After two of North Penn starters were injured in the first half and did not return, Julian White more than picked up the slack against former Suburban One League National Conference rival Neshaminy.
White ran for two scores in the fourth quarter and a third in the second overtime as the visiting Knights escaped the Redskins, 34-33, in the dramatic season opener for both squads in Langhorne.
In addition to his solid efforts as a ballcarrier, the 6-foot, 215-pound White shined at defensive end.
"I had to put my head down, do what my coaches wanted me to do," the senior said. "We kept fighting as a team at the end and did what we needed to do to come away with the win."
White, a fullback, became the go-to rusher for North Penn after tailback Shamar Edwards was injured late in the first half. On the opening kickoff, Knights linebacker Nick Intrieri went down.
North Penn had the ball first in the second OT, and White put the visitors in front with a pair of 5-yard runs. "My team needed me to make plays, and that's what I did," he said.
The Redskins immediately answered with quarterback Brody McAndrew's 10-yard run around left end. The hosts then decided to go for the win with a two-point conversion try.
But on Oleh Manzyk's right-side run, the Knights stopped him well short of the end zone and began celebrating a hard-earned road victory.
North Penn coach Dick Beck heaped praised on White, one of the team's four captains and a three-year starter, afterward.
"A kid like Julian defines our program," Beck said. "He works hard, puts it all on the line. He has all the attributes we want in a player."
The Knights overcame a terrific two-way effort by Manzyk, a running back and inside linebacker who has Division I scholarship offers from New Hampshire and St. Francis (Pa.).
Manzyk carried 12 times for 146 yards and three touchdowns. The 6-1, 205-pounder had scoring jaunts of 56 and 49 yards. Defensively, he was involved in 11 tackles, posted a third-quarter sack, and recovered a fumble in the first OT,
North Penn 0 14 0 13 0 7 – 34
Neshaminy 7 6 7 7 0 6 – 33
N: Oley Manzyk 56 yard run (Thomas Leonhauser kick)
NP: Shamar Edwards 43 run (Ayoub Cherradi kick)
NP: Jonathan Haynes 44 pass from Solomon Robinson (Cherradi kick)
N: Bobby Buchys 12 pass from Brody McAndrew (kick blocked)
N: Manzyk 49 run (pass failed)
NP: Julian White 11 run (pass failed)
NP: White 5 (Cherradi kick)
N: Manzyk 1 run (Manzy run)
NP: White 5 run (Cherradi kick)