PHOENIXVILLE >> Spurred on by a solid all-around team effort, host Phoenixville secured its first home football victory of the season with a 27-18 victory over Pottstown to help celebrate the Phantoms’ Homecoming festivities Friday night at Washington Field.
The victory also snapped a two-game losing streak by Phoenixville and enabled the Phantoms to earn their first Pioneer Athletic Conference victory of the season as well. They now stand at 3-4 overall.
The gritty Trojans once again fought hard throughout. Pottstown slipped to 0-3 in league action and 1-6 overall.
Phoenixville held a 7-0 lead after one quarter and was up 13-12 at the half. The Phantoms then added touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters while shutting out the Trojans in the third and yielding one score in the final quarter.
“It was a great win,” said Phoenixville coach Evan Breisblatt. “We had a rough game last Friday night and we could have packed it in. But the kids showed a lot more heart. Pottstown grinds it out and they played hard.”
Phoenixville’s Matt Garcia followed his blockers toward another massive night, gaining 211 yards on 25 carries with a pair of touchdowns. He opened the scoring with a 13-yard run and came back with a 20-yard rumble in the second half. Garcia’s third attempt of the evening covered 57 yards, and his first rush in the second half totaled 47 yards, which were two large reasons he was able to surpass the 200-yard plateau on a night when he himself did not even think he would achieve the mark.
Garcia eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the season last week in a setback to Pope John Paul II.
But Garcia had a lot of help Friday night on both sides of the football as well as on special teams.
Quarterback Troy Rossman passed for 90 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown to wideout Nasir Green, who made three receptions for 52 yards. Green also recovered a loose ball in the end zone on muffed punt snap for a second touchdown that gave the Phantoms a 27-12 lead with 10:39 remaining.
“It was our first win at home on Homecoming,” said Green. “I think we played well all-around.”
Nick Sinapius booted three extra point attempts for the hosts.
Defensively, Phoenixville got a huge game up front from senior defensive end Matt Branch, who registered a sack and also had two tackles for losses. Others also contributed on defense, including inside linebackers Kyle Bennick and Ricky Williams and safety Bob Strunk.
“Last week we made too many mistakes,” said Branch. “It was real tough. We made this a win by pounding those mistakes in practice and turned this into a win. And it was Homecoming, which was special. They (Trojans) came back in the fourth quarter, but at the end we got three stops and held up good.”
Pottstown utilized a good mix of running and passing for a more balanced attack than the Trojans have shown thus far this season.
Isaiah Mayes rushed for 85 yards and two touchdowns, and Larry Wingo added 80 yards rushing and one TD. Mayes put Pottstown on the scoreboard with a 4-yard run in the second quarter and capped the night’s scoring with a 7-yard run to the end zone. Wingo scored on a 5-yard run in the second quarter when the visitors sliced the Phoenixville lead to 13-12.
Pottstown’s Josiah Wiggins and Owen Morton also combined to pass for 61 yards. Jamal Adams grabbed three passes for 42 yards.
“We played really hard,” said Pottstown first-year head coach Gary Rhodenbaugh. “We did some good things tonight at times.”