Shawn Pepper's stint as Pennsbury's starting quarterback didn't last long.
In last year's season opener, a 24-0 loss to visiting Easton, the athletic playmaker suffered a broken foot. After sitting out three weeks, he served mostly at outside linebacker for the Falcons.
Pepper did get occasional touches. In a District 1 Class AAAA first-round playoff vs. Suburban One League National Conference rival Abington, he helped spark a 35-24 win by returning a second-quarter kickoff 85 yards for a score.
Though Pepper earned second-team all-conference honors at linebacker in 2011, his full-time role for Pennsbury this season is on offense. He is a breakaway threat, in the squad's wing-T attack, at running back.
Monday night, in a National Conference game postponed three days because of a skin-infection outbreak at Council Rock South, Pepper turned 10 carries into a career-high 214 yards and scored three touchdowns as the host Falcons easily downed the Golden Hawks, 28-7.
"I thought he could do exactly what he's doing," Pennsbury coach Galen Snyder said afterward. "He's a tremendous athlete. He can do a little bit of everything."
In the second quarter, Pepper slipped out of the backfield, broke free across the middle, and hauled in a 49-yard TD pass from sophomore Breon Clark.
"That play gets a lot of teams because they're not expecting it," Pepper said. "I scored on the same play against Downingtown East, and almost did against Truman. It's usually wide-open."
On the Falcons' next possession, on a crisscross reverse, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior took a handoff from fellow halfback Charles Snorweah and raced 85 yards to the end zone. The play, however, was wiped out because of a holding penalty.
"It was frustrating, but other than that, the offensive line did great," Pepper said. "So you can't be too mad."
In the third quarter, Pepper capped a nine-play, 66-yard drive with a 1-yard TD run. Later in the period, his 74-yard jaunt put the hosts in front, 28-0.
"We've seen that from him before," Snyder said. "He just had to get healthy."
Pepper is the fourth in his family to make a big impact at Pennsbury. Brother Dalton scored 2,207 career points in hoops from 2006 to 2009; brother Brandon, at QB, rushed for 1,205 yards and 18 TDs in 2010; and the boys' father, Jack, netted 1,505 points from 1978 to 1980.
"Growing up, it was real competitive at home," said Shawn Pepper, a starting swingman in basketball.
Dalton Pepper, after playing two years at West Virginia, is preparing for his first season at Temple; Brandon Pepper is a freshman defensive back for West Chester.
For football, Shawn Pepper, of Levittown, is hearing from Division I-A (Temple, Connecticut, Pittsburgh) and I-AA (Delaware, Robert Morris) programs.
Extra points. Against C.R. South, which was led by Tyler Anderson's 185 rushing yards, Pennsbury linebacker Tommy Hose notched six tackles, including four solos. Next in line for the Falcons were end Chad Hensor (five tackles, three solos) and safety Brendan Campbell (five solos). . . . For Interboro, running back Warren Allen has carried 68 times for 478 yards and nine touchdowns. Teammate Nick Rentos has completed 29 of 61 passes for 617 yards and five TDs. . . . Central Bucks West senior kicker Nick Danilo, who hit four field goals and 10 PATs in the first three weeks, is out for the season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament and sprained medial collateral ligament in soccer. . . . Council Rock North freshman QB Brandon McIlwain has connected on 58 of 121 passes for 704 yards and five TDs. He also has rushed 89 times for 373 yards and six TDs.