It was late in the third quarter Friday night — after another touchdown by the North Penn offense — when Knights quarterback Austin Shearer walked by the NP bench where a collection of his offensive linemen were resting and delivered a message of encouragement.
Thumping on each of their shoulder pads with his fist, Shearer said simply, "they can't stop us.'
And he was right.
On the very next offensive play for North Penn, Shearer found Nick Wright downfield for a 68-yard touchdown that stretched the Knights' lead over Perk Valley to 33-19.
On this rainy night at Crawford Stadium, North Penn's road to the District 1-AAAA final was becoming clearer and clearer.
"Once we start moving the ball on the ground like that, it sets up the play action beautifully, and Shearer was throwing some awesome balls,' tight end Connor Gill said. "It's great to have Shearer back there.'
Shearer was masterful and so was the Knights attack as a whole.
North Penn scored touchdowns on every one of its third-quarter possessions and added another score in the fourth in pulling away to a 40-19 win over the Vikings in this District 1-AAAA Semifinal.
Shearer made every one of his third-quarter throws count, completing all three for 93 yards and a score.
You don't know when the throw is going to come, but when it does, it's often a big play. Of Shearer's first eight completions Friday night, seven went for 10 yards or more.
He spread the ball around to Nick Wright, Justin Hudimac and Gill as the Knights hit the 40-point plateau for the third time in five weeks.
And the throws were timely. On a 3rd-and-1 at the PV 25, Shearer rolled out and found Gill for an 11-yard gain down to the Vikings' 14.
"I'm just trying to go hard every single play and lead by example,' Gill said of what he brings to the offense.
Two plays later, Nyfease West bolted through a crease and burst into the end zone for a 12-yard score that brough the Knights even at 19 apiece.
The only thing the North Penn offense didn't do in the first half was finish drives with a touchdown. The Knights had to settle for three field-goal attempts in the second quarter, converting on two of them, but the second half would be different.
"We came into halftime knowing that we pretty much put up a goose egg in the first half and we knew we had to come out firing,' Gill said.
The running game was the rock the Knights built on with Luke Berry was gaining yards steadily, West was twisting and turning and stretching decent runs into long gains and the offensive line was giving the Perk Valley a workout on every play.
"That's the idea,' said Gill, whose team now looks forward to a showdown with Neshaminy. "Power running. We're just gonna run it at ' em, run it at ' em, the defense is gonna creep up and then we're gonna hit them with the play action.'
So far in these playoffs, no one has stopped it.
Follow Kev Hunter on Twitter @khunter10
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