When Bob Rosenberger accepted the head coaching position at William Tennent back in March, his goal was to change the football culture at Tennent. Part of that goal would be pulling the Panthers out of the basement of the Suburban One National Conference.
Tennent faced a big test Friday night taking on Council Rock North, a team that is usually a contender in the National Conference. The Panthers gave the Indians all they could handle, but Rock North emerged with the 29-27 win.
"The kids see a win and that's all they see. I think if you start settling for moral victories then in my eyes it's a loss and a loser attitude,' Rosenberger said.
Tennent killed itself all night with turnovers as it had six in the game. The Panthers would live to tell about the first two, but the Indians capitalized on the third one in a big way.
Rock North cornerback Drew Burchlag intercepted Nick Banks and returned it 90 yards for a touchdown in the opening minutes of the second quarter. Rock North opted to go for a two-point conversion and the try was successful. The conversion would prove crucial latter in the game.
"We do it all the time,' Rock North coach Adam Collachi said of his decision to go for two points. "It's something that we do, we have some good plays down there and it's something that we do to have teams chasing that point.'
The Indians converted off another Panthers turnover late in first half when quarterback Brandon McIlwain ran in from one yard out with seven seconds left in the half. Rock North tried a squib kick on the ensuing kickoff, but it backfired as Rob Poekert scooped the ball and went 65 yards to the house to keep it a one score game, 15-7, heading into halftime.
"It's something we need to work on if we're going to move forward,' Collachi said of his teams special teams play. "You can't give away kickoff returns, you can't give them good field position on punts. [There is] a lot to correct between now and next week.'
With time winding down in fourth quarter, it was a Rock North turnover that gave the Panthers new life as a fumble recovery by Vince Icabone set the offense up in Rock North territory.
It came down to the final play for Tennent as it faced a fourth-and-14 from the Indians 30-yard line and Banks found Shawn Hamiel behind the defense for touchdown with only 19 seconds left in the game. Unfortunately for the Panthers, a Banks pass fell incomplete on the conversion.
"We gave it all we had on that last two-point conversion, we just couldn't get it done,' Tennent running back Alex Perks said.
Council Rock North 0 15 14 0-29
William Tennent 0 7 7 13-27
C- Burchlag 90 interception (McIlwain pass)
C- McIlwain 1 run (Greenberg kick)
W- Poekert 65 kick return (Ciralante kick)
C- Cabo 2 pass from McIlwain (Greenberg kick)
W- Perks 69 run (Ciralante kick)
C-McWilliams 37 pass from McIlwain (Greenberg kick)
W- Tocce 2 run (Ciralante kick)
W- Hamiel 30 pass from Banks (pass failed)
CR North Tennent
First downs 12 14
Yards Rushing 105 287
Yards Passing 122 43
Total 227 330
Passing 10-26-2 5-11-2
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 4-4
Penalties-yards 2-20 2-15
Punts-avg. 7-30.7 3-38.3
Council Rock North: Welde 7-53; MacKin 6-26; Martin 3- (-17); McIlwain 8-43, TD.
William Tennent: Tocce 16-49, TD; Banks 14-65; Perks 16-120, TD; Mendez 8-49; Morales 3-4
Council Rock North: McIlwain 10-26-2—122 1 TD
William Tennent: Banks 4-10-2—21 1 TD
Council Rock North: Martin 2-19; MacKin 1-10; McWilliams 2-56, TD; Chandlee 1-8; Cabo 1-29
William Tennent: Herbert 1-18; Perks 1- (-3); Banks 2- (-6); Hamiel 1-30, TD