RED HILL >> Neither sideline took to the locker rooms looking all that satisfied on Friday night.
Fresh off their 56-7 win over Upper Perkiomen inside Indian Stadium, Spring-Ford didn’t appear to be a team that had just about everything going their way throughout.
“I don’t know that this will do anything for our district ranking,” said Spring-Ford head coach Chad Brubaker. “The big thing for us is to try and get a home game.”
Prior to Friday night, the Rams (4-1 PAC Liberty; 8-2 overall) held the No. 8 seed in the District 1 Class 6A power rankings. Even the conference crossover win over Upper Perk, a District 1-4A contender, wouldn’t do all that much to help boost Spring-Ford’s ranking.
From the opposing sideline, Upper Perk (4-1 PAC Frontier; 5-5 overall) head coach Tom Hontz echoed similar sentiments. Regardless of Friday’s outcome, Upper Perk had been set for a rematch with fellow Frontier Division member Pottsgrove in next week’s District 1-4A opener.
“This is what happens when these matchups happen,” he said. “We’ve seen it for a bunch of years now. It wasn’t good for Spring-Ford because they didn’t really gain any points, and it wasn’t good for us either because we were just completely out-matched.
“We worked hard to have a nice season against teams our size. To have to play an opponent like Spring-Ford … it’s a tough way to end our regular season against a team that caliber.”
Spring-Ford jumped out to a 42-point lead by the half, well before Upper Perk quarterback Zeke Hallman threw his lone touchdown pass — an 8-yard strike to Ryan Kendra — to move him to the top of Upper Perk’s list of all-time passing touchdowns thrown in a single season. On the night, he also broke the school-record for passing yards in a season.
“Coach said we were gonna come out, throw the kitchen sink at them and attack,” said Hallman. “We knew this would be a really tough test, but hopefully this is something that will help us to get ready for next week.”
Selwyn Simpson paced the Spring-Ford offense throughout. The senior running back racked up 241 yards of total offense — 168 yards rushing — to go along with five total touchdowns.
With the district playoffs short on their sights, Simpson hopes his running Friday provides a small glimpse of the Rams’ postseason run.
“We really want to play playoff-style football,” he said. “We always have a lot of confidence, but a game like this could help push us to that next level. We’ve just got to keep it rolling. Everything was going well, and we’ve got to bring that with us to playoffs.”
Quarterback TJ Pergine completed eight of his nine passing attempts for 192 yards and a touchdown while Stone Scarcelle hauled in two catches for 118 yards, including a 96-yard touchdown catch and run on the Rams’ first play from scrimmage.
Brubaker and the Rams will likely be doing some scoreboard watching through the weekend. With the win, the Rams currently sit at 1,550 power points, which may be just enough to give them a coveted home game next week.
On the other side, Hontz and the Tribe know fully what they’re up against. Pottsgrove, which had its way with Upper Perk during the regular season, holds the No. 2 seed in the District 1-4A rankings.
“We’ve got to give them a much better game than we did during the regular season,” said Hontz. “No excuses there. We’re playing a team the same size as us next week. We’ve got to be ready for it.”
Including Pergine’s 96-yard strike to Scarcelle to open their first offensive drive, the Rams scored on the opening play of four drives. Early in the second quarter, Scarcelle hit Simpson on a swing pass before the senior sprinted up the middle for a 58-yard score. He also busted loose for a 90-yard rushing touchdown later in the quarter. Justin DeFrancesco broke it for a 62-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter.
With his touchdown pass during the third quarter, Hallman passed Bill Gebert (1966) with his 23rd passing touchdown this season. He also pulled ahead of Sean Nevin (2005) for the school-record in passing yards in a season with 1,734.
“A lot of dreams came true this season,” said Hallman, “but it wasn’t me all alone. It’s definitely a tribute to the guys around me. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without them.”