EAST ROCKHILL >> Joe Devine remembered what it was like playing Perkiomen Valley last year.
A season ago, the Vikings simply dismantled Devine and his Pennridge teammates en route to a convincing win. Devine and his teammates remembered and they weren’t going to let it happen again.
Spurred by Nick Tarburton’s safety, interceptions by Devine and Shawn Ackley and three sacks from Ryan Rapp, the Rams did the dismantling Friday as they crushed visiting Perk Valley 29-0 at Helman Field.
“They picked us apart last year,” Devine noted.
“It came down to who wanted it more,” Rapp said. “We were mad about last year and that’s what fueled the fire.”
Rams coach Jeff Hollenbach called it a “signature win,” a sentiment echoed by Tarburton, Rapp and Devine. Tarburton also said it was one of the most complete games he’s ever been a part of at Pennridge.
— Andrew Robinson (@ADRobinson3) September 8, 2017
After losing at Neshaminy last week, Pennridge faced a crossroads.
They took the right path Friday night. It all started with, of all things, a punt.
Oliver Jervis’s first kick of the night couldn’t have been better and when a teammate downed it, the Vikings were taking over at their own one-yard line. It was prime real estate for Tarburton to do what he does so well.
After an incompletion, the Rams senior linebacker put some points on the board. The Penn State recruit surged around the edge on a sweeping run and dragged down Ryan Cerula for a safety with :18 left in the first quarter.
“I was blitzing B-gap, found a hole and made the play,” Tarburton said. “I’m surprised they read that little sweep-action play. It was easy to read, I saw it and just made the play.”
For the Vikings, who started their next drive on the two yard line, it was a far cry from the offensive success they enjoyed over the first two weeks.
“With that defense and how good they are and with 40 (Tarburton) roaming around out there, it’s hard to get something going,” PV coach Rob Heist said. “It didn’t put us in good position early on. The plan was to buy us a little space to operate but it didn’t really work out the way we planned.”
The two points were the only points for a while as the Rams offense sputtered early. It would be the defense that provided the spark.
Joe Devine picked off PV quarterback Cole Peterlin on the Rams’ 32, stopped a Vikings drive and turning the tide. Pennridge needed just two plays to score, a 37-yard catch by Tucker Chaikin preceeding a 16-yard Josh Pinkney run.
Things didn’t get better for PV.
“It’s all about game preparedness,” Rapp said. “We work our butts off Monday through Thursday to prepare for every game. We were slanting left and right, not giving them just one look, changing it up over and over again and really confusing them.”
The Rams had dropped a potential interception prior to Devine’s pick, but even though they couldn’t convert that turnover, it got the secondary’s eyes a little wider.
“They’re my brothers, man,” Devine said. “Everybody was ballin’ out. One person makes a play, the rest of us keep stepping up. That let everybody know we could play with these guys we just had to come out and show it. Nobody believed in us but us.”
FOOTBALL 1:12 Q2: Pennridge 23, Perk Valley 0
Zak Kantor 19 pass to Tucker Chaikin pic.twitter.com/UblwBrp675
— Andrew Robinson (@ADRobinson3) September 8, 2017
Peterlin’s next pass also went to a guy in green, as Shawn Ackley went down and got his fingers under a pass for another pick. This too led to a score with Pinkney’s 23- yard run setting up Ryan Gardner’s six-yard push into the end zone.
The Rams led 16-0 and had scored twice in just 1:19 of game time.
“We didn’t have much working tonight with a zero on the scoreboard but the credit there goes to Pennridge’s defense, I thought they played outstanding,” Heist said. “They had a good plan for us. We have to be able to execute on offense against a good defense and we weren’t able to do that.”
PV came back with some pop and put together a good drive down to the Rams’ 17 before things fell apart. An incompletion and a five-yard penalty flag brought up first down and the Pennridge defense did its thing, forcing an incompletion and turnover on downs, technically its fourth caused turnover of the half.
Pennridge responed in kind with a drive of its own, a 30-yard Zak Kantor to Gardner pass flipping the field. It was capped off by a 19-yard pass, with Kantor throwing a nice back-shoulder ball to Chaikin in the right corner of the endzone.
“Zak did an awesome job, he made some great plays,” Hollenbach said. “Tucker made some huge catches. We made plays tonight, we played tough inside. They were doing all kinds of stuff to us defensively, all kinds of stunts but our offensive line did a great job picking it up.”
The second half started poorly for Pennridge with a two-yard loss. It turned around real fast when Josh Pinkney ran really fast for an 82-yard touchdown. He managed to work around a teammate, got to the right sideline and burned everyone on his way to the endzone.
Pinkney ended the game with 134 rushing yards on just 11 carries and two scores.
“The o-line and d-line won this game,” Devine said. “Linemen don’t get enough credit but our linemen stepped up for sure.”
Perk Valley will have to regroup quickly for next week’s contest with Interboro while Pennridge begins SOL Continental play at Souderton next week.
“We’re always going to get counted out, but I’ve said it before, I like that,” Tarburton said. “It was a signature game for us.”
PENNRIDGE 29, PERKIOMEN VALLEY 0
PENNRIDGE 2 21 6 0 – 29
PERKIOMEN VALLEY 0 0 0 0 – 0
P – Safety 7:18
P – Josh Pinkney 16 run (Kyle Cuthbert kick) 9:15
P – Ryan Gardner 6 run (Cuthbert kick) 7:56
P –Zak Kantor 19 pass to Tucker Chaikin (Cuthbert kick) 1:12
P – Pinkney 82 run (Two-point try fail)
First downs 6 18
Rushes-Yards 22-37 48-294
Passing 20-30-0-2 10-13-1-0
Passing Yards 147 166
Total Yards 184 460
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 3-2
Penalties-Yards 5-47 4-30
Rushing: PV – Ryan Cerula 1-(-1), Brendan Schimpf 5-4, Cole Peterlin 13-34, Jon Moccia 2-2, Ben Smith 1-(-2); P – Josh Pinkney 11-134, Ryan Gardner 11-33, Nick Tarburton 2-11, Zak Kantor 5-(-9), Evan Exner 2-28, Kyle Schetter 5-39, Ryan Angelini 9-55, Joey Mossbrook 1-(-6), Andrew Nace 2-9
Passing: PV – Cole Peterlin 17-27-0-2-133 , Ben Smith 3-3-0-0-14; P – Zak Kantor 10-13-1-0-166
Receiving: PV – Jon Moccia 4-33, Ryan Cerula 4-41, Isaiah Domine 4-47, Brendan Schimpf 4-6, Bryce Teti 2-20; P – Evan Exner 1-15, Nick Tarburton 1-2, Shane Hartzell 1-17, Tucker Chaikin 3-80, Ryan Gardner 2-39, Kyle Schetter 1-6, Joe Devine 1-7
Interceptions: P – Joe Devine, Shawn Ackley