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Pottsgrove’s district title, Sturm’s state record highlight district playoffs

Another week down yielded another set of memorable moments from the district playoffs.
Here are a few:

1. Pottsgrove wins first district title since 2011

Pottsgrove's Rahsul Faison, right, gets around an Interboro tackler as he did all night in a 27-26 Pottsgrove win in overtime of the District 1 Class 4A final. (Digital First Media/Rick Kauffman)

Pottsgrove’s Rahsul Faison, right, gets around an Interboro tackler as he did all night in a 27-26 Pottsgrove win in overtime of the District 1 Class 4A final. (Digital First Media/Rick Kauffman)

All seemed over when Interboro staked itself a 20-7 lead over Pottsgrove in the District 1 Class 4A title game on Friday. Pottsgrove, however, failed to hear the message.

Led by Ryan Finn and Rahsul Faison, the Falcons climbed back from the 13-point first-half deficit and relied on a key defensive stand on a two-point conversion in overtime to come away with a 27-26 victory over the Bucs. It was the Falcons’ first district title since 2011, who face District 11 champion Bethlehem Catholic (9-3) in the first round of the PIAA Class 4A playoffs Friday at Northern Lehigh.

2. No Stopping Stephen Sturm

Perkiomen Valley quarterback Stephen Sturm was named to the Mercury's All-Area First Team (Sam Stewart - The Mercury)

Perkiomen Valley quarterback Stephen Sturm.

Stephen Sturm is putting the finishing touches on the most decorated career of any quarterback in Pioneer Athletic Conference history. Now, he’s taken aim at the entire state.

Sturm, with his 331 yards and four touchdowns in Friday night’s 44-21 victory over Downingtown East, put him first in the state of Pennsylvania for most career passing yards by a quarterback in Class 6A (previously 4A).

Sturm’s 8,290 career yards moves him ahead of Downingtown East’s Pat Devlin, who had a sensational career from 2002-2005, throwing for 8,162 yards. Sturm, who has thrown for 3,174 yards and 40 touchdowns his senior season, also broke his own PAC record for most single-season passing yards, bettering his mark of 3,087 set last season.

Sturm can eclipse the state record for quarterbacks in the state’s largest classification for most career touchdowns Friday night. Sturm sits second at 92 career touchdowns. Manheim Township’s Pat Bostick (2003-2006) holds the record of 94.

3. Spring-Ford’s comeback falls short

Bob Raines--Digital First Media Spring-Ford quarterback TJ Pergine gets off a pass as he is grabbed by North Penn's Ricky Johns Nov. 11, 2016.

Bob Raines–Digital First Media
Spring-Ford quarterback TJ Pergine gets off a pass as he is grabbed by North Penn’s Ricky Johns Nov. 11, 2016.

Prognosticators didn’t give Spring-Ford much of a shot against the No. 1 team in the district, North Penn. The Rams, despite falling 28-19 in the quarterfinals, proved they belonged as they nearly came back from a 21-0 deficit, only to see North Penn’s Ricky Johns come away with a game-clinching interception in the fourth quarter.

Some notes from this season:

•Junior quarterback TJ Pergine set the Rams’ record for most passing yards in a season, finishing the year with 2,279 yards with 27 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also set the mark for most touchdowns, his 27 bettering Hank Coyne’s 26 in 2012.

• Senior running back Selwyn Simpson finished seventh in Rams history for most rushing touchdowns in a season (24).

• Senior wide receiver Stone Scarcelle finished tied for most career touchdown receptions in Rams history, his 20 touchdown receptions tying Andrew Scanlan (now at Northwestern), who graduated in 2011. Scarcelle’s 13 receiving touchdowns in 2016 was a Spring-Ford record.

• Kicker Erick Rodriguez set the mark for most points by a kicker in Rams history, his 76 points bettering the mark of 70 set by Ryan O’Hara in 2011.

• Tanner Romano bettered his brother’s school record for most tackles for loss in a season, his 23 TFL four better than Mason’s mark set in 2012. Mason, however, holds the mark for most career tackles for loss with 40.

4. Garrett Patla’s golden boot

Perkiomen Valley kicker Garrett Patla (17) is congratulated after kicking the game-winning field goal Friday against Haverford School. (Sam Stewart - DFM)

Perkiomen Valley kicker Garrett Patla (17) is congratulated after kicking the game-winning field goal Friday against Haverford School. (Sam Stewart – DFM)

Perkiomen Valley is loaded on offense. It just seems unfair that they have the best kicker in District One to boot. Patla converted a 49-yard field goal in the second quarter to give the Vikings a 17-14 lead over Downingtown East. It’s the longest field goal ever converted in the PAC. North Penn’s Matt Ammendola holds the record for longest FG ever converted for a 4A-6A kicker, hitting a 56-yarder in 2013. He’s now at Oklahoma State. Bishop Hoban’s Gerry McGroarty holds the record for all kickers, hitting a mind-boggling 64-yarder in a 52-0 victory over Bishop Hafey on Sept. 27, 2013. The field goal is now referred to as “The Kick” by local writers. Bishop Hoban, located in the Diocese of Scranton, closed in 2007 and became part of a consolidation of the four diocesan high schools of Luzerne County. The building now houses Holy Redeemer High School.

5. Ricky Ortega does it all

Coatesville's Ricky Ortega runs in a 24-yard touchdown in the first quarter to give the Red Raiders a 21-0 lead against Ridley. (NATE HECKENBERGER)

Coatesville’s Ricky Ortega runs in a 24-yard touchdown in the first quarter to give the Red Raiders a 21-0 lead against Ridley. (NATE HECKENBERGER)

There’s dual threat. Then there’s Coatesville freshman quarterback Ricky Ortega. Coatesville rolled up a whopping 519 total yards of offense, Ortega throwing for 138 yards and two touchdowns and running for another 123 yards and three touchdowns, in the Red Raiders’ 41-21 dismantling of Ridley in the Class 6A quarterfinals Friday.

6. Garnet Valley shocks Neshaminy

Garnet Valley defensive back Matt Parker, left, stops Neshaminy quarterback Mason Jones in District One quarterfinal Friday night, Nov. 11 at Harry E. Franks Stadium, Langhorne, Pa. (J.S. Garber – For 21st-Century Media)

Garnet Valley defensive back Matt Parker, left, stops Neshaminy quarterback Mason Jones in District One quarterfinal Friday night, Nov. 11 at Harry E. Franks Stadium, Langhorne, Pa. (J.S. Garber – For 21st-Century Media)

The triple-option attack was lethal for the Jaguars in their 42-14 upset of Neshaminy on Friday. The game was never close, the Jaguars building a 21-7 lead at the half before putting the game away via a 61-yard fumble return in the third quarter. Up next: Perkiomen Valley.

7. Bronson leads Conwell-Egan to first state playoff win

Kyree Bronson, one week removed from a suspension due to getting ejected in the team’s game against Bonner Prendergast on October 22, ran for five touchdowns and added an 82-yard kickoff return in Conwell-Egan’s 42-18 victory over Kipp-Dubois in the District 1/12 Class 3A semifinal.

8. Marple Newtown’s memorable season continues

Marple Newtown keeps making history, this its second ever trip to the district semifinals after a 38-37 victory over West Chester East in the District One 5A playoffs. The Tigers have won 11 games for the first time in program history. Up next: Academy Park.

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