He’s spent years learning from his father, watching great offensive talent churn out at Villanova.
That’s the gift one receives when your father is one of the most renowned offensive coordinators in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Now, for first-year Spring-Ford starting quarterback Ricky Venuto, it’s his time to show what he’s learned.
Venuto brings his undefeated Rams into the ultimate decider for the Pioneer Athletic Conference championship, a date with undefeated Perkiomen Valley with title and district implications at stake.
“Obviously this game is huge,” Venuto said. “State College was a huge game and we won that game so we’re just trying to funnel all the momentum from this season into this game. I’m not trying to worry about being too nervous for it, but it’s human nature to be nervous for a game like this.”
In a game of this magnitude, who wouldn’t be?
Don’t let pregame jitters fool you, however. Venuto is as ready as can be.
He’s seen it all before.
Credit that to his long lineage of gridiron glory.
“Football has always been around for me,” Venuto said. “Whenever I go to Villanova games, my dad has some quarterbacks that I watch. They play big in the big games so I learned that a good quarterback plays big in the big games. I’m just trying to learn from those guys. My dad has done a good job teaching me how to lead.”
Venuto is the latest making waves in a storied family history. His grandfather, Sam, went on to play for the Washington Redskins after an illustrious career at Gilford College.
His father, Sam, played at Delaware and is now one of the most respected coaches in the FCS in his 17th season as the offensive coordinator at Villanova.
His uncle Jay played for the Baltimore Colts, his cousins’ Garrett and Chase play for Penn State and Brockport, respectively.
Now, it’s him who’s adding a gold star to an already star-studded family resume.
Venuto’s first-year as the primary signal caller has become one filled with many positives. He’s first in the area in quarterback rating (201.1), second in passing yards (1,626) and has thrown for 23 touchdowns to one interception.
His efforts in two critical PAC-10 games earlier this season were admirable. He recorded two of his 200-yard passing performances in showdowns against Pottsgrove (6-2 PAC-10) and Pottstown (5-2), throwing for 521 combined yards in two Rams’ wins.
“I think he’s had an excellent senior year,” Perkiomen Valley head coach Scott Reed said of Venuto. “They’re a lot like us. The receivers have made plays for him, he’s made plays for them. Their O-line does a nice job.
“It instills confidence when all these different facets are doing well. He’s a product of all his guys doing well and they’re a product of him having a great senior year.”
His team, meanwhile, has taken off, rolling to its first 8-0 PAC-10 start since the Rams won the title in 2011, setting up a showdown with Perkiomen Valley and the quarterback that has been neck and neck with him on the stat sheet, junior Stephen Sturm.
For Venuto, it’s great to end the PAC-10 season dueling with another top quarterback.
“He’s a great player,” Venuto said of Sturm. “I’ve watched him at a couple of his games and he throws the ball really well. He’s smart. It’s cool being able to play him in such a huge game like this because he’s a good player.”
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