LOWER POTTSGROVE >> Pottsgrove put its offense squarely on the shoulders of Rahsul Faison Friday.
It was anything but a burden for the Falcons’ sleek junior running back. He was fully in his glory on the Pennypacker Field turf, running wild in the course of the Falcons’ 36-6 win over Boyertown in their Pottsgrove Stadium home opener.
Faison rang up a whopping 252 yards on 30 carries, scoring four touchdowns in the process. On a sultry night following a day when temperatures were solidly in the 90s, he and his teammates were models of conditioning on both sides of the ball.
“They (coaches) push us in practice,” Faison noted, “but it’s definitely worth it.”
On the defensive side, Pottsgrove (2-1 overall) ran roughshod over the Bears (1-2) after spotting them their lone touchdown in the closing seconds of the first quarter. The Falcons limited their guests to a combined 67 yards total offense (43 passing, 24 rushing), negating the ground-pounding threat of quarterback Jeremy Kapp by holding him to negative-11 yards.
“The coaches hold us to high standards,” said Tyler Smith, who was a force from his spot on the defensive line. “If any of us are late for practice, they make us run ‘hills’.”
Smith was in on five drops of Boyertown ballcarriers — among them takedowns of Kapp covering four and 14 yards. He also recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter that set Pottsgrove up for a clock-eating drive that, while not resulting in a score, left Boyertown with the ball 20 seconds from the game’s end at its 12.
“We knew he (Kapp) likes to scramble, “ Smith said. “So if we could pretty much keep our feet, we weren’t going to let him get outside.”
Pottsgrove’s 330 yards rushing, by comparison, was amassed by a total of eight ballcarriers. But Faison, whose TD runs alone covered 141 yards, was the most unstoppable of the Falcons who pounded the turf behind a hole-opening offensive line.
“He’s a good running back,” head coach Rick Pennypacker said of Faison, whose longest jaunt was the 77 yards he ran for a go-ahead touchdown at the 5:12 mark of the second quarter. “The thing I like about him is, he’s not afraid to put his shoulder down and run at people.
“Our offensive line took a big step tonight,” he added. “The six guys up front, and our fullback (Javon Colbert) did a tremendous job off the ball.”
The Bears struck first on their second possession, going 64 yards on eight plays. Nicholas Moccia capped the drive by going seven yards around his left end on a pitchout five seconds before the end of the first quarter, giving Boyertown a 6-0 lead it took into the second.
That lead held for only 4½ minutes, Pottsgrove capping a nine-play, 64-yard march with quarterback Ryan Finn (4-for-5, 67 yards) hitting Bailey Delp on a 24-yard toss to the left corner of the end zone. From there, Faison took over with scoring runs of 77, 33, two and 29 yards on Pottsgrove’s next four possessions.
“He wasn’t getting yards early,” Boyertown head coach George Parkinson said of Faison. “But he started getting holes and breaking yards. That was the success of their offense.
“Without seeing the film, I would say conditioning played a big part. When you get tired, your tackling technique is not as sharp. I saw our guys get tired.”
Kapp completed 4 of 10 passes for 43 yards, hooking up with Chris Berry three times for 34 of them. But he was also intercepted twice by Avery Grant and Nemehiah Collins in the first half, the “picks” factoring in a Pottsgrove touchdown that staked them to a 22-6 halftime lead.
“Unfortunately, this was a big game for us. I expected to see it be a lot closer,” Parkinson said. “But as I told the team afterward, how they handle this loss will make a big difference in the season. If they hang their heads, it will be a big loss. If they learn from their mistakes, we’ll be competitive.”
Ryan Finn again had success in the Pottsgrove passing game. He completed four of five passes for 67 yards, with a 27-yard connection to Adam Girafalco the longest.
“Ryan did a good job throwing the ball,” Pennypacker noted. “We’re trying to keep people honest.”
The Falcons’ current level of conditioning was another point of pride for him.
“I think our kids are in good shape,” Pennypacker said. “We have seven or eight kids who are playing just one side of the ball. That helps.”
NOTES >> Kapp had a big play on Boyertown’s defensive side. He recovered a Faison fumble in the end zone to briefly stop Pottsgrove’s third touchdown drive, though the Falcons got the ball back quickly with Collins intercepting at the 22 on the next play. … Finn had a conversion run to close out Pottsgrove’s first half, in addition to hitting Faison with a pass following the Falcons’ previous TD.