Knights roll past Titans in District opener, await Ridley next week

TOWAMENCIN – The North Penn Knights brought the heat on a crisp night at Crawford Stadium and fired past CB South in the first round of the District 1 playoffs with 49-21.   

North Penn entered the playoffs with an undefeated record of 10-0 and seeded second right behind Garnet Valley. The Knights came out prepared to take on Central Bucks South for their second week in a row, defeating them last week 35-7. 

“We weren’t really concerned coming into the game this week. We felt like we should beat them since we won last week without passing the ball because of the terrible conditions,” wide receiver Levi Carroll noted. 

The first few drives of the first quarter didn’t have the fans quite as relaxed as Carroll and his teammates. Only two minutes into the game CB South carried the ball down the field for 55 yards to jump on the board first, putting up a 6-0 lead over the Knights. Luckily, sophomore, Marc Cobbs was able to ignite the first flame for the Knights when he blocked CB South’s first extra point attempt of the game. 

With the Knight’s turn on offense Carroll put the first points on the board for the Knight’s with 5:53 left in the first quarter. 

With the Knight’s up 7-6, kicker Ryan Bocklet sent a soaring ball that the Titans couldn’t quite handle. CB South’s kick returner failed to control the ball as it popped out and Ethan Spann, was able to recover it, giving the Knight’s back possession of the ball. Immediately after the fumble, quarterback Ryan Zeltt launched a cannon to Tyler Beam to put North Penn on the board for the second time of the night. 

At the end of the first quarter with the Knight’s back in possession junior, Michai Cuffie broke away for a gain of 25 yards putting the Knight’s back into touchdown position. The Titans held the Knight’s for little gain for the next few drives, bringing up 4th down with only 20 seconds left in the quarter. As always, Carroll came in to save the day scoring a touchdown with only 15 seconds left, to end the first quarter putting North Penn up 21-6. 

CB South only continued to struggle as the night proceeded, proving that the cold had in fact engulfed their team in a numbing state. They yet again fumbled another kick return and with only 2:02 left in the first half allowing  Jalen Edwards to practically walk into the end zone. 

As the end of the first half crept near, and 42 seconds left on the clock, Ryan Zeltt threw to Rashad Mcneill who came up with an incredible catch moving the Knights down to the 6 yard line with 12.7 sec, to go. Carroll was able to squeeze in another touchdown to close off the first half with North Penn leading 42-6. 

On the opening kickoff of the second half freshman, freshman Jay Ford-King exploded down the sideline for another Knight’s touchdown. Kicker Grace Macnamara, who has spend most of the season recovering from an injury, stepped in the game and sealed the extra point. Macnamara was one of many Knights who were able to see some playing time as the 35 point lead enacted the mercy rule running clock in the second half. 

When the Titans came back into possession their hopes of making the game less embarrassing were squashed when #58 Aziyah Garland burst off the line and sacked the Titans quarterback. The Knight’s defense held their ground only allowing two touchdowns in the second half. 

“We played great as a team. I expect that every week we play. We are a strong team when we are doing our thing,” Carroll explained. 

He also didn’t hesitate to praise his teammates for their performance, “Ryan is always on point. And when he is slinging it to Rashad, I love when Rashad gets the ball. He always turns up when he gets the ball”. 

At the end of the game, coach Dick Beck talked to his team stressing the importance that they take time to heal. There were multiple injuries tonight, including star running back Khalani Eaton who only played the first North Penn offensive drive. With a much needed weekend of rest, hopefully everyone can heal their battle scars and come out healthy for the second round of playoffs next week against District 1 power, Ridley.  

Next week’s playoff game won’t be quite a walk in the park. With Ridley defeating Conestoga 42-23, the Knight’s now must prepare to take on the Green Raiders at Crawford Stadium next Friday, November 12 at 7:00 pm. 

Carroll discussed his thoughts on next week’s game against Ridley. “ Ridley is a really great team. It is a little concerning that Kahlani might be out next week but we are still a strong team without him. Not that we don’t need him but I have confidence we can pull through. We just need to get through the injuries first”.