GRATERFORD >> Coy about the timetable of leading receiver Justin Jaworski’s return from an MCL injury, Perkiomen Valley did its best to keep his status under wraps.
Will he back by districts? Will he back at all?
Little did anyone know outside Graterford, Jaworski’s return would be much, much sooner.
Only three weeks after sustaining what many thought at the time was a season-derailing injury, Jaworski made his comeback to the field in the Vikings’ 28-16 victory over rival Spring-Ford in a clash of two Pioneer Athletic Conference Liberty Division titans Friday night.
His six catches for 101 yards and interception highlighted the team’s double-digit victory, as the Vikings returned both linebacker Nick Marren and the area’s leading receiving the same week after much speculation surrounded his knee the past three weeks.
“The doctor said that the amount of lifting and working out I did helped me not tear anything too bad,” Jaworski said. “As soon as I got hurt and got my MRI, they told me I didn’t completely tear my MCL. Luckily I healed quickly. It was the best case scenario. I got lucky.”
It was a return nobody expected to happen so quickly after the senior receiver landed awkwardly after colliding with two members of the Haverford School secondary near the goal line in the Vikings’ Week 4 win.
Initial speculation went to the extreme, suggesting the senior suffered a torn ACL that would end his season and jeopardize his basketball season. It took a day or two to finally reveal the extent of the injury: partial MCL tear and fractured growth plate.
Recovery time? Jaworski can answer that one.
“The doctor asked me when I wanted to be back by. I said, ‘Well, there’s three weeks until we have Spring-Ford.’ I didn’t want to miss this game.”
Jaworski went right to physical therapy, rehabbing his knee five to six days a week as the Vikings rolled to victories over Owen J. Roberts and Boyertown in consecutive weeks, setting up another PAC-unbeaten clash between the Rams and the Vikings in Week 7.
Cleared on Wednesday morning and in full pads for Wednesday’s and Thursday’s practice, the Vikings’ kept his return close to the vest, going so far to have him appear on the field in shorts and a jersey while the rest of the team warmed up 40 minutes before kickoff on Friday night.
“We wanted to keep his return as quiet as possible,” first-year head coach Rob Heist said. “The doctor wanted him to practice full on Wednesday. I didn’t want him to practice in full pads but the doctor said that he wanted him to go in full pads and gauge where it is. He practiced full, felt fine. Practiced full on Thursday, felt fine. We tried to test it, have him run those little return routes that we like to do and he felt great.
“It was enormous having him back. Our team, knowing that both Justin and Nick Marren were coming back healthy this week, was just uplifting to our week of practice. We had a great week of practice. I think our kids felt confident. Last year, I thought we were too tight, too emotional, too wound up. This year we were trying to be calm, cool and collected and loose at practice. I think it translated well on the field.”
That’s inarguable after a 12-point victory which wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. Now, with the return of their leading playmaker, the Vikings are poised to run the PAC Liberty the next two weeks and compete for their second PAC title in three years.
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Seven From Week Seven
Think girls can’t play football? Yeah, think again. North Penn’s first female kicker Kelly Macnamara is going viral, not for her kicking ability but for her ability to lay the wood. Video, which can be found here, shows Macnamara decleating a Central Bucks East kick returner near the sideline during the Knights’ victory on Saturday.
“It was really cool. Every time I’d go (on Twitter) there was like the little notification 20-plus and it keeps refreshing and there’s 20 more,” Macnamara told The Reporter’s Mike Cabrey on Monday afternoon. “It’s really cool. Definitely not something I’d ever expect.”
The Knights are now 7-0 and retained their No. 1 position in the District 1 Class 6A power rankings.
Coatesville makes statement
Any thoughts about the dominant team in the Ches-Mont went away over the weekend with Coatesville’s 40-7 destruction of Downingtown East (ranked No. 5 in last week’s district power rankings) on Friday night.
The Red Raiders built a 21-0 lead in the first six minutes of play, needing only five offensive plays to do so. Aaron Young (who leads the Ches-Mont with 882 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns) ran for 125 yards and a score in the win.
Coatesville (6-1) has Avon Grove next on its schedule before an anticipated clash with Bishop Shahanan (6-1 overall) on October 21.
Owen J. Roberts’ Nick Duliakas continued his shredding of opponents’ offensive lines, finishing with 3.5 sacks in the Wildcats’ 29-0 victory over Boyertown. Duliakas now has 13.5 sacks this season.
Neshaminy stays strong
The Redskins stayed in the No. 2 spot in the district rankings with a 42-14 victory over previous district No. 4 Central Bucks South. Quarterback Mason Jones shined in the victory, throwing for four touchdowns including two to leading receiver Zach Tredway.
Neshaminy (7-0 overall) has Bensalem, Council Rock South and Pennsbury left on its schedule. None of those teams have a record greater than .500.
Methacton picks up first win
Ryan O’Toole was the catalyst behind the Warriors’ first win of the season, a 21-14 victory over Norristown on Saturday. O’Toole, a versatile senior running back/receiver, finished with 69 yards rushing and 65 yards receiving, his 26-yard touchdown pass enabling the Warriors to pick up their first victory since last year’s win over Pope John Paul II in the season’s penultimate game.
Pottsgrove shows why it’s the top dog
Any questions on who the No. 1 team in the PAC Frontier Division were answered this week with the Falcons’ 62-21 victory over previously PAC-unbeaten Upper Perkiomen. Rahsul Faison racked up 152 yards and three touchdowns in the win, which stood as the fifth time in the past 13 seasons the Falcons hung at least 60 points on Upper Perk. PJP, which lost 24-21 to Upper Merion on Saturday, needs to defeat Upper Perkiomen and Pottsgrove in subsequent weeks to take the division. PJP holds a 0-6 record against Pottsgrove and a 1-5 record against Upper Perk since the school joined the PAC in 2010.
Freshman makes impact
Upper Merion’s Taiyan Lobban highlighted the Vikings’ victory over PJP, which snapped a four-game losing streak.
Lobban, positioned along the sideline during a safe punt return, was surprised when a low-line punt went straight to him in the fourth quarter. The freshman, shocked that the ball came his way, showed the presence of mind to take it 42 yards for what ended up being the game-deciding score.
Play of the Week
David Williams’ pick-six gives Vikings two-score lead over Spring-Ford
Player of the week
Perkiomen Valley Defense >> Player? No. Players? Yes. Perkiomen Valley’s defense gets the nod after coming up huge in the team’s 28-16 victory over Spring-Ford Friday night.
Coach of the Week
Rob Heist, Perkiomen Valley >> Heist guided the Vikings’ to their second victory over the Rams in six years with 28-16 victory. The Vikings now control their own destiny with the PAC Championship three weeks away.