ROYERSFORD >> Midway through the first quarter, quarterback TJ Pergine picked up a bad snap off the ground, settled his feet and stood tall in the pocket, then delivered a perfect strike to Dan Cassidy for a 54-yard touchdown.
The moment stood as a tribute to Spring-Ford’s resurgence, their latest bout a 58-0 win over Owen J. Roberts on Saturday afternoon at Coach McNelly Stadium. What could have spelled disaster turned out to be a thing of beauty, as the Rams have now won two-straight, outscoring the opposition 110-0.
“We definitely haven’t forgotten about the loss to PV (Perkiomen Valley),” said Pergine, referring to the Rams’ 28-16 loss two weeks ago.
“We really rebounded from it, though. We know we can’t really do anything about it now, so we’ve just stayed focused on moving forward every week.”
Pergine moved ahead of Brandon Leacraft and into fourth on Spring-Ford’s all-time list of touchdown passes thrown in a season (23). He finished with five passing touchdowns and 150 yards, completing eight of his 15 attempts.
“He’s getting better mentally each week,” said Spring-Ford head coach Chad Brubaker of Pergine, “and that’s what we’re looking for. He stands in there, he’s got a good arm and he can make the throws. That’s the most important thing for us going forward.”
The win sets up Spring-Ford (4-1 Pioneer Athletic Conference, 6-2 overall) for a cross-divisional game against Upper Perkiomen next week. Owen J. Roberts — now losers of two straight — drops to 2-3 in the PAC and 4-5 overall.
It was the Rams’ second shutout in a row and their third of the season.
“One of the things we didn’t do well a couple weeks ago was tackle,” Brubaker said. “We made a real commitment in practice to getting back to the fundamentals of our game and our tackling. That’s been paying dividends for us.”
Owen J. Roberts turned it over four times, coughing it up three times — including on the opening kickoff return — before quarterback Dawson Stuart was picked off by Cassidy during the second quarter. Spring-Ford’s Tanner Romano and Toby Poet each came up with a sack as the Wildcat offense was held to just 161 total yards.
The six fumbles — three for turnovers — really resonated with Owen J. head coach Rich Kolka.
“We’ve got to take better care of the ball,” he said. “If we don’t turn the ball over, we can make them sustain longer drives and then maybe
start to put something together. We weren’t physical enough on either side of the ball.”
Offensively, the Rams racked up 280 rushing yards despite going up against OJR’s defense, which was shutting down the run early on. Spring-Ford scored on nine of its 14 drives, even after turning it over on downs at the OJR 15 to end their opening drive.
“They came out in a bear front,” said Brubaker, “which we didn’t see on the film. It took us a couple of series to adjust.”
Selwyn Simpson racked up 86 total yards with two rushing touchdowns and a receiving score while Matt Gibson had a game-high 73 rushing yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Justin Defrancesco and Stephen Brill each picked up late rushing touchdowns.
Through the air, Stone Scarcelle finished with three receptions for 48 yards and a pair of scores while Lee Albert had a 22-yard touchdown reception.
Saturday included, Spring-Ford has now beaten Owen J. Roberts the past seven consecutive years dating back to the 2010 season. During that run, the Rams have outscored the Wildcats 284-43 with two shutouts included.
NOTES >> Sarah McKernan was named Spring-Ford’s 2016 Homecoming Queen while Quinn McKenna was named King.