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Spring-Ford’s loss to North Penn doesn’t diminish season filled with milestones

TOWAMENCIN >> While the North Penn football team marched out of Crawford Stadium in jubilation led by their band, Spring-Ford’s players made the long walk back to their locker room in complete and utter silence Friday night.

Some players took the walk solo.

Others walked it in packs.

Yet every player made that walk together.

“We came such a long way these past three months,” said senior receiver Stone Scarcelle following the Rams’ 28-19 loss against top-ranked North Penn in the quarterfinal round of the District 1 Class 6A playoffs.

“From three-a-days to now — it seems like an eternity,” he added. “All you get is these three months and then the season’s over. You’ve gotta take what you can get.”

All season long, Spring-Ford took just about everything it could get against nearly every opponent. Following their mid-season loss against eventual-PAC Champion Perkiomen Valley in early-October, the Rams renewed their focus and got on a roll.

Bob Raines--Digital First Media Spring-Ford running back Justin DeFrancesco finds himself surrounded by North Penn defenders Jake Hubler,   Nov. 11, 2016.

Bob Raines–Digital First Media
Spring-Ford running back Justin DeFrancesco finds himself surrounded by North Penn defenders Jake Hubler, Nov. 11, 2016.

Spring-Ford rattled off four consecutive dominating wins, out-scoring the opposition 204-14, including last week’s 38-7 district-opening win against Central Bucks East — their first district win since the 2013 season.

“We knew who we were,” said Spring-Ford head coach Chad Brubaker of the Rams’ season. “I think a lot of people discounted us, but we knew we were a good football team.”

Even after they were down 21-0 just eight minutes in, the Rams never truly seemed out of it. A team that can score in bunches and through several different options will give off that vibe.

Selwyn Simpson — the team’s workhorse during the late stretch of the season — scored two touchdowns during the second half, bringing his season rushing touchdown total to 24.

Quarterback TJ Pergine, who had set the program’s record for passing yards in a season the week before, got into a solid rhythm with Scarcelle, connecting five times for 85 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown strike in-between Simpson’s touchdown runs.

“I’m gonna tell these guys, you know ‘Don’t hang your heads,’” said Brubaker. “I know this loss stings, but we were in this 48 minutes. This won’t take away from some of the things we did this season.”

Running back Matt Gibson was forced to watch last week’s district opener from the sideline while dealing with a concussion.

That said, he knows a thing or two about district football.

“One loss and that’s it,” he said. “I knew this could potentially be my last time putting on the uniform and the pads. There was no way I could miss this game.”

Gibson provided the Rams plenty of spark on kick-off returns, and also opened up the second half with a 31-yard burst through the left tackle.

“It was great to be back onto the field and to be able to contribute again,” he said. “I didn’t want this to be my last game, but I’m glad that I was able to actually be in it with my teammates one last time.”

“This team means everything to me … and all of us,” added Gibson. “Everyone on this team is my brother. We stick together.”

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