Knights ground Falcons in home opener

North Penn dominated the running game Friday night as the Knights rebounded from a week one loss to cruise past Pennsbury.

The+North+Penn+Knights+lineup+against+the+Pennsbury+Falcons+during+their+home+opener+on+October+9%2C+2020+at+North+Penn+High+School%27s+turf+field.+

Peyton Lugo

The North Penn Knights lineup against the Pennsbury Falcons during their home opener on October 9, 2020 at North Penn High School’s turf field.

TOWAMENCIN- After what has seemed like an eternal wait, the North Penn Knights returned home to the turf field to take on the Pennsbury Falcons in their 2020 home opener. After a loss last week, the team was hungry to bounce back. Bounce back they did. 

The Knights (1-1) defeated the Falcons (0-2) 44-20 after a pregame ceremony held for the Knights’ seniors, who will be playing their final season as a shortened one due to COVID. Senior players were recognized and escorted onto the field by their parents, who have also been a vital part in the teams success. With Crawford Stadium under construction in 2020, the change in venue on campus did not alter the Knights’ outcome.

The game started off with a quick drive from North Penn, who drove down and scored on a 10 yard rush by Khalani Eaton in just under three minutes. Grace Macnamara’s kick was good, putting the Knights up 7-0 early in the first quarter. On their next drive, Ryan Zeltt threw a great pass to Levi Carroll, who then ran the rest of the way for a 47 yard completion. The drive was capped off with a Ryan Zeltt touchdown pass to Eaton for 25 yards, putting the Knights up 14-0 after the made extra point. 

On Pennsbury’s second drive, they were able to drive down the field quickly. The Falcons scored a 20 yard rushing touchdown, narrowing the Knights’ lead to 7 after the made PAT. This did not seem to phase North Penn. 

Eaton stole the show on the Knights’ third drive, quickly showing that he would dominate the game. He had 3 straight carries for 40 total yards, all resulting in first downs and getting the Knights into good field position in a hurry. He was also able to cap off the drive with a 1 yard touchdown, putting his numbers for the drive to 5 carries for 46 yards and a touchdown, as well as putting the Knights up 21-7. Eaton was the best player on the field for either team.

We played poorly last week, we wanted to come out tonight and correct our mistakes. We came out with a better attitude for the game tonight,”

— Khalani Eaton - Np Knights RB

“We played poorly last week, we wanted to come out tonight and correct our mistakes. We came out with a better attitude for the game tonight,” Eaton said.

The defense stood tall on the ensuing drive, forcing a 3 and out. The punt was returned for a touchdown by Levi Carroll, who made some nice moves en route to the end zone. The extra point was good, putting the Knights up 28-7 in a hurry. The defense once again stood tall, forcing another 3 and out. 

Andrew Berry started off the next drive with a nice 13 yard run, showing his powerful running style. Eaton followed with a 12 yard gain. Zeltt then threw another pinpoint pass to Levi Carroll for another 25, as the Knights were driving down the field quickly. Eaton then had 3 straight carries for 38 yards, putting North Penn in the red zone. Ethan Spann punched it in for a 2 yard touchdown rush, extending the lead to 35-7 after the PAT. The two teams would go into the locker rooms with this score.

The defense started to struggle in the second half, allowing Pennsbury to drive down the field slowly, taking most of the 3rd quarter before scoring a touchdown to narrow North Penn’s lead to 35-14. The offense wasn’t much better, as there was a quick 3 and out after a holding call negated what would have been a first down, instead forcing a punt. The Falcons then drove down the field in just under 4 and a half minutes, resulting in a 5 yard touchdown pass, with North Penn still leading 35-20. 

The Knights next drive looked promising, with Eaton yet again carrying the load. However, this drive did not prove to be as fruitful as others had been, with a fumble being recovered by Pennsbury, The Knights’ defense stood strong again, forcing a 3 and out. 

North Penn had a quick drive yet again, being mostly on the ground with Eaton, who had another 63 yards and his 4th touchdown of the night. In a drive that lasted just under 2 and a half minutes, this score put the Knights up 42-20. The Falcons had a penalty on the ensuing kickoff, forcing them to within their own 5 yard line. North Penn was then able to force a safety off of an intentional grounding penalty, sealing the game with the 44-20 final. 

“We wanted to establish the ground game. It was definitely part of our game plan. I thought Khalani ran hard and I thought the offensive line blocked well,” Head coach Dick Beck said. 

The Knights look to carry the momentum they gained into next week, when they play CB West next Friday night on the turf at 7pm.