BUCKINGHAM >> It wasn't hard to spot the turning point for the Pennsbury High football team in its win over undefeated Central Bucks East on Sept. 14 that it hopes has also turned around its season.
After an offensive performance in a scoreless first half that can best be described as anemic, Pennsbury inserted Drew Hensor into the game as a running back.
When it did, everything changed and the result was a much needed 21-14 road victory. With the victory, Pennsbury is now exactly in the same position as it was last year when it also lost its first three games before beating Central Bucks East to get off the schneid and later advance to the playoffs
Although there was no reason to think this would be easy against a Central Bucks East team (3-1) playing on its home field, watching Pennsbury's offense in the first half was painful.
In addition to more damaging penalties, there were two interceptions on passes that were thrown up for grabs. Pennsbury did manage to have a first down at the Patriot 4 yard line late in the first half, but as it has so many times this year, it went nowhere in the red zone.
Even worse, it then had a short field goal blocked.
At the start of the third quarter Pennsbury brought in Hensor at running back. The team's quarterback the previous three games, his presence immediately ignited the ground game.
Hensor's first five carries went for 5, 17, 11, 8 and 12 yards, and before the Patriots knew what had him them Hensor scored on a 9-yard run.
It looked like the Pennsbury 7-0 lead might hold up, but after playing brilliantly for the first three quarters, the Pennsbury defense suddenly collapsed. As a result, East was able to tie the game with 5:49 remaining when Anthony Cassidy caught a 49-yard TD pass from Anthony Giordano.
New Falcon quarterback C.J. Kohler was able to complete 10 of 20 passes for 131 yards and one them was a huge one as he hooked up with a wide-open Josh Boyda on a 43-yard scoring strike over the middle to put Pennsbury back ahead with 2:32 to go.
Amazingly, Pennsbury's defense then collapsed again and in short order C.B. East once again drew even on a nice catch by Will Silverman on a 24-yard pass by Giordano in the front corner of the end zone.
It looked like overtime was certainly in the works at this point. Certain, that is, until Pennsbury again decided to give the ball back to Hensor. He responded by ripping off a pair of 20-yard runs before scoring the game-winning touchdown with :28 remaining on a 9-yard run.
Go figure. That's 28 points for the two offenses in the last six minutes after spending most of the game unable to get out of their own way.
After mysteriously getting no touches in the first half, Hensor finished with 145 yards on 15 carries and the two touchdowns.
"We just have to take it one game at a time,'' replied Hensor when asked about his team possibly putting together a winning streak. We can't overlook anybody.''
He's certainly accurate with that last statement.
Pennsbury has a physical defense that can really get after it and a big offensive line. It could also easily be at least 3-1 instead of 1-3.
With this group, however, you get the sense you just never know what's going to happen next. Stay tuned for what can still be a pretty good, albeit bumpy, ride.
Pennsbury (1-3) 0 0 7 14 - 21
Central Bucks East (3-1) 0 0 0 14 - 14
P-Hensor 9 run (Burgfecthtel kick)
CBE-Cassidy 49 pass from Giordano (Smigley kick)
P-Boyda 43 pass from Kohler (Burgfechtel kick)
CBE-Silverman 24 pass from Giordano (Smigley kick)
P-Hensor 9 run (Burgfecthel kick)