Big night for Jones leads Knights past reigning champs


Prasham Jobanputra

The Knights beat the Bulldogs of Wilson High School, 5-3. Josh Jones had two goals and an assist.

PENNSBURG- After winning a championship, there is always a worry of a championship hangover and with the Knights coming off their district title, some might have wondered how they would do in the first round of state playoffs.  Well, they answered that question with an impressive offensive game and showed they still have a lot left in the tank.

The North Penn Knights (22-1) beat the reigning state champions, the Wilson Bulldogs (13-11-1), 5-3 in the first round of state playoffs held at Upper Perkiomen High School.  The Knights attack nearly matched their six goals from earlier this season as they beat Wilson in the regular season, 6-1.

“I think the fact that we put five goals on the board is tremendous against a good team.  I’m not happy about the fact that we gave up three but we go a little bit sloppy that’s all,” Head Coach Paul Duddy said.

Junior Roman Ilovsky got the socring started in the 4th minute of the game as he scored off an assist from Carter Houlihan.  Then Josh Jones found Mike Chaffee, who returned after missing all of district playoffs with mononucleosis, and scored to put the Knights up 2-0.

“It was a surreal feeling.  I’m glad to be back.  I never wanted to miss a beat. Obviously, it was an unfortunate case that I went down with mono but I’m glad to be back and I’m glad to have the same energy on the field supporting my teammates and getting on the scoreboard myself,” Chaffee said with a smile.

The Bulldogs got on the board in the 19th minute when Ethan Stitzel shot a laser from outside of the box into the top right corner of the net.  With ten seconds left in the first half, Jamie Stewart sent a free kick into the box and Josh Jones put a slight touch on the ball to score and put the Knights up 3-1.

“We draw that up a lot of times where I’m like a screen and I either flick it or let it go and it really confuses the keeper.  We scored a couple of goals like that this year and this time I got a little touch on it and the keeper just couldn’t save it,” Jones explained.

In the 50th minute of the match, Ryan Stewart sent a perfectly placed ball in the air for Jones and Jones made it count by sending a powerful header into the back of the net.

“I was just really confident.  I haven’t scored in like three of so weeks so I knew one was coming soon and just got my head on two of them,” Jones said.

8 minutes later, the Knights extended their lead to 5-1 as Carter Houlihan ran down the field on the counter attack.  He passed the ball to Chaffee who passed it back to Houlihan for an easy goal.  However, the night did end with two goals from the Bulldogs.  In the 66th minute, Brandon Boyer scored off an assist from David Dries.  Then in the 75th minute, Lucas Sarge collected a rebound off a save from Sawyer Meade and just barely got the ball past the back line for a goal.

The Knights will have some rest now and will play Conestoga on Saturday.  The Knights played the Pioneers only two games ago where the Knights won 3-2 in the district semifinals.

“We know they’re good.  I just think we have to prepare.  I think we have some tape on them on YouTube so we’ll watch some of that tomorrow.  Just get ready and bring the right attitude and we need to play good defense.  Again, they’re a very good team.  They can take away things that we do well so we have to try and prevent that and have our way,” Coach Duddy explained.