Sophomore Khalani Eaton ran for 283 yards and two touchdowns.
Seniors Evan Spann and R.J. Macnamara each ran for two touchdowns.
Senior Kenneth Grandy burst free for a pair of big-play touchdowns.
But North Penn coach Dick Beck knew where to direct the most credit for his team’s 55-34 victory over Neshaminy on Friday night in a season-opening clash of District 1 Class 6A rivals.
“Our offensive line was fantastic,” Beck said. “Khalani is special, but he wasn’t alone.”
It was a wild game that kicked off the long season before a large crowd at Crawford Stadium on North Penn’s campus in Lansdale.
The teams exchanged big plays like heavyweights trading haymakers in the middle of a ring before North Penn, which was 13-1 and reached the District 1 championship game last season, finally put the game away in the fourth quarter.
“I thought we tightened up defensively in the fourth quarter,” Beck said. “That was good to see, that we improved. We struggled on defense for much of the game.”
Neshaminy senior quarterback Brody McAndrew, a New Hampshire recruit, was 8-for-18 passing for 265 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for a score and made several tackles from his safety position.
"Their quarterback is awesome,” Beck said of McAndrew.
Neshaminy senior wide receiver Ian Sheehan caught five passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns. Junior Chris James ran for 136 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries for Neshaminy.
“For his size, he’s as tough as they come,” Beck said of the 5-7, 157-pound James.
North Penn finally seized command thanks to strong work by its offensive line, which created lots of running room for Eaton as well as Spann and Macnamara and appeared to wear down Neshaminy’s inexperienced defense later in the game.
“Our offensive line was awesome,” Macnamara said.
Eaton showed burst, vision and the ability to run through arm tackles. He scored on a 15-yard run in the third quarter and sealed the deal for the Knights with a 65-yard romp into the end zone in the fourth quarter.
Spann scored on a pair of runs in the first half and also caught a two-point conversion pass from quarterback Kolby Barrow, who played well in his first start.
“I was really happy with Kolby," Beck said.
Macnamara also ran for a pair of scores, both in the second half.
Grandy was the Knights’ big-play man in the first half. He took a perfect pass from Barrow 69 yards for a score, then returned a kickoff 99 yards for another touchdown minutes later in the second quarter.
“We played better than I thought we would,” Macnamara said. “It was a great start for us.”
Neshaminy 7 13 7 7 -- 34
North Penn 7 20 13 15 -- 55
Ne: Chris James 13 run (Jack Hughes kick)
NP: Evan Spann 11 run (Daniel Moon kick)
NP: Spann 5 run (kick fail)
NP: Kenneth Grandy 69 pass from Kolby Barrow (Moon kick)
Ne-Ian Sheehan 40 pass from Brody McAndrew (kick fail)
NP: Grandy 99 kickoff return (Moon kick)
Ne: Mason Femi 27 pass from McAndrew (Hughes kick)
NP: RJ Macnamara 6 run (kick fail)
Ne: McAndrew 2 run (Hughes kick)
NP: Khalani Eaton 15 run (Moon kick)
Ne: Sheehan 80 pass from McAndrew (Hughes kick)
NP: Macnamara 2 run (Spann pass from Barrow)