Bucks County Herald

CB West, now 3-0, stops Quakertown

Bucks permit only 88 yards

DAVID CAMPBELL

Stifling.

Suffocating.

There are plenty of adjectives to describe the Central Bucks West defense’s performance on Friday night.
“We want to be aggressive and physical and we want to be the best defense we can be,” senior captain and defensive end Michael Taylor said.

The Bucks held visiting Quakertown to 88 total yards and made life miserable for head coach George Banas’ bunch in CB West’s 20-0 victory. The Bucks improved to 3-0; the Panthers fell to 2-1.

“The defense definitely stepped up to the plate,” said junior linebacker Ryan Hieber, who was credited with five total tackles.

Offensively, Hieber helped put CB West up 14-0 with a five-yard touchdown run with 22 seconds remaining in the first half. Senior quarterback Joshua Crecca’s two-yard run with two minutes left in the half opened the scoring. Quakertown fumbled the ensuing kickoff, setting up Hieber’s rush to paydirt.

Crecca and senior wide receiver Rohan McDonald hooked up on a 34-yard scoring strike less than halfway through the third quarter. The extra point was no good.

“In the first two games, I didn’t think our offense moved the ball great and we didn’t do too well in the red zone,” Hieber said, “but in this game, I think we picked it up and it was definitely a big improvement.”

The Bucks finished with 280 yards of total offense. Ryan Moylan ran for 78 yards on 21 carries. Jake Reichwein had 41 yards on nine carries. Crecca passed for 82 yards on six completions and the one touchdown to McDonald.

The story, however, was the CB West defense. Senior Donald McCauley was a ball hawk, coming up with three second-half turnovers, including two interceptions. The second one was a one-handed pick in the fourth quarter.

“It felt good,” said McCauley, who hadn’t had a turnover in his two years on varsity for the Bucks prior to Friday’s contest.

In the trenches, Taylor’s three sacks led the black and gold. Reichwein had two sacks. Reichwein accumulated eight total tackles; McCauley had six.

“Up front, we were maintaining our gaps, our linebackers were filling downhill nice and hard and that’s something that we want to make sure we pride ourselves on is playing good defense,” head coach Chas Cathers said. “If we play good defense, we know we can put nice drives together. We had an 18-play drive in the first half that was really nice.”

Friday was CB West’s home opener. The Bucks had allowed only 27 points in wins at Hatboro-Horsham and Council Rock South. Friday was their best effort.

“It was a big thing for our defense [to pitch a shutout],” Hieber said. “It was a big motivator to let up no points and we got the job done.”

“It’s a big win, for sure,” Taylor added. “We did well in all aspects of the game.”

On the other side of the field, Banas knew his squad was in trouble from the start.

“It’s been one of those weeks, I’ll be honest with you,” he admitted. “I’ll take the blame for it. I could see it coming. This week was not a good week of practice. I tried to warn them every day like, ‘Hey, where are our heads at?’ ”

The Panthers opened with back-to-back three-point wins over Central Bucks East and Souderton, both at Alumni Field. In its first road test, Quakertown was swallowed up by a CB West team with a huge chip on its shoulder.

“Give them a lot of credit,” Banas said. “They were physical. They beat us at every position. They played a great game. I’m not taking that away from them, but we definitely showed our inexperience [on Friday] and our youth really showed.”

Christian Patrick was the Panthers’ leading ground-gainer at War Memorial Field. He needed nine carries to reach 27 yards. Michael Terra had one reception for 20 yards. Defensively, Nick Levinski was a beast with 13 total tackles (eight solo). Jacob Barndt made nine total stops. Ashton Herd had five tackles and two sacks.

The Panthers begin their Suburban One League (SOL) American Conference slate this Friday back at home with a tilt against Wissahickon.

“It’s a learning experience for these young players, but again, I give credit to CB West,” Banas said. “They were so physical [on Friday]. Offensively, we just couldn’t get any mojo going whatsoever. We couldn’t get any push up front and then we had a hard time defending the pass rush. I can’t think of one position that I can say, ‘Hey, I’m really happy with that [on Friday].’ ”

The Bucks get SOL Continental Conference action started this Friday with a very interesting home date with perennial power North Penn. If CB West continues to play defense the way it did against Quakertown, the Bucks will be in every game.

“We’ve all been in the system for three years and we feel confident with our coaches, our teammates,” McCauley said. “We trust everybody to do their job.”

“The whole team played well on defense [on Friday],” Cathers noted. “We really pride ourselves on the simple fundamentals, running to the football, playing good assignment football and making sure that everybody knows their responsibilities. And that’s something we pride ourselves on and all 11 players played their toughest and played their hearts out, so good things will come when you play good team defense.”

CB West didn’t make the 16-team District One Class AAAAAA field in 2016 when the Bucks compiled a 4-6 overall record and a 1-5 mark in the SOL Continental. This year, they hope to flip the script and return to the postseason.

“It’s definitely a great start,” Taylor said. “There are some things we have to work on, on both sides of the ball, but if we straighten things out, I think we can go on a good playoff run.”

dcampbell@buckscountyherald.com

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