GLENOLDEN — Interboro knocked off Penn Wood Friday night at their South Avenue home field, 32-0, and appears to have locked up a berth in the District One Class AAA playoffs that get under way next weekend.
"I would be surprised if we are not in the playoffs somewhere,' head coach Steve Lennox said after his team raised its record to 5-4 overall and 3-2 in the Del Val League. "I don't know where we would be seeded, but we should be in.'
The Bucs were ranked No. 5 in the district going into Friday night's game, the top eight teams get in.
Lennox said he was happy to see his team not give up on the season that started out 0-2, and reached 2-3 at one point.
"I like this team, we've had some ups and downs and they stayed the course,' Lennox said. "I'm pretty sure we're in the playoffs with the victory, it's a reward for them and you could see how happy and excited they were.'
Interboro will enter the playoffs without one of its top players and leaders. Senior captain Sonny Armstrong, a fireplug of a linebacker and running back broke his arm last week and had to watch Friday night's game from the sideline, where may have found a new calling as a coach.
"He's a 100 percent-er,' Lennox said. "He's just a great kid and gives you everything you've got every day ... at practice ... he's like another coach out on the field. He runs our defense, he's like a young ' mike' out on the field, makes the calls, can tell the other kids what's coming, so is a big loss for us.'
Lennox singled out sophomore Dan Mea among others for coming in and picking up the slack in Armstrong's absence on defense. "Danny Mea stepped in and stepped up and played well at inside linebacker for us,' Lennex said.
On offense Steven Phillips wore Armstrong's No. 7 to show his support for his teammate.
"Phillips, who plays fullback for him, and out of respect for him, wore his number for tonight which I thought was nice,' Lennox said.
The senior responded by scoring on a 1-yard run on the opening drive of the game and on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Pat Cashin to give the Bucs a 13-0 lead at halftime.
Cashin finished 5 of 8 for 64 yards and two touchdown passes.
Phillips had 33 yards on 10 carries. Eric Owen, with 18 carries for 94 yards and a touchdown, led Interboro. Quran Mottenon carried the ball nine times for 61 yards.
Naim Rainry, with 30 yards on nine carries, led Penn Wood (1-9, 0-5).
Interboro only threw the ball eight times and ran it 49 times. Lennox said that is the perfect balance for him.
"We try to distribute the ball, we like to control the ball, we like to control the tempo,' Lennox said. "And then take our shots in the passing game when its there and what it presents. I think [Penn Wood] started cheating a little bit, bringing guys up to stop the run and then that opened up some other things for us passing-wise.'
Lennox said he does not care who his Bucs play next week. He just likes the fact that he will have an opportunity to extend his season.
"We'll play whoever we have to play and just go from there,' Lennox said. "It's sudden death, one and done..it's fun. It's why we work so hard. We've been lifting since the end of January and we expect to be here and in this position and I hope we have some fun with it.'
For Penn Wood head coach Troy Brooks it is an end to a disappointing season. He hopes the positives of this year carry over to 2014.
"I want to develop a winning attitude,' Brooks said. "And try and get guys who do not think of them selves, to think of the team. They can't be temperamental about certain things, just things that go on in a game.'
Brooks said his team's problems Friday night were not so much talent, but how his players worked from the neck up.
"We had some things working and we just couldn't follow through on it,' Brooks said. "With the kids that we have and the experience level that they have we just have to learn from it, the kids we have coming back may understand that, they'll understand what to do.'
Armstrong was asked if he was OK with his new role standing next to coach Lennox.
"Absolutely,' Armstrong said. "I want to see us win, I like everyone on the team, hopefully we can do good in the playoffs.'
There was a crack in his voice when Armstrong was talking about the playoffs. The 5-foot-7, 190-pound captain seemed like he was still hoping he can return if the Bucs make a run in the playoffs. "I'm probably not going to be playing anymore,' Armstrong said. "But we'll see how it goes.'