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Fast starts keys Owen J. Roberts’ 41-13 victory over Pottstown

POTTSTOWN >> Tuesday afternoon’s practice offered little insight to the success of Owen J. Roberts halfback pass.

So did every practice for that fact … because it never worked.

Well, at least until it mattered.

OJR's Mitch Bradford hauls in a pass during the first half. (Kevin Hoffman - The Mercury)

OJR’s Mitch Bradford hauls in a pass during the first half. (Kevin Hoffman – The Mercury)

Mitch Bradford’s 53-yard heave to CJ Weaver on the jet-sweep pass pulled the pin on an explosive start for OJR as the Wildcats built a commanding 20-0 first-quarter lead before coming away with a 41-13 victory over Pottstown on Thanksgiving Day.

“It’s awesome,” Bradford said. “On Wednesday we told the seniors that this was going to be our last game, maybe ever. To go out like this, it was a good way to end our careers.”

It’s the third-straight season that the Thanksgiving Day trophy returns to Bucktown and the first Turkey Day victory for first-year head coach Rich Kolka, who was doused with a Gatorade bath in the waning moments Thursday.
Dawson Stuart finished the game 9-of-12 passing for 124 yards and three touchdowns while Weaver finished the game with 108 yards on five receptions and two scores.

His first reception was one of the biggest.

Following an illegal man downfield penalty that gave the Wildcats a second and long on the team’s opening drive, OJR pulled out the tricks, motioning Bradford from the slot where he took the handoff and launched a strike to the streaking Weaver who pulled it in before getting knocked down at the 9.

Bryce Weeks (5 carries, 77 yards) made the play pay off as he found the end zone from 14 yards out (false start penalty pushed OJR back) to key a dominant first quarter, seeing the Wildcats (5-4 PAC-10, 6-6 overall) put up 20 points in the first 10 minutes, capped by a sensational grab from Bradford in the quarter of the end zone off a Stuart pass.

OJR's Bryce Weeks stiff arms Pottstown's Brandon Tinson in second half action. (Kevin Hoffman - The Mercury)

OJR’s Bryce Weeks stiff arms Pottstown’s Brandon Tinson in second half action. (Kevin Hoffman – The Mercury)

“We were thinking we were going to get it today and we did right off the bat,” Bradford said of the halfback pass. “That was huge and gave us a lot of momentum right at the start. We got it inside the 10 and then punched it in right after.

“It was part of our goal to get off to a quick start,” Kolka said. “We thought that they did some things defensively not honoring our pass game that we could take advantage of, and do so early. When you execute things you practice, it makes a difference.”

Pottstown made a game of it in the second, trimming to the lead to 20-13 midway through the quarter, but turnovers and the elimination of Brandon Tinson as a running threat spelled doom for the Trojans, which finished with 221 total yards of offense (51 in the second half) and six fumbles (two lost), one of which was returned for a touchdown on the opening play of the second half by Bill Scherfel, the third generation of Scherfel to play in the Thanksgiving Day game.

“We gameplanned for Tinson all week because we know he’s a great runner,” Scherfel said. “That was our gameplan, to shut him down. Scoring that touchdown was a great way to start the second half and it got the momentum on our side.”

“We didn’t play well to start the game,” head coach Don Grindstead said. “We go down 20-0 and we did a nice job of trying to dig ourselves out of that in the second quarter but the fumble to start the second half kills you. We just made too many mistakes.”

Tinson finished the game with a season-low one yard on the ground on 13 carries before getting knocked out of the game in the fourth from a horse collar tackle, his team already down 41-13 after Rayquan Stewart’s 23-yard touchdown put the game out of reach. Bryant Wise, also leaving due to injury late, finished with 80 yards rushing and a score while Isaiah Mayes added 74 yards on 15 carries in Grinstead’s last game at the helm of the Trojans. Under his guidance, Pottstown (5-4 PAC-10, 7-5 overall) finished with the most wins since 2002, earning their first District 1-AAA berth in 13 years.

Pottstown's Brandon Tinson breaks through the OJR defense and is tackled by Owen J. Roberts' Ted Bradford. (Kevin Hoffman - The Mercury)

Pottstown’s Brandon Tinson breaks through the OJR defense and is tackled by Owen J. Roberts’ Ted Bradford. (Kevin Hoffman – The Mercury)

“There was a lot of change that needed to happen,” Grinstead said. “I’m glad that we did it but I wish I would be here to see it all the way through. That hurts. It hurts leaving here, it hurts leaving the kids, I love them so much.

“I wish it was faster but I feel like we’re still a year away. If we do the right thing administration-wise and hire the right coach, they’re still going to be where they need to be next year. We have some qualified guys on our coaching staff that deserve the opportunity to be head coach.”

NOTES >> Conor Mitchell finished the game with two sacks for OJR with Christian Krumenacker tallying one and Scherfel and Vincent Hunt 0.5. Stewart finished the game with 58 yards rushing on nine carries. … Tinson finished the game with 91 yards passing. Ernest McCavlin had a season-high 75 yards receiving in the loss.


Owen J. Roberts20714041


Date Time League Season
November 26, 2015 10:00 am PAC 2015

Owen J. Roberts

# Player Position Comp Att Yds TD Int. Rush Att. Rush Yds Rush TD Rec Rec Yds Rec. TD Sacks Def. Int XPM XPA FGM FGA Longest
2Matthew DinnocentiKicker000000000000056000
6Mitch BradfordQuarterback125300528025410000000
11Conor MitchellDefensive Back000000000002000000
14Dawson StuartLinebacker912124303400000000000
16Adam PinelliDefensive Back0000082000000000000
25Anthony BuehlerDefensive Back0000000021300000000
26Rayquon StewartDefensive Back0000095811200000000
29Bryce WeeksDefensive End0000057710000000000
33Bill ScherfelFullback000000000000.5000000
50Christian KrumenackerLinebacker000000000001000000
57Vinny HuntDefensive Line000000000000.5000000
85Jake UmsteadLinebacker000001300000000000
47CJ WeaverDefensive Back00000000510820000000
 Total 1014177303119021017734056000


# Player Position Comp Att Yds TD Int. Rush Att. Rush Yds Rush TD Rec Rec Yds Rec. TD Sacks Def. Int XPM XPA FGM FGA Longest
3Brandon TinsonDefensive Back38910013100000000000
5Bryant WiseLinebacker00000880111600000000
6Owen MortonDefensive Line139002-700000000000
21Logan PennypackerKicker000000000000012010
23Anthony WigginsLinebacker000007-400000000000
32Isaiah MayesLinebacker00000157411900000000
44Ernest McCalvinNose Tackle0000000027500000000
 Total 41110000451442410000012010



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