Central Bucks South had a number of question marks coming into the season.
One of the relative unknowns was at quarterback, where Matt Johns had departed after throwing for 2,111 yards and 15 scores while leading the Titans to the PIAA District 1 Class AAAA playoff quarterfinals.
Enter John Pileggi, a senior who patiently waited behind Johns, now at Virginia, for his opportunity to shine. And he's done just that, directing C.B. South to a 6-0 start.
"Because we lost some skilled playmakers, including Matt, I'm sure a lot of people weren't expecting too much from us," the 5-foot-9, 173-pounder said. "That gave us a chance to catch some teams off guard."
Pileggi and company are no longer flying under the radar. Friday night in Lansdale, the visiting Titans, with a dramatic second-half rally, knocked off four-time defending Suburban One League Continental Conference champion North Penn, 36-29.
Dave Rackovan's squad stopped the Knights' winning streak in the Continental Conference at 30 games. "It's a great feeling," Pileggi said. "North Penn is North Penn. To beat them, especially the way we did, is amazing."
C.B. South trailed, 23-7, at intermission. Pileggi sparked the comeback over the final 24 minutes, firing a season-high four touchdown passes. His 18-yard strike to Cale Mosher, with 63 seconds remaining, was the clincher.
Overall, Pileggi, running a no-huddle, spread attack, hit on 18 of 27 passes for 240 yards. Mosher and Paul Weeks each had a pair of TD catches.
"It's a quick-striking offense, so we knew we could come back," Pileggi said. "Our defense forced a lot of three-and-outs, and that gave us a chance to do things."
Tailback Josh Adams, C.B. South's sophomore sensation, came into the game averaging 234 yards rushing. The Knights held him to 63 yards on 21 tries.
"They were able to slow him down," Pileggi said. "But he did the smart thing, going for three or four yards on each carry instead of trying to break the long gain. That put us in position to score."
For the season, Pileggi, of Chalfont, has converted 72 of 91 passes (79.1 percent) for 1,016 yards and 11 scores. "The blocking has been great," he said. "Our line has given me the time to step up and find the open receiver."
The Titans' line is made up of center Cory Outten, guards Josh Berg, Mike Clark, and Russell White, and tackles Tyler Paradysz[CQ] and Mike McDermott.
The top targets for Pileggi, who prepped at Unami Middle School, are Weeks (20 catches for 353 yards, four TDs), Mosher (21 for 333, four), and Steve Veal (20 for 261, three).
As the third John Pileggi in his family, the QB is nicknamed "JP3." Said the 18-year-old, who plans to study business in college: "I was given that even before Robert Griffin (RG3) started making it big. It just kind of stuck."
Wood-Prep. In St. Joseph's Prep's 23-10 triumph over Archbishop Wood Friday night, Hawks QB Chris Martin connected on 8 of 20 passes for 73 yards. The junior also ran 14 times for 49 yards. ... The Prep's pass-catchers were wideouts Cameron Chambers (four for 51 yards, 32-yard TD), Jawan McAllister (three for 18), and tailback Vince Moffett (one for 4). ... For the Vikings, freshman QB Tom Garlick was 7-for-15 passing for 87 yards. ... Wood tailback Andrew Guckin, who delivered a 37-yard TD pass to Chris Rahill in the third quarter, carried 18 times for 73 yards. ... Guckin, at linebacker, led the Vikings' defense with seven tackles, including six solos. Next in line was lineman Devon Cobb (five tackles). ... For the Prep, strong safety Tom Levy, filling in for the injured Dan Sherry, posted 12 tackles, including 10 solos. Beefy tackle Paul Johnson (10, seven solos) also had double-digit stops. ... Linebacker Tim Rafter chipped in six tackles, and linebacker Todd Jones and free safety Tom Johnson each had five. ... Overall, the Vikes (178 rushing, 128 passing) outgained the Hawks, 306-218. At halftime, Wood was ahead, 215-81, in the yardage category. ... The defending Class AAA champs coughed the ball up six times (four fumbles, two interceptions). ... The Prep's Tom Johnson and Pat McCabe made fourth-quarter picks. Rafter had three fumble recoveries. Lineman Jake Strain accounted for the other. ... Wood's Nick Visco hit a 44-yard field goal midway through the second quarter. He missed tries of 26 (first quarter, wide right) and 49 yards (second quarter, wide left). ... The Hawks posted five sacks. ... Instead of Sherry, Shane Williams, also an end, handled the punting for the Prep. ... Sherry is expected to be back for Saturday's Catholic League Class AAAA showdown versus No. 1-ranked La Salle. ... Martin's fourth-quarter, quick-kick of 35 yards pinned the Vikings at their own 3. ... Prep offensive guard Chris Koilor (5-11, 240) left early in the second quarter with an apparent ankle injury. Paul Johnson and sophomore Mark Ehrlich filled in for him.
Extra points. Following Frankford's 25-14 win over George Washington Friday afternoon, Pioneers defensive coordinator Juan Namnun left for Disney World with his wife, Lena. The couple was celebrating their 20th anniversary. ... In Pennsbury's 35-9 romp over visiting Abington Saturday night, Shawn Pepper (12 for 180) and Daquan Mack (12 for 83) combined for 263 rushing yards. Tommy Hose's 12 tackles, including 10 solos, paced Pennsbury's defense. Fellow senior linebacker Charlie Fisher (eight, four) was next in line. The Ghosts' defensive leaders were backs Phil Gore (six, five) and Keith Boggi (five, three). ... In a 14-7 loss to visiting Roman Catholic Saturday afternoon, Archbishop Ryan's defensive standouts were end Sean Boylan (eight tackles, two solos), linebacker Jesse Wireman (eight, two), and tackle Joe Ruskowski (six, one). The Red Raiders' Jeremiah Agrio carried 19 times for 121 yards.