RED HILL >> There’s no secret to it anymore.
In fact, there may have never been a secret to it at all.
Any time the ball is in Rahsul Faison’s hands, it’s a recipe for disaster for the opposing defenses.
Pottsgrove’s senior tail back can juke, he can wiggle and he can flat out run it up and down the football field at ease.
Faison busted open big play after big play Friday night en route to a season-high 352 rushing yards to lead the Falcons to a 55-24 win over host Upper Perkiomen at Tribe Stadium.
“I was taking everything they were giving me,” said Faison, a Division I Stony Brook University commit. “The holes were there — our line was executing up front. We came out and did what we had to do.”
The win improves unbeaten Pottsgrove, ranked No. 11 in PA Prep Live’s Top 20 Rankings, to 3-0 in the Pioneer Athletic Conference and 7-0 overall. Upper Perkiomen’s two-game win streak comes to a screeching halt as the Tribe drops to 2-1 in the Frontier Division and 4-3 overall.
Faison carried it 23 times Friday night for a gaudy average of 15.3 yards-per-carry. His monster game ups his rushing totals to 1,679 yards on the season, as he still remains the PAC’s lone rusher whose hit the 1,000-yard mark so far this season.
“Rahsul is Rahsul. He had a nice game — yeah, he’s okay” said Pottsgrove head coach Rick Pennypacker with a laugh. “He did a great job — he sets up his blocks well. He deserved to have a game like this because he works so hard for us.”
Across the way, Upper Perk head coach Tom Hontz fully understood the task at-hand. Like all of Pottsgrove’s other foes so far this season, though, he simply did not have an answer.
“When you’re up against a back of that caliber, there’s not much you can do,” said Hontz. “He’s phenomenal. We were a little wide-eyed at first when we faced him and they (Pottsgrove) jumped out to an early lead.”
There’s also no real way to replicate playing against a running back like Faison, who’s speed, vision and cutting ability allow him to make something positive even when a play looks dead from the snap.
“You don’t. You can’t replicate a guy like that,” added Hontz. “That’s the biggest problem. It’s impossible. We had guys in position all night long, and they would just bounce off of him like he’s Franco Harris or something.”
Faison set the tone right from the start of the game — carrying it for a 58-yard touchdown on the Falcons’ first play from scrimmage. He then followed that up with a scoring carry from 39 yards out on his team’s next drive and the Falcons were in business from there.
On Upper Perk’s ensuing drive, defensive tackle Michael Dickey intercepted an attempted screen pass and took it 21 yards to the endzone to give the Falcons a commanding 21-0 lead to which they’d never look back.
Pottsgrove quarterback Jay Sisko was efficient on the night, completing three of his nine passing attempts for 48 yards, including a beautiful 31-yard go-up-and-get-it fade to Desmond Austin late in the third quarter. Sisko also rushed it eight times for 32 yards while Austin had three catches for 48 yards.
“Our offensive line was key tonight,” said Pennypacker. “They gave our offense time to let things develop. We threw the ball well and we ran the ball well.”
Pottsgrove’s defense, which had held teams to an impressive 6.7 points-against per-game coming in, looked vulnerable for a stretch during the third quarter as Upper Perk seemed to get it going after quarterback Tyler Keyser punched it in from two yards out.
On their ensuing drive, the Tribe busted out big gain after big gain on the ground, eventually culminating into a 22-yard touchdown rush from bruising back Austin Tutolo.
“Once we got settled in, we put together some nice drives against a very good defensive team,” said Hontz. “So we’ve got something to hang our hat on.”
Running back Tyler Whary racked up 90 rushing yards on nine carries while Tutolo carried it eight times for 54 yards. Keyser passed for 138 yards and a touchdown to Bo Duka, while also rushing for 32 yards.
Something About The Tribe
Prior to Friday night’s game, Faison’s previous career-high for rushing yards in a game came last season … against Upper Perk. Then in his first year with the Falcons, Faison rushed it 28 times for 360 yards and all four of his team’s scores during a 28-14 win in the opening round of the District One Class 4A playoffs.