Neshaminy 31 – North Penn 7
Redskins prevail over Knights
beautiful day that was brilliantly lit by an October sun, the playing
field of Harry E. Franks Stadium was transformed into
nothing less than a Wild West town main street. And although
the image that comes to mind is that of a dirt raw,
wind-swept avenue with frightened townsfolk as its only
spectators, the reality was a packed house of screaming fans
at Heartbreak Ridge. Peering down at the rich green of the
grass that served as the OK Corral for Neshaminy and North
Penn, the story as here recalled unfolded before them. But
not just a football game was played out for those in
attendance, instead, it was the metaphor for all the great
stories of courage and struggle - westerns or otherwise -
that have been told and celebrated.
plot line ordained by time, this story too had a beginning,
middle and end. While for its protagonist, and not unlike
the heroes of all tales such as this who are still nursing
the “winging” bullet wound of the week before, standing tall
at high noon and raising Colt 45s with the latest gunslinger
bent on dominance was the only choice to be made. And
notwithstanding the plaintiff pleas to the contrary of
family, friends and good sense - that was truly the only
in place, with the contest swiftly underway, the sound of
two gunshots still ringing in ears provided compelling
testimony as to what had just occurred. And just as quickly,
the gun smoke drifting from now hot barrels became the only
movement that captured the gaze; otherwise the deafening
silence overwhelmed the senses. The hanging suspense was to
be ended only by the thud of a body.
was one - just one that remained upright with that October
sun dancing off squinting eyes; however, this time the name
that belonged wasn’t Wayne, Cooper, Stewart or Eastwood but
Kinney, Ulmer, Renson, Steinberg, Martell, Capanna and on
and on. And reholstering those weapons for now, it was
Neshaminy that earned this week’s notch; it was Neshaminy
that kicked the dust from its boots and walked away as the
real story of this week’s game is revealed. For while its
outcome was determined by much more than the performance of
a single deed it was still, at its essence, not at all the
story of a team that quit and slipped away quietly into the
blackness of defeat. No, not that at all. Rather, it was -
and will always be - the story of a team that although
knocked to the canvas, got up on its feet and back into the
you are this week’s champion.
game to remember
LANGHORNE: Although not normally called
upon to write play-by-play or “recaps”, Bob’s request was
impossible to turn down. And after sitting “in the box” for
48 minutes on Saturday afternoon, I couldn’t be happier I
took on the assignment. In fact, it really is an honor to be
reporting to you that the game I watched featuring these two
great teams and programs – Neshaminy and North Penn – will
long be recalled as one of the best ever waged by the
Redskins on that hallowed ground called Heartbreak Ridge.
Featuring the 6-1 Tribe and the 7-0
Knights, this contest lacked for nothing. Whether it be
running, passing, defensive hits, offensive breakaways or
special teams’ efforts, it was all on display. No doubt,
from the opening kickoff the crowd was riveted. And speaking
of opening kickoffs, it was the ‘Skins who received first
and immediately stitched together a textbook 80-yard drive
for a touchdown. Highlighted by a 35-yard pass from Justin
Kinney to Kevin Steinberg and the one-yard line, it was Jason
Ulmer who then took it across. Following North Penn’s muffed
handling of its first series, a short punt then put
Neshaminy at the Knights 42. Driving to the 2, they were
stopped short and opted for the field goal. Up 10-0, the
quarter closed out all Redskins
The second quarter then seemed a total
reversal of the first as North Penn gobbled up almost the
first nine minutes as they engineered a methodical 16-play
drive that resulted in their first – and only – score of the
game. With Neshaminy then receiving the ball and running out
of gas after a few first downs, the visitors started on
their own 10 with just over two minutes remaining. Moving
out of that hole, and with 23 seconds on the clock, they
were set up at around their own 25 on 2nd down and appeared
to be moving.
Friends - circle that 23 seconds on the
clock. Circle Neshaminy’s number 7. Circle Justin Kinney as
he came up with a big, big, big interception of a North Penn
pass at the Redskin 41. And not content to take a knee,
Kinney created his own personal Great Neshaminy Moment as he
returned it 59-yards for the score while he left at least 8
would be tacklers grabbing nothing but air. A BIG PLAY – a
big momentum shifter. Neshaminy 17, North Penn 7 at the
With North Penn receiving to start the
second-half, they moved the ball well before running into a
critical fourth and two at Neshaminy’s 42-yard line. Going
for it, they were stopped cold by a Neshaminy defense that
is growing into greatness. The ‘Skins took over and on a few
plays bobbed and weaved to the North Penn 41. The next call
was a Kinney to Gary Renson air-strike for 35 yards and a
first down at the Knights’ 6-yard line. Two plays later it
was Kinney who dove across for his second score. The PAT was
good and Neshaminy then lead 24-7. And although I hate to
sound redundant, North Penn then received the kickoff;
started on their way and, yet again, came to a screeching
halt on another Neshaminy interception by Bob Reece.
Rolling into the fourth, Neshaminy’s
pressure began to take its toll as North Penn was going
nowhere in a hurry. The desperation becoming obvious, with 8
minutes left on the clock the Knights were forced to go for
it on fourth and twelve from their OWN 40-yard line. But
instead of a first, they fumbled and Neshaminy recovered on
the North Penn 33. From there it was a mix of the usual
suspects that powered the ball all the way into the end zone
with Ulmer taking it the last one-yard. With Seth Jeffries
just not missing, the ‘Skins jumped out to an insurmountable
31-7 lead with 5 minutes on the clock which is the way it
Game – and congratulations - to the
Videos provided by Matt Bartolacci
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Justin Kinney's pass to Kevin Steinberg takes the 'Skins to the 1-yard line and then Kinney picks off a NP pass and takes in home.
* Note how a
very happy Jason Ulmer congratulates Justin Kinney with a
ground shaking bear hug!!
By KEVIN COONEY
They were the last two members of the Neshaminy
traveling party left in the stadium at Central Bucks
South last Friday night.
And with the lights being turned out all around them,
Mark Schmidt put his arm around a clearly agitated
Justin Kinney's shoulder to get a message across to his
“I felt like that I was the one who let the team down,”
said Kinney, a senior who has watched his two older
brothers, twins Jarred and Jason, go through the
Neshaminy program. “But he wanted me to remember this
feeling and build from it because there was an awful lot
of season left and we could still do great things.”
Kinney remembered this story while standing in the
bright sunlight at Heartbreak Ridge, just moments after
Schmidt had placed a firm pat on those once-slumped
“The best Kinney we've ever had,” Schmidt exclaimed.
“He's something special.”
Against arguably the best team in District One — at
least coming into the game — Justin Kinney and the
Redskins had a special day.
Kinney rushed for one touchdown and provided a
back-breaking 59-yard interception return for a score as
Neshaminy demolished previously undefeated North Penn,
31-7, in a Suburban One League National Conference
showdown at Harry Franks Stadium.
“This was an incredible win for us,” said Kinney, who
was 5-for-10 for 104 yards passing on the day. “Now, we
have a chance to finish strong and maybe get a share of
the league title.”
The entire face of the National Conference and district
playoff races changed, thanks to the Redskins. Central
Bucks South now stands alone atop the heap with an 8-0
record (5-0 SOL). But the Titans still must make a trip
to Lansdale to play the Knights (7-1) on the final
Friday night of the regular season.
If North Penn wins that game and the Redskins win their
final two games (Bensalem at home, followed by a trip to
Pennsbury), there would likely be a three-way tie for
the conference title. The three also likely would be
among the top five in the District One standings heading
into the Class AAAA playoffs.
“We've given ourselves a chance,” Schmidt said. “We told
our kids that except for an undefeated season, all of
our goals were still there ahead of us to try and go
get. And we still have that chance at a league title.”
Neshaminy won this game in an astonishingly workmanlike
fashion. The Redskins seemed to neutralize North Penn's
speed and were dominant on the line, especially against
the Knights' rushing attack.
“We all were [angry] after last week's game,” said
running back Jason Ulmer, who rushed for 89 yards and
two touchdowns Saturday. “We knew that we were a better
team than that, and we couldn't allow it to happen
The turning point of a squeaky clean game — there was
one penalty all afternoon — took place late in the
second quarter. Neshaminy had built a 10-0 first-quarter
lead, but North Penn appeared to re-gain control with a
16-play, eight-minute scoring drive, capped off by Mike
Katch's 4-yard touchdown run.
But before the end of the half, North Penn quarterback
Justin Davey floated a ball intended for Jarett Brown.
The ball went over Brown's head and right into Kinney's
waiting arms. Kinney then broke through two different
groups of white North Penn jerseys and scored with 23
seconds left in the half to make it 17-7 Redskins.
“That was huge for us,” Ulmer said. “When you see what
he was able to do, it just got everybody fired up.”
The play obviously deflated North Penn.
“That was just a bad pass by our kid, and give them
credit, because they took advantage of it,” Knights
coach Dick Beck said. “They played a great game.”
Nobody knew that better than Kinney. And afterward, the
anger and hurt from last week had melted into a
full-fledged, ear-to-ear grin.
“This is the type of feeling that you work all that time
for,” Kinney said. “Now, we know that we control our
fate and we can do great things.”
Kevin Cooney can be
October 21, 2007 7:20 AM
By DOM COSENTINO
As Dick Beck saw it, North Penn was beaten by Neshaminy,
31-7, before the Knights even arrived at Harry E. Franks
Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
“I think it all started when we got on the bus today,”
said Beck, the NP football coach. “Guys are laughing — I
had to tell them three times on the bus on the way over
here to shut up.
“Everybody wants to joke around — no emotion. I would
have expected my team to play tough when things got
Instead, the previously undefeated Knights (7-1 overall,
4-1 SOL National), the No. 1-ranked Class AAAA team in
the PIAA, according to PASPORTSfever.com, were flatter
than week-old soda.
They allowed Neshaminy (7-1, 4-1 SOL National) to hit
them for an 80-yard touchdown drive on the game's first
possession. Then the Knights had a bad shotgun snap on
third down, a play that allowed the Redskins to get good
field position to extend the lead to 10-0.
And then, after they had climbed back to within 10-7, an
interception the Redskins' Justin Kinney took back 59
yards for a TD with just 23 seconds left in the first
half seemed to deflate NP completely, turning this
much-anticipated matchup of Suburban One League National
Conference powers into a rout.
Beck visibly angry in the post-game huddle, and his
words were to the point an interview immediately
“We throw that interception at the end of the half,” he
said, “and then everybody goes down hanging their heads
at halftime. No one says anything — everybody's just
sitting there, like a zombie, no emotion.
“I've told everybody, "We're not good enough not to play
hard and play tough and (not) battle guys.' We just let
them give it to us — and they gave it to us good.”
Neshaminy, by contrast, practiced all week and played on
Saturday with a fire that coach Mark Schmidt said was a
direct result of last week's loss to Central Bucks South
(8-0, 5-0 SOL National), which is now in first place in
the SOL National all by itself and which hosts NP in the
regular-season finale Nov. 2.
“We really didn't play our kind of football (against
South),” Schmidt said. “That wasn't us. We let CB South
dictate to us what they wanted to do. I think our guys,
if they bull their neck and get after it a little bit,
they can answer that challenge.”
NP came in with a plus-10 turnover margin. On Saturday,
it turned it over three times and had zero takeaways.
And the Knights were only able to rush for 109 yards on
35 carries, an average of just 3.1 yards per attempt.
On the first possession of the second half, after
driving to the Redskins' 41, NP was unable to get any
penetration to pick up a first down on a straight ahead
run by fullback Mike Katch, who scored the Knights' only
TD on a 4-yard run that concluded a 16-play,
eight-minute drive in the second quarter.
“I feel like this is a good reality check for us,” said
Tyler Smith, an NP junior running back/safety. “We
thought we were really good, but these guys came and
beat us — real bad, offensively and defensively.”
Dom Cosentino can be
reached at (215) 345-3185 or
Dom's blog at
October 21, 2007 7:00 AM
Kinney's interception, TD highlight a big win
Kinney usually displays his running skills while
quarterbacking the Neshaminy football team.
yesterday's Suburban One League National Conference
showdown against visiting North Penn, Kinney's biggest
run came as a defensive back. In dazzling fashion, he
returned a late second-quarter interception 59 yards for
a momentum-changing touchdown that helped catapult the
Redskins to a convincing, 31-7 victory over the
top-ranked Knights at Harry E. Franks Stadium.
Kinney picked off an errant pass at the Neshaminy
41-yard line and, with a wave of blockers in front of
him, somehow zig-zagged his way past a swarm of would-be
tacklers and into the end zone.
really don't know how I didn't get tackled," said
Kinney, who was playing free safety, of the score that
put Neshaminy ahead by 17-7 at halftime. "After I caught
it, I saw nothing but red-colored jerseys. The guys in
front of me did a great job."
Redskins, ranked No. 5 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by
The Inquirer, dominated the previously undefeated
Knights on both sides of the ball. Neshaminy opened the
game with a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive.
Rebounding from a 26-21 loss to fourth-ranked Central
Bucks South, the undefeated leader of the National
Conference with two games to play, Neshaminy improved to
7-1 overall and 4-1 in the league. The Knights also
stand 7-1 and 4-1.
think it all started when we got on the bus today,"
North Penn coach Dick Beck said. "The kids were joking
around, laughing. We're not good enough to not play hard
and battle guys."
5-foot-7, 180-pound Kinney completed 5-of-10 passes for
103 yards. In the third quarter, his 37-yard pass to
wideout Gary Renson, who made an incredible diving catch
along the right sideline, set up Kinney's 3-yard TD
the scoring play, which upped Neshaminy's lead to 24-7,
Kinney escaped a near-sack at the 9.
Kinney's older twin brothers, Jason and Jarred, played
football at Neshaminy. Both 2006 graduates are playing
for Temple, mostly on special teams. Jason is a wide
receiver and Jarred is a running back.
brothers taught me pretty much everything I know," said
Justin Kinney, a resident of Feasterville. "I can't say
enough about what they mean to me. I have a lot of love
Kinney's interception return for a TD was the first of
his high school career. He has two interceptions this
season and had three last year.
"Justin is a real winner," Neshaminy coach Mark Schmidt
said. "He really took [losing to C.B. South] personally.
He shouldered it a lot."
Tailback Jason Ulmer (20 carries for 88 yards) accounted
for the Redskins' other TDs, scoring from the 2 and 1.
Defensively, the Redskins were paced by linebackers Greg
Martell (eight tackles) and Dave Daino (six), end Jay
Colbert (five) and tackle Chris Gettis (five).
"Everyone out there did his job," Kinney said. "We
watched a lot of film of North Penn during the week, and
we knew what was coming."
North Penn0 7 0 0 - 7
Neshaminy10 7 7 7 - 31
Ulmer 2 run (Jeffries kick)
FG, Jeffries 19
Katch 4 run (McManus kick)
Kinney 59 interception return (Jeffries kick)
Kinney 3 run (Jeffries kick)
Ulmer 1 run (Jeffries kick)