On paper, Council Rock South's 45-38 loss to Bensalem goes down as the fourth straight defeat for the football team. The real story, however, reads that this year's brand of Golden Hawks brings an exciting never-say-die attitude to every game.
Senior quarterback Greg Paprocki summed up CR South's unwavering determination, noting that even when down by two touchdowns with minutes left in the game, the Hawks were still battling. "We have a no-quit mentality. In the first game of the season against CB South, we were down 17-0 at half and came back and only lost by a touchdown. We know we aren't quitting at any point. Our morale is great.'
As an option quarterback, Greg has plenty of opportunity to fuel South's potent offensive attack. He started honing his skills four years ago. "My freshman year, we only had one other quarterback. Some of my friends kept nudging me to give it a try. I raised my hand and ended up being a backup quarterback and working my way to the starting job.'
Learning to make all the reads initially proved challenging. "It's tough at first but it's all repetition. Once you get a lot of reps, it gets easier and easier. I'll make all the reads in a game. We'll make a down read from the line move and then we'll make a pitch read.'
Going up against Bensalem, Greg knew he would be facing a packed in defense. "We knew they like to put a lot of guys in the box. They even bring their safety up to almost be a point man and follow the ball wherever it goes. We didn't want to get away from anything we'd been doing all year. We did focus on getting outside and running more double dives.'
The strategy seemed to be working perfectly as the Hawks sailed out to a 12-0 lead halfway through the second quarter. Their first score came when Chris Woelk stepped in front of an Owl receiver and the raced 63 yards to paydirt.
Four minutes later, CR South increased its lead on a 31-yard pass from Paprocki to all-purpose back Tyler Anderson. "That was a play-action pass. We were running triple option at them all game long so we faked a ride to the fullback and I dropped back and let loose. He (Anderson) did a great job beating his guy downfield. He then went up and made a great catch.'
The two teams then exchanged scoring strikes. The Owls got on the scoreboard when Alex Archangeli bulled in from nine yards out. The Hawks countered when Tyler Anderson took off on a 58-yard scoring run. Bensalem narrowed the margin to 20-14 by halftime when Ian Pisarchuk scored on an 8 yard run with 23 seconds left in the second period.
Going into the locker room, Greg and his teammates believed they did not need to adjust their game plan. "We were very confident with the way we were playing. There's not too many adjustments you can make. It's all dictated by reading. The only way it doesn't work is if I don't read it right or there is a blown blocking assignment.'
South's confidence remained strong even after Bensalem reeled off three straight touchdowns to take a 35-20 lead with nine minutes left in the game. The Hawks refused to fold. Paprocki once again performed some sleight of hand magic, faking a run and then hitting Dave Haun with a 74-yard scoring bomb.
"Haun just went right down the seam. He did a great job of avoiding the linebacker. I faked the option. I was reading the safety and he took three steps up and I knew Haun was my guy. I floated it over the safety's head and Haun made a great catch-and-run.'
Bensalem, however, was not about to be outdone. They threw their own lightning bolt when on third down, Ian Pisarchuk bolted up the middle for a 65-yard scoring jaunt to keep Bensalem on top by a 42-28 score.
South was still not ready to surrender. Running their hurry-up offense, the Hawks marched to the 11 yard line where Paprocki found Haun again for a score. "We knew we had to score quick. We ran our regular option and once we got to the goal line, we ran a shield pass. The two out receivers ran slants and Haun slipped off his block and got open for the touchdown. He ran a great route.'
Bensalem managed to run out the clock to take the wild 45-38 shootout. Though disappointed, South was not demoralized. "We really thought we could score if we got the ball back. It was a tough loss. This is one of the hardest working teams I have been on. Our coach was not upset with us. He said he was proud of us. You'll see us improve as we go on this season. Nothing will change with our work ethic.'
Such a positive approach, coupled with a good deal of talent, should help the Hawks make their mark in the tough SOL National Division.
Bensalem 42, Council Rock South 35
(Sept. 21 at CR North)
Bensalem 0 14 14 14 — 42
CR South 6 14 0 15 — 35
CRS: Woelk 63 interception return (kick failed)
CRS: Anderson 31 pass from Paprocki (run failed)
B: Archangeli 9 run (Rosenfeld kick)
CRS: Anderson 58 run (Haun pass from Paprocki)
B: Pisarchuk 8 run (Rosenfeld kick)
B: Pisarchuk 29 run (Rosenfeld kick)
B: Forkpa 6 pass from Pegram (Rosenfeld kick)
B: Mays 24 pass from Pegram (Rosenfeld kick)
CRS: Haun 74 pass from Paprocki (Paprocki run)
B: Pisarchuk 65 run (Rosenfeld kick)
CRS: Haun 11 pass from Paprocki (Anderson kick)