Scoreless Tie

Friday, October 30, 2009

Some thoughts before Senior Night

Tonight is Senior Night at North Penn. 28 senior players and their parents will go out on the field tonight. Looking back at last week, Dom Cosentino sees the Souderton win as passing a test. Could be he's right. Also, this week, master of hyperbole Rick O'Brien looked at the Top 10 Pa. high school gridiron thrillers. Sad to say, I didn't attend any of these games, but from the write up there were some great ones.

Looking forward, we are moving into Week 9 and play-offs are just 2 weeks away. WNPV continues to keep the best District 1 AAAA football playoff rankings. Kyle Berger predicts the playoff seedings in his Youtube video:

With the usual disclaimers, North Penn is doing well in a lot of polls. Here are a couple:

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Varsity Blog
PFN Rankings from PASportspages

Finally, the North Penn Reporter previews Hatboro-Horsham at North Penn. Kev Hunter predicts a 38-13 North Penn win. The Crawford Stadium weather looks to be overcast, but dry, with temps in the mid-50's. Perfect football weather. See you there!

Thursday, October 29, 2009
Winningest teams in Pennsylvania since 2000 - Varsity Blog - Based on this, North Penn is the top AAAA team in the last decade.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

North Penn 27 - Souderton 6

North Penn moves to 8-0, Souderton falls for the first time in 5 weeks. Coach Beck, among others, had predicted that this would be the Knights' toughest test in the Suburban One Continental Conference, and it was. My contention, going back to last season, is that the big games come down to game plan and execution. Souderton coach Ed Gallagher has a good game plan, but the Indians weren't able to execute. As the North Penn Report notes in Fumbles Cost Souderton, "North Penn has recovered nine turnovers in its last two games, and its for/against ratio this year is 18-8. When a team does that, it only needs a couple game-breaking plays each week to pile up wins." Rain-soaked homecoming for NP has video highlights of the game and Homecoming King & Queen. WNPV Scoreboard Show had an interview with Coach Beck after the game.

Friday, October 23, 2009
North Penn Television Production Blog: Back to the Blog! NPTV has "... the opportunity to demo a special replay unit for this Friday's football game. Check out our special angles and replays."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Some collected thoughts (and links) from the past few days

(updated 2 AM on 10/23) I missed Who would win a North Penn-Pennsbury clash? In the Inquirer. It is interesting, but we won’t know until December 4th or 5th – if both teams make it that far. Unless one of the teams drops a game or two, in which case they could meet earlier. Of course, Calpreps predicts North Penn (Lansdale, PA) 28, Pennsbury (Fairless Hills, PA) 20. One of the closest scores in their listing.

Another big win for North Penn has a video with highlights of the game. The Morning Call teases that Quakertown could have done better, but as I pointed out elsewhere, Quakertown's game plan and execution were lacking. The Examiner points out that "The North Penn Knights are undoubtedly the team to beat." If/when someone does, that will be news. Christiaan DeFranco shares the sentiment in the Reporter.

Of course, Dom Cosentino has a problem with North Penn being in the Suburban One Continental Division. He doesn't have a problem with CR South going 10-0 and then going down the tubes in the play-offs. Nor does he see any value in CB South - the last team to beat NP in a regular season game - being in the same division with North Penn. The Times-Herald points out that "North Penn (is) an eye-popping 42-5 in SOL conference/divisional games under Beck." So how much difference does it really make which conference the Knights inhabit?

Finally, a couple of looks at the play-off picture. WNPV posts the numbers through Week 7. Pat Maguire of the Inquirer has Pennsbury, North Penn, Ridley, Neshaminy, Garnet Valley, Downingtown West, Downingtown East, Avon Grove, Norristown, Council Rock North, Council Rock South, and Abington as locks for the District 1 AAAA play-offs in Football playoff spots still up for grabs. He provides Quakertown, Conestoga, Perkiomen Valley, Souderton, Penncrest, Unionville and Upper Dublin as possible contenders for the last 4 spots in the bracket.

Rating the receivers: La Salle’s Feleccia is No. 1. | Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/21/2009 - Dom Taggart is ranked as the top junior, #4 overall.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Pa. Football Standings | Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/19/2009 So you can see where everybody stands. I guess I need to link the computer rankings for playoffs, too.

Sunday, October 18, 2009
Football: North Penn tramples Quakertown, 43-13 | Bucks Mont Sports NOW Dom Cosentino praises North Penn. Everyone is on the bandwagon now. Keep up the effort, Knights, or they will be picking at your bones.

'03 Knights rule roost | Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/18/2009 While this is about as useful as all of the polls, Rick O'Brien has written an interesting article here. (I have to say something nice after I dissed his North Penn - Quakertown preview). North Penn's 2003 team played some pretty good football. It's nice to see them recognized in this fictional championship.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

North Penn 43 - Quakertown 13

As I noted after the South win, a high school football game is 48 minutes long and you have to play out the whole game. Playing even the first half and losing the second half is still a loss. Last night, however, North Penn only needed the first 12 minutes to put the Panthers away, buried them in the 2nd quarter, and let the 2nd teams get some time on the field in the second half. In my mind, I break this game down into 3 "mini-games." The first 24 minutes was a clinic by North Penn with a 41-0 half time lead and a running clock in the 2nd half. The 2nd mini-game was the 3rd quarter where Quakertown's starters were able to beat the North Penn JV 13-0. In the 4th quarter, it was time to let everyone play, and the 2 teams basically played to a tie. The safety was a result of the Quakertown JV defense's goal line stand, forcing the Panther's QB2 to try to throw from his own end zone. For the WNPV take on things:

Friday, October 16, 2009
Friday night football: No. 1 North Penn visits 5-1 Quakertown | Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/15/2009 Crack me up. The story starts out, "They don't get much bigger than this." It ends with a predicted score of North Penn 27 - Quakertown 7. It looks like it's going to be a messy night, so anything could happen.

PIAA football playoff picture coming into focus | Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/14/2009 North Penn up one spot to #3 in District 1 AAAA.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009
North Penn moves up to #21 in the USA Today Super 25 as Elder HS in Cincinnati suffered an upset loss.

Monday, October 12, 2009
Big games this week in Pa. football | Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/12/2009 Question: Can Quakertown take a huge step toward winning or tying for the Suburban One League Continental Conference title by beating North Penn? Despite Rick O'Brien's more detailed answer, it still comes down to "NO."

Rick O'Brien: Penncrest’s Moretti enjoyed football shootout | Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/11/2009 Smolinsky & Needhammer in the "Extra Points" section.

Xcellent 25 Football Rankings: Byrnes back to No. 2 - MaxPreps Articles North Penn ranked #23 HS football team in this list.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

North Penn 49 - Central Bucks West 7

Completing the Central Bucks sweep, North Penn dominated CB West. Leading 35-0 at the half, the 2nd half went quickly under a mercy rule clock. The Reporter's NP air attack sparks win describes the Knights performance, led by Dom Taggart's 5 catches for 109 yards and 3 TD's. Also from the article, "It was an emotional win for the Knights, who helped raise money for a local boy, Jacob Shive, who is suffering from muscular dystrophy. The North Penn community has raised $1,400, and is on its way to its goal of $2,000. Shive was there for the festivities on Friday night." (See picture links below) There are some nice pictures in the North Penn vs CBS photo gallery. North Penn romps to win over West from the phillyburbs web site provides the stat that the Knights scored 5 touchdowns on 17 plays in the first half. This quote from the article sums up the spirit of the game: "None of our guys quit," West coach Brian Hensel said. "There's more heart on this team than any I've seen. And give North Penn credit; they play with class, heart and character."

Some pictures from the NP Football web site with #65:
The team with Jacob Shive
The team with Jacob Shive
The team with Jacob Shive
The team with Jacob Shive
The team with Jacob Shive
After a play 1
After a play 2
In the huddle 1
In the huddle 2
Breaking the huddle
Another picture

Friday, October 09, 2009
Courier Times Football Blitz | Bucks Mont Sports NOW As noted in this article and my earlier post, North Penn is currently seeded 4th behind Pennsbury, Abington & D'town West. Hopefully, this doesn't end up meaning that the North Penn fans have to sit in the abysmally small visitors stands at William Tennent for a D1 final this year. Of course, if Pennsbury, Abington and Neshaminy knock each other off so they each have 1 loss, the North Penn gets the higher seed and is only dependent on Ridley and Downingtown West to falter and give them the top seed.

HS football previews - The ReporterSports: Serving North Penn, Indian Valley and neighboring communities North Penn vs. CB West tonight. There was a time when this would have been the biggest game of the season. No more.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Week 6 musings

Computer rankings for playoff seedings are popping up this week. PFN has the top teams in District 1 AAAA as Pennsbury, Abington, Downingtown West, North Penn and Ridley in that order. Pennsbury should be fine for the next 3 weeks, but their last 2 games are against Abington and Neshaminy. Abington has already beaten Neshaminy, but still has the critical Pennsbury game at the end of the season. Downingtown West, North Penn and Ridley should win out, but every team they play is going to be gunning for them.

Abington Holds Off Neshaminy describes Abington's win over the Redskins last Friday.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

North Penn 41 - Central Bucks East 0

North Penn recorded their first shut-out of the year as they dominated CB East on Friday night. "Todd was playing great and the O-line was making great blocks," said Knights' running back Craig Needhammer. The game also marked the return of junior Ryan Hessenius to the line-up. He ran for 64 yards and scored a touchdown in his first game for the Knights. He had suffered shoulder injuries in the first scrimmages last year and this year. More in the Reporter's Hessenius shines for NP. Calpreps had predicted a 42-3 score, so the Knights lived up to expectations. Calpreps has North Penn ranked as the #1 team in PA, and 50th in the country in their National Football Power Ratings.