BENSALEM – It truly was the tale of two halves.
After what was a tough fight in the first half, it looked like only one team returned to the field following the halftime period.
The Pennsbury High School football team battled for the first 24 minutes at Bensalem on Thursday night, but after halftime, they turned on the jets, topping the Owls 34-13.
A 14-7 game at the half in favor of the Falcons (5-1), it looked like the Suburban One League National Division game would be a fight until the very end, but the Pennsbury defense came up big while the Bensalem (4-2) offense seemed to run dry.
The Falcons went to the half with their lead thanks to a balanced offense that featured more of the running game in the first quarter and let the ball fly in the second. Coach Dan McShane relied heavily on the run in the game, leading to a Nasan Robbins touchdown from within five yards to open the scoring.
Quarterback Zach Demarchis had the wing at his back in the second frame, and hit David Burke on a 23-yard pass to extend the lead to 14-0 with 10 minutes left.
Bensalem got on the board by way of a Keith Parrish run with 4:08 left in the half. Parrish was the spark in the Owls’ offense on the night, as he snapped several runs of more than 10 yards and picking up a 4th-and-long on a fake punt. Parrish – the team’s punter, took the snap and showed off his impressive speed, running down the right side of the field for more than 30 yards.
But the Owls looked like they were a different squad in the second half. The offense failed to move the ball while the defense couldn’t slow down the Falcons offense.
Robbins got into the end zone again with 8:55 left in the third on a 12-yard run. Following a brief Bensalem offensive drive, the Falcons got the ball back into the end zone on a pass from Demarchis to Austin Palmer. Demarchis saw that his three receivers to the right were in single coverage with no help over the top and just waited until one found space, hitting a wide open Palmer in the back corner of the end zone.
In the waning minutes of the third quarter, bad got worse for Bensalem, when quarterback Drasaun Moore – who was pressured by Pennsbury all night – stepped up in the pocket and looked to throw the ball away, tossing what looked to be a shovel pass forward. The ball was ruled a fumble, and was deflected about 15 yards back into the Bensalem end zone, where a Pennsbury defender fell on it for another touchdown, extend the lead to 34-7.
The Bears defense was led by a pair of seniors – a pair of players who have stood out all season. Defensive end Michael Gobora and linebacker Andrew Basalyga were all over the field. If Gobora wasn’t pressuring the quarterback, Basalyga was in there. The 5-foot-11 linebacker was a constant force in the running lane and contained the fleet-of-foot Moore.
Pennsbury has another challenge next week, when it travels to Henry C. Morgan Stadium to face off with Harry S. Truman.
You can hear the game on WBCB 1490am or watch the live stream at wbcbsports.com