proved unsuccessful for the Knights.

The Knights defense was on point for much of the whole game as they put consistent pressure on Ridley’s quarterback, John Bakey, along with the Raiders backfield. After North Penn already forced a fumble, which would be recovered by North Penn senior Noah Fox, junior RJ Macnamara would force another fumble turnover by the Ridley offense with 1:57 left in the 3rd quarter.

“I thought by far our best defensive effort and I look at this as a defensive shutout. I thought it was a heck of an effort by all of our guys,” said coach Beck.

In addition to the forced turnover, Macnamara would pick up a touchdown in the 3rd quarter, giving the Knights a 19-7 lead heading into the 4th quarter.

“We always have the trust in Robinson and everyone knows what they got to do and what their job is. We have to continue to focus at practice like we have all year, and make adjustments to our opponents like we did tonight,” stated junior, Macnamara.

Macnamara would make one more end zone visit with 3:34 left in the game, after the Knights defense would force a turnover on downs on Ridley’s offense.

“We come out every day with high intensity and ready to work. These boys already got the high energy in them and all we gotta do is bring out the best in each other. We got it all coming and for the swamp (Crawford Stadium), bring a big crowd because it’s gonna be a movie out there,” said senior Julian White.

Ridley’s quarterback John Bakey, split through the Knight’s defensive line and score a rushing touchdown, to put the score at 26-14. However, an attempt at a Cinderella story would be out of reach for the Green Raiders as it would be too little too late to take back the lead with under 2 minutes left in the contest. The last offensive drive by the Green Raiders was stopped by Shamar Edwards with a leaping interception at the Knights 10-yard line.

“On defense, we had a great game and for our offense, coach Beck has a ton [of] trust in our backs and O-line. Our whole team is great and I’m proud of them,” said Edwards.

The Knights play next Friday, the 9th, at Crawford Stadium as the victory moves them onto the second round of the PIAA 6A playoff tournament. Next week’s matchup will mean another visit with a familiar foe, the Neshaminy Redskins. North Penn edged out a week 1 win over the Skins by a score of 34-33 in double overtime.

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Knights defense leads them past Green Raiders and into the quarterfinals