BLOSSBURG - Coming into North Penn's Friday night game against Canton, North Penn's running back Bryce Zaparzynski had 31 carries for 269 yards and 5 touchdowns, a pretty good stat line in two games, but he surpassed that in one game Friday night.
Zaparzynski had 42 carries and 277 yards with two touchdowns in North Penn's 26-21 win over Canton. His two touchdowns came on runs of 65 yards and 14 yards.
Zaparzynski got carry after carry after carry, wearing down the defense all night. But the speedy junior kept getting into the open field and made Canton defenders miss. He never overpowered anyone, he just ran fast and with a purpose.
The game started with both offenses in a Chip Kelly-type hurry up, no huddle offense, but both teams looked nothing like a high-powered offense. Each team came out fast but sloppy, with three-and-outs before North Penn had back-to-back turnovers. The second turnover was an interception by Canton's Tim Bassett, who stepped in front of a North Penn receiver and raced into the end zone for a 35-yard touchdown return.
North Penn recovered, with quarterback Bo Burleigh hitting Devin Remley for two touchdowns and an 18-15 halftime lead.
Possibly the biggest play of the game didn't come from defense or offense, it was a forced fumble on special teams. North Penn had just gone three and out at their own 25 yard line with 2:30 to go in the game. North Penn punted to the Canton 45, and Ryan Turner came sprinting down the field and laid a hit on the Canton return man and out came the ball. Turner also recovered the ball at the 40-yard line.
Burleigh started out the game 0-for-8 with an interception, but once the ground game got going he got going and beat a Canton defense putting 10 men up close.
Tim Bassett was the star of the game for Canton. He had the pick six on defense and he rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown on offense. On the first drive of the third quarter Bassett rushed for 46 yards and it looked like Canton was going to take the lead. But a fumble at the 20-yard line ended that drive.