NESHAMINY 42, NORTH PENN 7
With a lights-out showing along the line of scrimmage, Neshaminy ended its recent playoff frustration against North Penn in no-doubt-about-it fashion.
And the determined Redskins set the tone early on Friday night, racking up 179 rushing yards, 10 first downs, and three touchdowns in the opening 12 minutes.
When it was over at Souderton High, Mark Schmidt's squad had a 42-7 victory, its first PIAA District 1 Class AAAA title since 2004, and a coveted berth in the state semifinals.
"We wanted to come out and establish things up front," junior tailback D'Andre Pollard said. "That's what we did, running the ball right down their throats. Everything was on point tonight."
Neshaminy, in earning its third district crown and snapping a four-game playoff skid against the Knights, totaled 322 yards on the ground on 43 attempts.
Pollard was the catalyst as usual, carrying 25 times for 235 yards and four touchdowns. "Our line did a great job of blocking for him," Redskins two-way end Luke Carrezola said.
Next weekend, at a site and time to be determined, Neshaminy (13-1) will take on the survivor of Saturday afternoon's state quarterfinal between District 11's Parkland (12-1) and District 12's St. Joseph's Prep (9-3).
In the first quarter against North Penn, which arrived with a 10-game wining streak, Pollard scored on bursts of 15, 42 and 5 yards.
Leading the charge were Carrezola at end, center John Koch, guards Matt Wynne and Dan Johnson, and tackles Mike Palmer and Hunter Kelly.
Blake Sullivan chipped in 69 rushing yards on nine tries, including first-quarter rumbles of 12, 17 and 17 yards. Fellow fullback Denny Lord twice scored out of a Wildcat formation.
"I think they were keying on D'Andre, and rightfully so," Schmidt said. "We wanted to mix things up a little bit."
In the second quarter, Lord, with Carrezola and Alex Nicolas serving as blocking backs, scored from the 5 to give the Redskins a 28-7 cushion. Pollard rushed 16 times for 177 yards before the break.
Neshaminy's defense, anchored by Nicolas and fellow lineman Dan Johnson, limited North Penn (10-4) to 161 yards rushing and 23 passing. Free safety Denzel Hughes and linebacker Cole Creighton notched third-quarter interceptions.
"We studied a lot of film during the week, and I think it showed," said Carrezola, who had a first-quarter sack.
Sophomore tailback Nyfease West managed North Penn's only score, answering Pollard's first TD with a 66-yard jaunt to the end zone.
The Knights, who rebounded from an 0-3 start to the season, were trying for their second district title in three seasons and seventh overall.
For the season, Pollard has rushed 300 times for an area-high 2,798 yards (an average of 9.3 yards per carry) and 38 TDs.
North Penn 7 0 0 0-7
Neshaminy 21 7 7 7-42
N: D'Andre Pollard 15 run (Dylan McDonald kick)
NP: Nyfease West 66 run (Matt Ammendola kick)
N: Pollard 42 run (McDonald kick)
N: Pollard 5 run (McDonald kick)
N: Denny Lord 5 run (McDonald kick)
N: Pollard 6 run (McDonald kick)
N: Lord 4 run (McDonald kick)