Pennsbury's Zach DeMarchis says he attributes his impressive scrambling ability at quarterback to the days he played halfback for the Lower Makefield youth football squad.
"I'm used to looking for the open gaps, reading blocks, and running for yardage," the 17-year-old said.
DeMarchis carried 20 times for 168 yards and a touchdowns to spark the No. 8-seeded Falcons past 9 Central Bucks South, 17-0, in a PIAA District 1 Class 6A first-round playoff Friday night in Fairless Hills.
For the season, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound southpaw has rushed 161 times for 1,308 yards and 16 scores. He has completed 123 of 216 pasess for 1,615 and 18 TDs.
Pennsbury (9-2) will visit No. 1 seed Neshaminy (10-1) in a quarterfinal next Friday night at Harry E. Franks Stadium in Langhorne. The Redskins ousted No. 16 Spring-Ford, 42-21, in opening-round action.
In the final week of the regular season, Neshaminy rallied from a 13-point deficit to beat the turnover-prone Falcons, 21-20, on a trick play with 36 seconds remaining.
"It definitely motivavated us for this game, since we knew we would probably get a chance to play Neshaminy again if we won," DeMarchis said. "We're anxious to get a second crack at them."
Pennsbury did all of its scoring against C.B. South (7-4) in the first half, when DeMarchis carried nine times for 122 yards.
On the game's second play from scrimmage, defensive end Mike Gabora dumped Titans QB Ryan Shoch in the end zone for a safety.
On their second offensive series, the Falcons marched 80 yards on 17 plays. It was capped by DeMarchis' 6-yard toss across the middle to wideout Austin Palmer. Andrew Basalyga's conversion run made it 10-0.
Late in the second quarter, Pennsbury safety Gary Minnes picked off a pass at the C.B. South 16 and returned the ball to the 7. DeMarchis found pay dirt from there on the next play.
The Falcons defense limited the undersized Titans to minus-17 yards rushing on 21 attempts and 74 pass.
In addition to Gabora, the charge up front was led by Matt Rosso, Jared Troyano, Josh Antaruse, and Matt Lewis. Basalyga was fanked at linebacker by Ryan Knauth and Diante Wiggins.
Pennsbury, which is trying for its first district title since 2014, totaled 257 yards on the ground on 39 tries. DeMarchis connected on 10 of 22 passes at windswept Falcon field.
"I left the ball up in the air a little too much at times," said DeMarchis, an outfielder in baseball.
Central Bucks South 0 0 0 0-0
Pennsbury 10 7 0 0-17
P: Austin Palmer 6 pass from Zach DeMarchis (Andrew Basalyga run)
P: DeMarchis 7 run (Christopher Knop kick)