Blog Posts by Lets Talk Football

2016 Intelligencer/Courier Times "Let's Talk Football" (Week 16) North Penn came up just short in its game against St. Joe’s Prep in the state semifinals. Your thoughts as the Knights’ remarkable season comes to an end. Drew Markol: “It’s rare but it’s a nice treat when a game lives up to the hype this one had. This was a game we’d been talking about in August. We knew it was coming down to these two teams. I don’t think we knew in August that North Penn would be undefeated, but once we saw them play, we quickly knew they would be. We knew Prep would be undefeated and you’d have this huge matchup with a huge crowd. It was just a great game between two great teams.

2016 Intelligencer/Courier Times "Let's Talk Football" (Week 15) Your thoughts about North Penn’s district title win over Garnet Valley as well as Saturday night’s PIAA Class 6A semifinal game against St. Joe’s Prep. Kevin Cooney: “The other night on WNPV we all commended Garnet Valley for the way they fought, but in actuality, it never got to that danger point for North Penn. It was always a double-digit game. I think there was one point where it was 21-14 or 21-13, but there was never a point where you thought ‘North Penn is in real danger here.’ That being said, the mistakes that North Penn has made since the Spring-Ford game – we keep waiting for them to play a perfect game, and they haven’t done it yet, which is good because they keep winning by these huge amounts, but it’s bad because if you make any mistakes against St. Joe Prep you’re in trouble. Personally, I think maybe it’s lack of focus, and when you get out to a big lead maybe you lose your focus a little bit, and that’s what has happened a couple of times in the tournament.

2016 Intelligencer/Courier Times 'Let's Talk Football' (Week 14) North Penn earned a 42-25 win over Coatesville in last week’s district semifinal. Your thoughts. Drew Markol: "North Penn had the fast start two weeks ago against Spring-Ford- but Spring-Ford comes back and has all the momentum at the half. In the second half, North Penn said, 'Enough’ and just shuts them down. “On Friday, Coatesville nearly returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, but it doesn't happen. Then they scored first and they missed the extra point, and you're thinking, 'That's going to end up hurting them.' It really didn't. To beat North Penn, you have to play the perfect game. I hate the cliche about 48 minutes and playing four quarters and all of that, but it's the truth because North Penn will keep coming at you. Look what they did the week before in the quarterfinals - Ricky Johns has 200 receiving yards and makes some huge plays on defense. Then in the semifinal, Nick Dillon has four rushing touchdowns - one of them on a nice hook-and-ladder, a beautiful play. That kind of sums up what North Penn can do on offense. They'll just keep coming after you, but their defense gets overlooked.

2016 Intelligencer/Courier Times "Let's Talk Football" (Week 13) Garnet Valley upset Neshaminy 42-14 in the quarterfinals. Your thoughts. Drew Markol: “You look at Garnet Valley as the 10th seed - they’re playing all road games. They needed a miracle finish to beat CB South in their first round, and they did. They scored twice in roughly the last three minutes, and the last one came with 11 seconds to go. Neshaminy had blown out CB South a couple of weeks earlier in a game that really was no contest. People said Neshaminy was beat up, but everybody’s beat up at this time of year. Everybody has injuries, that’s part of the game unfortunately. “Garnet Valley doesn’t throw the ball. I think they threw one pass against Neshaminy, and it was incomplete. They just run, but they run that triple option, and the quarterback – Nick Juliano – does a nice job with it. If you have a quarterback who has some deception, teams don’t see that offense that often. Council Rock South runs that option. I was shocked by that game. I really thought Neshaminy would win going away and find themselves in the semifinal, and that didn’t happen.

2016 Intelligencer/Courier Times 'Let's Talk Football' (Week 12) Neshaminy needed a fourth quarter comeback to defeat Pennridge. Your thoughts about those two teams. Kevin Cooney: “Let’s start by giving credit to Pennridge who I thought given everything that’s happened with them really played well for three quarters. They couldn’t put it away, which is ultimately what they’re going to be known for. They’re going to be either a 5-7 or 6-6 team that had trouble closing the deal, but given the circumstances, you can’t do anything but admire what they’ve done. “For Neshaminy – Neshaminy is in a rare spot. We were wondering between North Penn and Neshaminy how they would react to adversity. Neshaminy did that earlier in the season when they played Pennridge, and we saw a little bit of that at the bookend of the season. They have to play better. They can’t turn the ball over the way they did Friday night. Garnet Valley will make you pay if you don’t play a better, cleaner game.

2016 Intelligencer/Courier Times "Let's Talk Football" (Week 11) Your thoughts heading into this week’s District One Tournament. Kevin Cooney: “We’re now set with a 6A tournament that, to be honest, is four teams deep, and everybody believes the top two – North Penn and Neshaminy - are destined to meet each other. When you look at it, it’s a strange feeling because you have some decent games underneath, but it’s almost anticlimactic in a way until you get to the semifinal. Until you get to Coatesville/North Penn and Perk Valley/Neshaminy, I think people are going to be a little ho hum about the tournament.

2016 Intelligencer/Courier Times "Let's Talk Football" (Week 10) Central Bucks South defeated Pennridge last week, and this week Pennridge travels to Central Bucks East for a key game. Your thoughts. Kevin Cooney: “Pennridge is making the tournament, but they could go 5-5 and lose to five of the top eight seeds in the conference. Look, I’ve been critical of what they did, but at some point, you’ve got to get over the – ‘Well, we played a really tough schedule, and look who we lost to.’ At some point, you have to win a game like that to make yourself a factor. I think that is where the East game is for Pennridge.

2016 Intelligencer/Courier Times "Let's Talk Football" (Week 9) Looking back at last week’s action, what games stood out? Drew Markol: "Bensalem had a lead on Neshaminy - they're up 19-7 late in the first half. We've been talking all year that it's been the 'Year of the Owl,' and it continued. With that Neshaminy game, they've been up every game at halftime. Just the fact that they've done that is really something. So Neshaminy came back and won by 13 points, and if you just look at the score, you're like, 'Oh, okay,' but that wasn't the case. Bensalem out gained them and had a lead at halftime. In the past, teams like Neshaminy and Pennsbury would look at Bensalem and say, 'All right, our starters are going to play a half' and basically look past them. I don't want to say Neshaminy looked past them, but you do wonder. They were coming off a big win over CB South, and they're thinking 'Bensalem is Bensalem.' Well, it's no longer just Bensalem. Turning around a losing culture is incredibly difficult, and Ed Cubbage is doing it. It's really something.

2016 Intelligencer/Courier Times "Let's Talk Football" (Week 8) Neshaminy earned a big win over Central Bucks South in a key non-league battle. Your thoughts about those two teams. Drew Markol: “I talked to Neshaminy’s players after the game, and they all said that was the best four quarters of football they had played. They answered South’s early touchdown with one of their own. Mason Jones was throwing it all over the place, and Will Dogba, the senior running back, was running very effectively. He had 122 yards and a touchdown. South is a good team. When you look at them playing North Penn last week, you have to use the same glasses when they play Neshaminy. South is good enough to win a round or two in the playoffs – I really believe that. Jack Johns, the junior quarterback, gets better by the week. He ran very effectively against Neshaminy. He’s 6-6, but he can move. He looks like a kid that colleges are going to be looking at because he’s got a good arm, he’s got good feet, and their receivers can catch it. Neshaminy was just too much for them, but South is going to be a tough out come the district tournament.

2016 Intelligencer/Courier Times "Let's Talk Football" (Week 7) Central Bucks East used a late touchdown to defeat Souderton 37-36 in a thriller last week. Your thoughts. Kevin Cooney: “I think it was a huge win for CB East to pull out a game like that in the final minute and then survive that crazy ending. It just shows the kind of team John Donnelly has built there. Now they host North Penn and get to try their luck there. I think East has established themselves as a legitimate playoff team and maybe somebody that can do something when they get there. They can run the ball, they can throw the ball, and it didn’t show last week, but their defense is pretty stout. They have a lot of things that work for them right now. Do I think they’ll beat North Penn? Probably not, but again, I think they’re in good shape.”