"I'm not always real open to listening to him," Tommy Hose said. "But you need to accept criticism if you want to get better."
Saturday afternoon at wind-swept Harry E. Franks Stadium, Hose, rugged and always around the ball, registered seven tackles as the visiting Falcons downed Neshaminy, 7-0, and clinched an outright Suburban One League National Conference championship.
"It was a great win," Hose said. "Neshaminy was only a game behind us coming into it. We weren't interested in sharing the crown."
Next for Pennsbury, Friday night at Falcon Field, is a PIAA District 1 Class AAAA first-round matchup against West Chester Rustin, of the Ches-Mont League American Conference.
Against Neshaminy, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Hose, a second-year starter, posted three solo tackles, including a second-quarter, 7-yard sack of Hugh Hart.
"I think I have pretty good instincts," he said. "I try to read the fullback. Wherever he goes, that's where I go."
With Hose and fellow linebacker Charlie Fisher (team-high 11 tackles, including seven solos) leading the charge, the Falcons (8-2 overall, 7-0 league) held the Redskins (7-3, 5-2) to 62 yards rushing, 86 passing, and seven first downs.
Of the 5-7, 175-pound Fisher, Hose said, "He's undersized but very good. He's either making the tackle or near the tackle."
With 30 seconds left before intermission, quarterback Breon Clark faked a handoff to Hose, positioned at wingback and moving right to left, and delivered a 34-yard touchdown pass over the middle to Shawn Pepper.
"It's a waggle-seam play," Hose said. "The goal is to draw the linemen and linebackers toward me. We hadn't been having too much luck with it. This time, it worked perfectly."
In the final minute, Neshaminy advanced the ball to the Pennsbury 17. But Pepper chased down quarterback Joe Falkowski near the sideline and forced a fumble that was recovered by Sykeem Steward. Game over.
Hose, a third-year varsity member, has received letters of interest from Ohio University and Monmouth. At the Division II level, West Chester is a possible destination.
Record-setter. In Friday's 36-35 triumph at Strath Haven, Harriton's Pat Moriarty became the Central League's all-time leader in passing yardage.
With 381 yards and three scoring strikes against the Panthers, the 6-2, 180-pound senior upped his career passing total to 6,153 yards. He has 54 TD throws.
The old yardage mark (5,897) was set in 1995 by Marple Newton's Chris Gicking.
Title clash. The Inter-Ac League title will be on the line when Episcopal Academy (9-0, 4-0) visits Haverford School (7-3, 4-0) Saturday at 2 p.m.
Playoff slate. Here are the details for next weekend's playoff action:
PIAA DISTRICT 1 CLASS AAAA FIRST ROUND
No. 16 Wissahickon at No. 1 Downingtown East, 7
No. 9 Coatesville at No. 8 Unionville, 7
No. 13 Neshaminy at No. 4 Plymouth Whitemarsh, 7
No. 12 Haverford at No. 5 Central Bucks South, 7
No. 15 Downingtown West at No. 2 Ridley, 7
No. 10 Garnet Valley at No. 7 Spring-Ford, 7
No. 14 Abington at No. 3 Pennridge, 7
No. 11 West Chester Rustin at No. 6 Pennsbury, 7
PIAA DISTRICT 1 CLASS AAA QUARTERFINALS
No. 8 Strath Haven at No. 1 Pottsgrove, 7
No. 5 Springfield (Delco) at No. 4 West Chester Henderson, 7
No. 7 Upper Moreland at No. 2 Academy Park, 7
No. 6 Phoenixville at No. 3 Interboro, 7:30
CATHOLIC LEAGUE CLASS AAAA CHAMPIONSHIP
La Salle vs. St. Joseph's Prep, 1 at William Tenennt
CATHOLIC LEAGUE CLASS AAA CHAMPIONSHIP
Bonner-Prendergast vs. Archbishop Wood, 7 at Plymouth Whitemarsh
PUBLIC LEAGUE CLASS AAAA CHAMPIONSHIP
George Washington vs. Frankford, 4 at Northeast
PUBLIC LEAGUE CLASS AAA CHAMPIONSHIP
Bok vs. Simon Gratz, 1 at Northeast
PIAA DISTRICT 1-12 CLASS AA SUBREGIONAL SEMIFINALS
At Benjamin L. Johnston Memorial Stadium
Conwell-Egan vs. West Catholic, 1
Prep Charter vs. Imhotep Charter, 4
Contact Rick O'Brien at email@example.com, or @ozoneinq on Twitter. Read his blog, "The O'Zone," at www.philly.com/ozone.