HORSHAM >> Koby Khan can’t remember having a game like the one he had Friday night against Hatboro-Horsham.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, kind of,” the Souderton running back said after the game. “I’m glad it happened but I’m also glad we got the win.”
Khan finished the game with 127 yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground for Big Red. It took him just 20 carries to get there. The result was a 42-27 Souderton team victory over the Hatters.
“Koby…is a bull to tackle out in the open field,” Souderton head coach Ed Gallagher said. “Once he gets any space out there I wouldn’t really want to tackle him myself. I can’t imagine what a d-back is gonna think when (Koby) is bearing down on him.”
The senior wasn’t the only one who ran well for Souderton on the night. Brandon Taragna carried the ball eight times for 129 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Joey Curatto was efficient with his carries, taking five for 34 yards.
In all, Souderton executed 51 run plays for 347 yards. Good for a 6.8 yards per carry average.
“Honestly, our offensive line did an outstanding job tonight, which opened up holes,” Gallagher said. “(All the running backs) ran hard, and they all blocked when they didn’t have the ball. It’s a very unselfish backfield. It was just a great team effort.”
The man who scored 30 points himself echoed his coach’s thoughts.
“It was definitely the line, I think,” Khan said. “They put in a lot of hard work this offseason, this season. They just helped me get what I want.”
Improvement from Hatboro
Despite the loss, Hatboro took some strides on offense Friday night. The Hatters had their highest point total of the season at 27, surpassing a previous high of 6.
“The offensive line really took some strides in the right direction this week, which I’m happy about,” Hatboro head coach Mike Kapusta said. “We were able to run the ball. Chris (Edwards) ran the ball really hard and (Adam) Suder ran the ball well…Then the connection with Chris and Brandon (Crews) was hitting because we were able to run the ball.”
Edwards was 12-of-21 on the night for 180 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. He also ran the ball 17 times for 91 yards.
“I think he’s comfortable back there in the shotgun, where he can see things in front of him and make his reads easier,” Kapusta said about his quarterback. “Back there, of course it gives you an extra set of legs as a running back and he’s a really good athlete. We can use him in both ways there.”
Crews proved to be Edwards’ main target, catching 5 balls for 106 yards and both of his TDs.
Souderton balance on offense
The running backs scored all the touchdowns for Souderton, but Big Red set the tone on offense with the passing game. Curotto hit two bombs, one to Austin Miller and the other to James Malm, on the first two drives of the game.
“If (coach) calls a play for me, I try my hardest to get in the end zone, but it’s an all-around effort from all of us,” Khan said. “We try to get it and work as a team.”
“We threw the ball pretty efficiently tonight,” Gallagher added. “Joe made a couple good reads and Austin (Miller) is a really electric receiver when he gets the ball in his hands.”
Miller may be used to making big plays, but Malm is not. The senior might be riding home on the team bus with a certain football in his bag.
“James Malm, that’s his first career catch and I couldn’t be prouder for him,” his coach said.
Thunder and lightning
While Koby Khan is listed at 6’0″ 232 lbs, and he’s all of that, his backfield mate is a bit smaller in stature. Brandon Taragna stands at just 5’10 170, but he proves to be a nice change of pace for Souderton. While Khan does his damage up the middle, Taragna found success around the end.
“Brandon is a kid that worked and paid his dues,” Gallagher said. “He was still playing JV last year as a junior and he thought he needed an opportunity. That’s a great example of a kid that when he gets his opportunity he makes the most of it.”
The senior played a huge part in Friday night’s game. He broke a 60-yard run on the first play of the second half with the score 28-21, and put the Hatters’ chances to rest with a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
With this result the teams find themselves on opposite ends of the spectrum, as Souderton sits at 3-0 and Hatboro-Horsham 0-3.
The Hatters have a de facto bye week next week because Springfield was originally on the schedule. That means they’ll have two weeks to prepare for Upper Moreland and conference play.
“We’re going into league play, so now it gets real,” Kapusta said. “We gotta look at these three games as the preseason and now we kind of have a little break to really learn from it, slow things down a little bit, do more teaching, and some other things that we know we need to do to get better.
“Now we’re looking to the new season here. It starts with a new week 1 against Upper Moreland and then Quakertown. The ultimate goal is to win the league now and that’s still attainable.”
Souderton’s schedule is quite the opposite, as they start conference play next week with known foe Pennridge.
“There’s no doubt that the intensity level is gonna go up and the excitement level is gonna go up because we’re playing our biggest rival next week,” Gallagher said. “There’s not gonna be a letdown, I’ll tell you that much.”
The Souderton players are staying up as well.
“It’s very big. We haven’t been 3-0 in ten years, so we haven’t had that momentum going into our conference play,” Khan said. “It’s very big to help us get what we need…and hopefully make the playoffs.”