Written by: Benjamin Goldstein
FAIRLESS HILLS, PA. — After over a year of construction, Falcon Field on Pennsbury High School’s campus made its long-awaited debut last Thursday. However, it did not go the way about 5,400 in attendance hoped for in the sell-out home opener.
“We all thought we’d never see the day where we actually, finally, got to play on a turf, and it feels great,” Pennsbury Falcons’ linebacker Ben Primich said postgame last Thursday. Primich racked up 13 tackles and two tackles for loss. “The whole crowd came out, the turf feels great, and it’s really nice. It’s good to be back.”
However, what did not feel so nice was the defense the Falcons’ offense ran into in their home opener. Central Bucks West put a red light on Pennsbury’s wing-t offense, allowing just 122 total rushing yards, and walking away victorious, 20-3.
The now 2-2 Falcons look to bounce back at home in Week 5 against a new undefeated, Central Bucks opponent, the South Titans.
Here are some storylines for Friday night’s SOL National matchup:
Ground and pound into a wall
Coming off of a massive victory at Council Rock South in Week 3 including 300+ rushing yards, the Falcons were flying high heading back to Falcon Field for the first time in 2023.
However, the undefeated CB West Bucks put a bruise on the Falcons’ wing, not allowing a single score until there were 29 seconds left in the first half where Angelo Pereira nailed a 37-yard field goal. Those were the only points Pennsbury got.
“The CB West matchup that we just lost, that was going to be the hardest of all the games we play this year, we were pretty sure about,” DeLorenzo’s The Burg’s Player of the Game, Primich, said postgame.
Another bad break for the Falcons came on their first offensive play on the new turf, as junior center Rocco May broke his ankle.
The wing-t offense Pennsbury lives by got shut down by a very good defense last Thursday night. This week, they will go up yet another strong defense.
A positive from a negative
However, a positive is how the defense stood tall against a powerful Bucks running game. The Pennsbury defense has been very strong so far this season.
This may be a stretch, but holding CB West to 20 points is impressive. And not allowing junior running back Ryan Clemens in the endzone is optimistic, too. However, they let Clemens rush for 97 yards, and senior quarterback Cooper Taylor ran for 76 and two touchdowns, while also allowing him to throw for 72 yards on seven completions.
Primich earned his DeLorenzo’s The Burg’s Player of the Game as he was all over the field. His name was announced after what seemed like every Buck play, recording 13 tackles and two tackles for loss.
It could have been a lot worse.
Talk about going from one gauntlet to the next. The Falcons do not get a break as the 4-0 CB South Titans come to town. It is going to be another difficult challenge for the Falcon offense.
CB South is averaging 28.6 points per game offensively and the defense is only allowing 5.8 points per game. The undefeated Titans have non-conference wins against Father Judge, Harry S. Truman, and Council Rock North. Their conference win came last week against Central Bucks East, winning by a score of 13-6 at East.
“Our defense has been playing great football. We have played very effective team defense and a lot of guys have contributed to that success,” CB South head coach Tom Hetrick said on the program’s hot start. “We have been sound at all three levels of the defense. We also have a lot of experience back on the Offensive Line and have been playing a very physical style of football.”
A name to look out for for the Titans is senior Jack Mauz. Through four weeks, Mauz has seven catches for 103 yards with two touchdowns at wide receiver, while racking up 10 tackles and 3 pass breakups on the other side of the ball as a defensive back.
“Jack is heavily involved on both sides of the ball for us this season,” Hetrick said on Mauz. “He is a great athlete who has come up with some big plays for us on the offensive side of the ball. Defensively, he is the QB of the defense. He has a very high football IQ and his technique in the secondary is at times flawless.”
Points are going to be hard to earn Friday night and Pennsbury desperately needs to win this game if they would like to have a chance at repeated as the Suburban One National Division champion.