Wednesday, November 30, 2011
As the District 1 Final approaches
Kev Hunter says Top-seeded CR South a tough opponent for NP in finals in the Intel. He goes through a lot of comparisons, but it seems like the defense that steps up could determine the outcome of the game. Both offenses have been prolific in the playoffs and both defenses stingy. If either the Golden Hawks or the Knights can manage to lock down the other teams offense, that could determine the game. Chris Felton seems to agree in Inside Football Week 14. He summarizes, " I think it’s going to come down to discipline and execution. You have two systems. North Penn is a little more diverse. They can throw the ball, and they can run the ball very well. Council Rock South is the triple option, and they’re not going to pretend that they’re not. Everybody in the stadium that follows both of these teams and knows anything about District One football knows what Council Rock South is going to be running. That includes obviously North Penn, so it’s going to come down to execution for Council Rock South.
At the end of the day, just like in any other big-time playoff football game, it’s also going to come down to defense. North Penn is going to have to prove they can stop the triple option, and because of the numbers they sometimes put up, Coucil Rock South’s defense is sometimes overshadowed. I think it’s one of the top defenses in the area.
Again, it’s going to come down to execution and defense."
Football Fever Week 14 interviews the coaches of some common opponents. Neshaminy's Mark Schmidt and CB South's Dave Rackovan both foresee a close game. Pennridge's Randy Cuthbert thinks that North Penn has the edge. Finally, Christiaan DeFranco reviews the North Penn Knights football program in North Penn's Beck one of the best in the biz. As DeFranco notes, Coach Beck's program revolves around his system and getting the most out of his players in the system. With a few exceptions, this leads to great teams without focusing on star players. Certainly, the "skill position" players stand out because they score points. The defensive players in Dick Beck's system are often overlooked, in large part because they don't throw up big numbers in tackles or interceptions. They usually aren't on the field enough to get to big numbers. By the middle of the 3rd quarter they are often on the bench giving other players an opportunity to hone their game skills. The end result has been a North Penn football team that consistently been among the best high school AAAA football teams in the state.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Dan certainly deserves this after the way he has stepped up his game in the playoffs. He hasn't been perfect, but he hasn't let anything stop him, either.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Kyle Berger (@bergerkg) tweeted that the 4 sites under consideration for NP-CRS are Tennent, Souderton, H-H, or P-W.
Kevin Cooney (@KevinCooney) and TJ Smink (@tsmink77) just tweeted PW at 7:30 on Friday. TJ was told by Coach Beck.
North Penn 27 - Pennsbury 3
Pennsbury's size didn't slow down the Knights. Dan Gevirtz continued in his role as a difference maker in the playoffs scoring touchdowns on the ground, in the air and on a punt return. James Fielder got to extend his North Penn career, adding 25 of the Knight's 155 rushing yards. The defense is making the 2011 Knights the playoff juggernaut that they are. Dick Beck was quoted in the Intell's Knights roll into District Final, "Our defense is playing maybe better than any defense I’ve ever had. They have really come together and really have it going.”
Next up for the Knights, the Golden Hawks of Council Rock South. CR South came in as the number one seed in the District 1 AAAA football playoffs. They advanced to the final with a win over Garnet Valley. The game is scheduled for Friday night at 7 PM, but, as usual, the site is the subject of speculation. Plymouth-Whitemarch seems to be the leader in the rumor mill. I'm not sure if William Tennant would be available. Some have proposed War Memorial in Doylestown, but they always winterize before Thanksgiving. Hopefully, the two teams won't be forced to make the long trip to Coatesville.
Friday, November 25, 2011
North Penn-Pennsbury Preview
I wasn't going to post anything before the game, but Kevin Cooney did a really good job in The Run To The Playoffs. Most of the things I read focused on the size of Pennsbury's offensive line. The Knights under Dick Beck have successfully dealt with this numerous times before. North Penn starters don't get their jobs because of their size. They get to start because they are fast, strong and smart.
The game is still likely to be a fight in the trenches. As Kevin rightly points out, "For all the talk of these spread offensive attacks that go five wide receivers deep and throw it around the yard, it is generally the "smack-you-in-the-face" attacks that win at this time of year." This is something I've been saying for years. It goes along with my observation that Florida and Texas High School Football have great athletes playing at a superior level, but they don't generally play in 20 degree (or colder) weather. Granted, Accuweather is predicting high 40's for game time tonight. I remember a North Penn-Downingtown West game the day after Thanksgiving 3 years ago where I couldn't feel my legs when I got up at half time. But I digress.
Kevin points out that this is another "no surprises" game where two teams will line up and try to outplay each other. And to highlight another of my recurring themes, Kevin sums things up: "The winner will be the team that executes the best."
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Knight dominance of Redskins continuesI finally got to see the 2011 North Penn Knights in person on Friday night and they put on quite a performance. The Knights defense held Neshaminy in check all night, allowing a single touchdown and less than 125 yards total offense. Dan Gevirtz continued his playoff break-out with over 200 total yards, and both he and Kyle Mayfield broke the century mark on the ground. Kev Hunter's North Penn defense devastates Neshaminy provides a good summary of the game. Some other game summaries:
The Intel: North Penn defense smothers NeshaminyTimes-Herald: North Penn shuts down NeshaminyThe Reporter: North Penn's defense always on attackLevittown Patch: Neshaminy Football Season Ends With Loss To North Penn
The Times-Herald had a nice write-up on Ralph Reeves by Dennis C. Way in Reeves epitomizes North Penn football. The article correctly points out that Ralph is a prototypical North Penn stand-out. He has captured 2 District Titles with the Knights and has been on the field for every game of the Knights' 28 game streak in the Suburban One Continental Conference. I'm pretty sure he is the 2nd four year starter (after Temple's Brandon McManus) for the Dick Beck coached Knights. It would be a nice ending for his high school career if he got to play in Hershey.
The Knights will face Pennsbury Friday night at Crawford Stadium. Pennsbury has played extremely well all season with a huge offensive line pushing the traditional SOL ground and pound. Dick Beck should be ready for this. As Kev Hunter notes in Pennsbury brings offense into matchup with NP, Dick Beck is 6-0 against Pennsbury. The Knights have tended to offset size with speed and technique. Friday night should be a good test of the Knight's defense to see if they have what it takes to get to Hershey.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Underdogs Move On
PIAA District 1 AAAA football playoffs - 6 of 8 teams from the bottom half of the 16 team bracket move on to week 2. Easterpafootball.com published the updated playoff bracket. Council Rock South and Garnet Valley were the only higher seeded teams to move on. Contrary to Rick O'Brien's predictions. Rick and others still see North Penn as the favorite in the field. Here is the pre-game rundown of all the matchups. And another pre-game view of the West Chester teams (both lost).
North Penn upends Rustin: Scott Huff summarizes the game.
Suburban One rises to the top.
and a blast from the past - this blog entry shows the high expectations for North Penn 2 years ago, just before losing to Ridley in the District 1 final.
Sunday, November 06, 2011
Final District 1 AAAA Football Playoff Seedings
After Episcopal Academy & Methacton both won, the D1 seedings are:
16 – Upper Dublin
Inter-conference replays: Pennsbury at Abington, Ridley at Garnet Valley, Downingtown East at Henderson. The higher seeded (home) team won the first game in all 3 cases.
Saturday, November 05, 2011
North Penn 27 - Pennridge 0
While the football playoff picture is exciting, let's not overlook that the North Penn Knights have run off 28 straight victories in the Suburban One League Continental Conference since the league reorganization in 2008. The Lansdale Reporter's North Penn tops Pennridge to wrap up Continental documents their dominance of Pennridge last night - no first downs for the Rams in the 2nd quarter, no completed passes for Rams QB Alex Krivda. Due to a shoulder injury to Corey Ernst, North Penn may need to rely on their defense next Friday against Bayard Rustin.
Congratulations to the Knights for their leaque championship and good luck in the playoffs.
District 1 AAAA Football Playoff BracketKyle Berger has made his predictions on WNPV.
16 – Upper Dublin
15 – Pennsbury
14 – Neshaminy
13 – CB South
12 - Ridley
11 – North Penn
10 - Coatesville
9 – Downingtown East
8 – WC Henderson
7 – Spring-Ford
6 – West Chester - Rustin
5 – Plymouth-Whitemarsh
4 – Garnet Valley
3 – Unionville
2 - Abington
1 – Council Rock South
These results are dependent on GA-Episcopal (UD gets points from a GA win and could move up to the 14 seed) and Methacton-Pottstown (PW gets points from a Methacton win and could move up to the 4 seed). Half the bracket is from Suburban One. 5 teams are from Ches-Mont.
Friday, November 04, 2011
As the regular season ends
Rod Frisco's Week 10 rankings (before tonight's games). Not sure I agree with everything, but there they are. Kevin Cooney whines about playoff points in What's the Point? While it is easy to complain about an arbitrary system, how would you set up the selection committtee? The last place team in every league sends their coach to determine seedings?
Thursday, November 03, 2011
In Two Big Games in District 1 AAAA Rick O'Brien takes the insipid stance that both Downingtown East and Pennsbury win. A Pennsbury win I can understand; if they were playing at Heartbreak Ridge, I would say the game was Neshaminy hands down, but the game is in Fairless Hills. Mark Schmidt may be able to get the Redskins to pull out the win and get into the playoffs, though. Not that Neshaminy has shown the ability to play with the big boys this year, and their prize for a win would be a re-match with Council Rock South. CR South crushed Neshaminy in the first game. Downingtown East, however, has to go to West Chester and beat a Henderson team that takes sole possession of the league title with a win. By my calculation, a Henderson win would vault them to the 8th seed and result in a rematch with East the next week. This would be the most interesting finish to alter the District 1 AAAA bracket. For this reason alone, I am picking Henderson.
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
The Playoffs are coming!
Some completely unsupported thoughts about the PIAA District 1 AAAA Football playoffs coming up. North Penn continues to dominate the Suburban 1 Continental, winning their 27th straight regular season contest. The last time the Knights lost to a Continental rival was Week 10 of 2007, losing to Central Bucks South - before the SOL re-org. North Penn & CB South were in the SOL National Conference then. The last time North Penn lost to a Suburban One team at all was to Neshaminy in the 2007 playoffs.
I'm not familiar enough with potential rivals to say if anyone matches up well against North Penn, but if I were at the top of the bracket, I would worry that North Penn climbs to the #9 seed with a win on Friday against Pennridge and would then be visiting me the 2nd week. @bergerkg thinks that the Knights end up as the 10 seed with a trip to Chester County for the first round. While the Knights have had their issues with trips to Chesco over the last few years, I think they could take Rustin (@bergerkg's pick for the 7 seed). Although, as mentioned previously, a North Penn-PW match-up to see the master (Dick Beck) vs. the student (Dan Chang) would be a game I would like to see. Either way, I think PW's return to the playoffs is short-lived. I would expect North Penn, Pennsbury and Ridley to make it out of the lower half of the bracket into the 2nd week.