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Spring-Ford captures first PAC-10 title since 2011

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ROYERSFORD >> Stone Scarcelle, Matt Gibson and Spring-Ford had their impending matchup with Perkiomen Valley circled on their calendar since the summer.

It was the Vikings who had helped dash the Rams’ PAC-10 hopes last season, falling them in a Week 3 clash that paved the way for a Viking title.

It was the Vikings that stood in their way to an undefeated PAC-10 and regular season finish.

It was the Vikings … that didn’t stand a chance Friday night.

Gibson ran for a game-high 187 yards on 17 carries and two scores while Scarcelle and Selwyn Simpson put the capper on a historic night as Spring-Ford topped Perkiomen Valley 28-14 to finish the regular season undefeated and capture its first PAC-10 championship since 2011.

John Strickler - The Mercury Spring-Ford quarterback #4 savors the moment as he listens to the schools alma mater with his teammates to celebrate their victory over Perk Valley and winning the PAC-10 title.

John Strickler – The Mercury
Spring-Ford quarterback #4 savors the moment as he listens to the schools alma mater with his teammates to celebrate their victory over Perk Valley and winning the PAC-10 title.

Their alma mater never sounded so sweet.

“It feels great, what other answer is there,” Spring-Ford head coach Chad Brubaker said. “This just feels great. I’m proud of my kids. They’ve earned everything they’ve gotten up to this point and now we start a new season and we’re excited about that.”

“It feels amazing,” Gibson added, filled with emotion as the Rams took in their school’s alma mater, first time as PAC-10 champions. “Our whole team had been waiting for this game since the summer. We just wanted to get back and win this game. It gives us huge momentum now that we have a home game in the playoffs. It’s huge.

“There’s been a lot of talk back and forth all week. There was a lot of hype all week so it was great to come out and get the job done.

Gibson’s running was the catalyst to an all-out ground assault with the Rams registering 350 yards on the ground. Scarcelle, who scored on the first play from scrimmage in the second half to make it 15-6, finished the game with 87 yards on two carries after nursing a foot injury that kept him out in last week’s win against Pope John Paul II. Simpson added 94 yards, capping off the scoring with a 35-yard touchdown run in the fourth, and securing a home game for the Rams in the first round of the District 1-AAAA playoffs against a team yet to be determined.

All of that was a credit to a Herculean effort from the Rams’ offensive line.

“The offensive line did a tremendous job tonight,” Brubaker said. “We told them and the defensive line before the game tonight that it was in their shoulders. They both came through when we needed them.”

“Our offensive line stepped up huge tonight,” Gibson said. “There were holes every time I ran the ball. All my runs are a credit to them.”

Perkiomen Valley junior quarterback Stephen Sturm finished the game with 298 yards, completing 32 of his 55 pass attempts in the loss. David Williams hauled in 11 passes for 113 yards while Justin Jaworski added nine receptions for 97 yards but the Viking offense couldn’t generate much throughout the night, turning the ball over on downs after lengthy drives three times before Sturm’s interception to Nick Crawford early in the fourth sent the Viking fans out to escape the impending traffic.

“We knew they were going to get their yards and I’m sure they out-gained us but we were going to bend and not break,” Brubaker said. “We dug in when it counted on third and fourth down and stepped up when we needed to. I can’t say enough about our defense. There were a lot of good individual efforts tonight and a lot of kids who made plays.”

John Strickler - The Mercury Spring-Ford's #72 leads the Rams off the field after defeating Perk Valley 28-14 to win the PAC-10 football title.

John Strickler – The Mercury
Spring-Ford’s #72 leads the Rams off the field after defeating Perk Valley 28-14 to win the PAC-10 football title.

The loss ended the Vikings’ quest for a PAC-10 repeat and will also send them down a few spots in the District 1-AAAA rankings, forcing the team to hit the road for the first round of the district playoffs.

“I’m proud of our kids,” Perkiomen Valley head coach Scott Reed said. “I think my kids gave maximum effort tonight. We just came up short. My congratulations to Chad Brubaker, his staff and his kids. I think they have a really good football team and I wish them the best in the playoffs. I hope they represent our league well and were able to do the same.”

The Vikings seemed destined for a better performance as Sturm connected with Jaworski for an 18-yard score with 4:06 left in the first.

The Rams took no time to answer. Gibson took a handoff from senior quarterback Ricky Venuto and scampered 47 yards for the score on a run that put the Viking defense on skates.

Defenses took over the rest of the half, PV’s forcing two punts with the Rams forcing the Vikings to turn it over on downs after a 12-play, 71-yard drive.

From there, it was all Spring-Ford.

Scarcelle made his presence felt on the opening play of the third quarter, taking the snap in the wildcat formation before breaking a few tackles and finding the edge en route to an 80-yard touchdown run that made it 15-9 after Bryce Dorsey’s two-point conversion run.

“We talked about it at halftime, we were getting the surface level that we wanted and we put them into situations where they had to make decisions,” Brubaker said. “In their 3-3 defense they like to stay balanced but we put them in situations where they had to make a choice and we called the right play there. Chad Strickler, who coordinates our run game, thought we had it and he did a great job.”

After the Rams’ defense came away with another fourth down stop on the team’s next possession, the Rams added some cushion, Gibson exploding up the middle before finding daylight for a 29-yard touchdown run that made it 21-6 with 3:28 remaining in the third. Simpson added a 35-yard run to make it 28-6 with 1:55 remaining before Sturm capped off the scoring with a 23-yard keeper.

John Strickler - The Mercury Rams #12 sprints around the end and stiff arms Perk Valley's 25 as he score a touchdown on the first play of the second half.

John Strickler – The Mercury
Rams #12 sprints around the end and stiff arms Perk Valley’s 25 as he score a touchdown on the first play of the second half.

Just too little, too late.

“This game has been in the back of our heads all year, obviously because of last season,” Scarcelle said. “We just wanted to come out on top so badly. Scout team worked hard all week. Offense and defense worked hard all week. It was just a total team win.”

NOTES >> Venuto finished the game with 32 passing yards on only nine attempts. … Ronnie Arch led the Vikings with 42 rushing yards. … Sean Owens added six receptions for 69 yards. … The Rams registered three sacks in the win, Steven Rice, Tanner Romano and Joe Campbell all had one.

Results

Team1234T
Perkiomen Valley600814
Spring-Ford7014728

Details

Date Time League Season
November 6, 2015 7:00 pm PAC 2015

Perkiomen Valley

Player Comp Att Yds TD Int. Rush Att. Rush Yds Rush TD Rec Rec Yds Rec. TD Sacks Def. Int
Stephen Sturm3255298111237100000
Justin Jaworski000001-70997100
Aaron Morton0000000018000
Sean Owens00000000669000
Ronnie Arch0000011420653000
TJ Foley0000000000010
Total3255298112472122227110

Spring-Ford

Player Comp Att Yds TD Int. Rush Att. Rush Yds Rush TD Rec Rec Yds Rec. TD Sacks Def. Int
Ricky Venuto4932004-7000000
Matt Gibson00000171872111000
Stone Scarcelle000002871110000
Quinn McKenna0000000016000
Selwyn Simpson000001194100000
Nick Crawford0000000000001
Steven Rice0000000000010
Tanner Romano0000000000010
Lee Albert0000000015000
Joe Campbell0000000000010
Team000001-11000000
Total493200353504432031

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