POTTSTOWN >> For 30 seconds, football became secondary.
For 30 seconds, Pottstown’s ‘Backyard Brawl’ with Pottsgrove — an eventual 48-8 loss — was all about Marvin Pearson.
Pearson, who started to lose his vision in second grade before fully losing sight near the age of 10, provided the excitement in an otherwise deflating Homecoming loss for Pottstown, taking a quarterback keeper 68-yards up the gut for a touchdown in the waning moments of the fourth quarter.
It was Pearson’s first-ever varsity touchdown.
“It’s an exhilarating feeling being able to run, that’s what I love to do,” Pearson said, standing next to his “play-by-play analyst” Zack Griffin. “As disappointing as this loss was, I was happy to get a chance to prove that I do have skills despite the fact that I can’t see.
“It’s probably obvious that the other team didn’t go as hard as they should have but I guess it’s due to respect that I’m probably one of the only blind players in the country — if not the world — playing football right now.”
For Pottsgrove (2-0 PAC, 4-2 overall), there was plenty of respect for Pearson, a senior running back that returned to Pottstown after spending three years at the Overbrook School for the Blind.
“That was a special moment for him,” Pottsgrove’s Ryan Finn said. “Coach Pennypacker told us that it’s more than a game, and that really put it in perspective. It was great seeing him score.”
“I knew Marvin a little bit because I’m from Pottstown,” added junior Ephraim Hurt-Ramsey. “That was a special moment for us and a special moment for him.”
Despite Pearson’s run, the game was all Pottsgrove. The Falcons built a 21-0 lead within the first four minutes of the game, two scoop-and-scores by Hurt-Ramsey and Adam Girafalco complementing Rahsul Faison’s opening 6-yard touchdown run.
Faison finished with a team-high 63 yards rushing on 11 carries. The junior also finished with a receiving touchdown, his 37-yard reception from Finn giving the Falcons a 28-0 lead two minutes into the second quarter.
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The Falcons are now outscoring opponents 114-38 in the first half.
“It was nice starting the game off strong, we always try and do that,” Finn said. “We just tried to keep the intensity right away. This was a good game for us because this one is always a rivalry with Pottstown. We just went out there and did our job.”
The touchdown was Hurt-Ramsey’s first varsity touchdown. The junior defensive lineman was at the right place at the right time in Michael Dickey’s strip sack of Pottstown quarterback Owen Morton, scooping up the ball and racing 34 yards untouched into the end zone.
“I was thinking end zone,” Hurt-Ramsey said. “As soon as I crossed I was looking for someone to celebrate with.”
Finn finished with 38 yards rushing and two touchdowns, both coming in the second quarter that expanded a 28-0 lead into a 42-0 margin with two minutes remaining in the second.
Pearson’s aforementioned touchdown run doubled the Trojans’ (0-2, 1-5) total offense up to that point. Pottstown struggled to generate anything offensively, only registering four first downs and 24 yards of total offense before the touchdown run.
“The 21 spot, that was tough to overcome, especially against a Pottsgrove team that’s well coached and does such a good job of controlling the football,” Pottstown head coach Gary Rhodenbaugh said. “Once you get down, it becomes hard. They play good defense, run the ball well. It’s hard to overcome a deficit like that.”
NOTES >> Tyler Smith recorded a fumble recovery for the Falcons. … Isaiah Taylor scored the Falcons’ final touchdown late in the fourth to make it 48-0.