Rams try to advance past gritty CB East
Spring-Ford’s run through the district tournament ended much sooner than any had hoped last year with a first round exit to Neshaminy. Now, after the Rams’ loss to Perkiomen Valley thwarted hopes of a PAC Championship run, the team is geared up for making a long run into the “second season.”
“We’re going to try and have a statement game this week and try to show everyone that we can beat anyone in District One.,” McKenna said. “We’re pretty confident we can win when we play our best. We’re hoping we can make a long run into the playoffs.”
Spring-Ford (4-1 PAC, 8-2 overall) comes into the first round winners of three straight after Week 7’s loss to Perkiomen Valley. The Rams defense has been in dominant form as the offense has come along while outscoring opponents 166-7 in its past three outings.
“We were very disappointed in how we played against Perkiomen Valley,” Spring-Ford head coach Chad Brubaker said. “The things that we’ve done well most of the year, we didn’t do well. We made a concerted effort on making quality decisions on offense and attack better on defense. That’s something we’ve been seeing more success in the past three weeks.”
Selwyn Simpson has really come into his own the past three weeks. The senior running back has accounted for 11 total touchdowns (eight rushing, three receiving) in the team’s three-game winning streak. Simpson, along with the steady play from senior Stone Scarcelle and reemergence of McKenna, has the Rams ready for a strong CB East (8-2) front six.
“Earlier in the season, Selwyn hurt his ankle against Unionville and I don’t think he was 100 percent for a while but obviously he’s come along,” Brubaker said. “We knew what he could bring to the table. Against Boyertown, Stone had two touchdowns. He’s played consistently. For a long time too we didn’t have Quinn McKenna. He got hurt again against PV but we got him back last week. That really helps us offensively.”
They’ll need all the help offensively they can get against a CB East squad that’s allowed an average of 14 points per game.
Matt Szczypiorski lines up at quarterback after throwing for 1,265 yards with 13 touchdowns against six interceptions while Wes Verbit remains the team’s top playmaker (45 receptions for 854 yards and 11 TDs).
CB East at a Glance >> Patriots have two 300-yard rushers on their squad in Chad Guzzi (74 attempts for 324 yards) and Jake Ventresca (46 attempts for 323). CB East’s best win came last week against No. 15 Pennridge. Szczypiorski threw for three touchdowns as the defense pitched a shutout in a 35-0 victory.
Perkiomen Valley tries to stay perfect
The Vikings (5-0 PAC, 10-0 overall) host a district playoff game for the second consecutive season and will face Del-Val’s Penn Wood (7-3), which advanced to the district playoffs for the first time since 2010.
Perkiomen Valley plays extremely well in front of the home fans (14-2 home record since 2014), but the past two district home games in the Valley haven’t gone in the Vikes’ favor. The team fell to Pennsbury last year in the district second round after falling to Glen Mills in the 2007 playoffs.
Penn Wood is a squad that has “the full attention” of first-year head coach Rob Heist. For good reason, as well. The Patriots trot out one of the best names in the area in running back Answered Gleplay, a transfer from Bartram High. His stats are as good as his name, as he is third on the Delaware County Daily Times leaderboard with 1,032 rushing yards and sixth in rushing touchdowns (11).
Kenny Ngaima, which has received interest from the University of Maine, anchors an offensive line for a team that comes in losers of two out of three.
“They are super athletic. I think they have terrific team speed,” Heist said. “They have two really good running backs (Gleplay and Tyreem Welton). It’s certainly a team that has our full attention.”
The Vikings are coming off their second PAC title in three seasons. There’s still work to be done, however, as the Vikings look to advance past the second round of districts for the first time with the trio of quarterback Stephen Sturm, David Williams and Justin Jaworski.
“This is something that this team is accustomed to now,” Heist said of his team advancing to the district playoffs. “Winning the PAC was goal No. 1; it is every season. But we’re used to making the district playoffs now. This is season No. 2. We’re going to keep plugging along like we had all season. We have a new obstacle in our path and we’re going to give them everything that we’ve got.”
Common Opponents >> PV and Penn Wood have two common opponents this season in The Haverford School and Norristown. The Vikings bested both teams while Penn Wood fell to the Haverford School 48-28.