ROYERSFORD >> TJ Pergine and the rest of the Spring-Ford Rams didn’t want to hear about next week’s matchup with Perkiomen Valley heading into their Friday matchup with Methacton.
The Rams came out firing on all cylinders, leading to a 43-7 dismantling of the Warriors to move to 2-0 in PAC Liberty play and 4-2 overall on the year.
“We’re taking it one week at a time,” said Pergine, ensuring he and his teammates weren’t looking ahead to their Oct. 6 showdown with the Vikings.
The senior quarterback finished his night 22-for-35 with 396 yards and three touchdowns as well as 36 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
On the Rams’ opening possession, Pergine completed his first three passes to get the offense down to the 3-yard line. From there the quarterback used his legs, scrambling around before finding a hole in the middle of the pocket for the 3-yard TD run.
“That first drive is huge. It’s always the best one; you have to punch it in and score right away and that’s what we did,” said Pergine
On the ensuing Warriors’ possession, Dylan Schultz fired a pass that was intercepted by Justin DeFrancesco to give the Rams great field position. Spring-Ford would use a combination of runs and Pergine darts before DeFrancesco would punch one in for a 14-0 lead.
Later in the quarter with the Warriors backed up at their own 10, a mishandled snap eventually recovered by quarterback Schultz in the end zone would lead to a Rams safety.
With the ball back in his hands, Pergine was able to find his favorite target of the night, wide out Dante Bonanni (8 receptions for 173 yards and two TDs), streaking down the middle of the field for a 43-yard touchdown to give the home team a 23-0 lead after the first quarter.
The second quarter was a much different result for the Rams.
Twice the Rams’ offense was able to get the ball deep into Warriors territory but were only able to come away with two Taylor Smith field goals.
“They had three field goal attempts in the first half. That’s a big difference where they only got six points but could have had 21. That’s a credit to these guys for bending but not breaking,” said Warriors coach Paul Lepre. “They had a couple opportunities to run it in and Zach Skalecki ran a guy down in the corner when he could have walked into the end zone.”
In the second half, the Rams offense got back to its scoring ways.
Pergine scrambled to his left before shoveling a pass to DeFrancesco who did the rest of the work, scurrying 19 yards for a touchdown.
The senior running back finished his night with eight rushes for 98 yards to go along with four receptions for 71 yards.
On their next possession, Pergine once again found a streaking Bonanni this time for a 53-yard score and a 43-0 lead.
The Warriors would answer with a score of their own when sophomore running back Michael Torcini pounded his way into the end zone on a 12-yard run to give the Warriors there only points of the night.
It was a long night for the Warriors offense as they only managed 11 first downs (five on the final drive) and 134 yards of total offense.
Schultz only managed to complete three of his 13 pass attempts and added 20 yards rushing. Torcini finished his night with 13 rushes for 82 yards.
“It’s a challenge for these guys to keep their heads up and keep battling every week,” said Lepre, who seemed optimistic despite the result of the game. “I think tonight we turned a corner. There was some good senior leadership and playing hard out of seniors.”
FUTURE RAMS >> It was youth night at McNelly Stadium as the Rams were led out on the field by players and cheerleaders of all ages in the Spring-Ford youth football program.
MOVING UP >> After his second touchdown pass of the night, Pergine passed Trevor Sasek for third all-time in passing TDs with 40. The senior is now five away from passing Lance Viola for second.