GRATERFORD >> Perkiomen Valley’s convincing 28-16 victory over Spring-Ford last week was a sign that the Vikings have arrived.
The journey has a long way to go, however, and for the destination to be deep in the postseason, the Vikings’ momentum machine can’t really afford to hit any potholes. Opponents with poor records, like Norristown, can be just that, especially the week after such an emotional high.
But there was no inkling of an emotional letdown at Homecoming for the undefeated Vikings. They let winless Norristown have it, ran over the potential pothole, 43-0, with David Williams’ 144 yards rushing leading the way as the Vikings (8-0 overall, 4-0 in the PAC) clinched the Liberty Division title.
PV head coach Rob Heist didn’t have to worry about a letdown because his squad has maturity.
“It’s a testament to these kids,” Heist said. “They’re goal-driven, and every week they come out focused. We have good senior leadership, and I’m proud of the way we came out.”
“Our coaches challenged us to keep our focus, and we practiced hard all week,” said PV senior linebacker Nick Marren. “They were talking this could be a trap game.”
Williams scored two touchdowns rushing and one receiving while amassing 195 yards from scrimmage. Lights-out lefty quarterback Stephen Sturm completed 14-of-22 passes for 220 yards and three scores, hitting five different receivers with multiple receptions.
Norristown, conversely, could do little offensively against a constantly improving PV defense, which produced its second shutout of the season. The Eagles (0-8, 0-4) rushed for minus yardage (-7).
“Our focus was to shut them down, clog the lanes, put them in passing situations and let our DBs play their game,” said PV senior linebacker Mario Scotese.
The Eagles did see flashes of promise from both young quarterbacks they employed, junior Izaiah Webb and sophomore Steve Depaul, and their defense showed grit by stiffening three times in the red zone to force PV field goals.
Eagles coach Jason Powel could accept those moral victories for his young team while marveling at the PV machine.
“We’ve got a resilient young bunch,” Powell said, referring to the red zone stops. “We tried to do a couple of things offensively to get things going but we couldn’t get the ball moving.
“Rob has a very good team, well-coached and they execute. I’m looking forward to watching them in the playoffs. They could make a run at it.”
On a chilly night, running the ball was a PV priority this week, Heist noted. Williams averaged 9 yards a carry. Junior Brendan Schimpf, the other starting running back, had 77 yards receiving on three catches, including a 49-yarder, and made some double-digit gains running between the tackles in the first half.
“It’s October-November football,” Heist said, “and we need to be able to throw the ball and run it effectively. We wanted to get David and Brendan going early tonight.”
The Vikings definitely got going right out of the gate, scoring on their first four possessions, three of which they started in Norristown territory thanks to stout defense and good punt returns by Sean Owens. PV led 21-0 after the first quarter.
Norristown wouldn’t get its first first down until getting two in a row in the second quarter on nice connections between Webb-to-Eleazar Hill and Webb-to-Barry White for a total of 45 yards, resulting in Norristown’s deepest penetration of the night, the PV 33.
Dependable Garrett Patla booted three field goals. PV led 30-0 at halftime but stubborn Norristown wouldn’t let the running clock occur until late in the third quarter on Williams’ 16-yard run.
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