BOYERTOWN >> Hard as it might be to believe, Rick Pennypacker got the kind of start to a game he sought for his Pottsgrove squad.
The Falcons, who came into Friday’s game at Boyertown unscored upon in their first two outings, saw the Bears end that run two plays into the contest. And after they pulled even late in the first quarter, their hosts went ahead again one play into the subsequent possession. Then Pottsgrove saw its next series end with a pass being intercepted on the first play.
After that, Pottsgrove took charge for keeps. The Falcons rode three quarters of dominant play to a 49-14 victory at BASH Memorial Stadium to remain unbeaten for the 2017 season.
“I wanted that so bad,” Pennypacker said at the conclusion of this cross-division Pioneer Athletic Conference pairing. “The kids were cocky and bigheaded, thinking Boyertown was no good. They realized they had to come back and start playing football.”
The Pottsgrove offense proved to be more than the “Rahsul Faison Show,” though their marquee senior running back rushed for more than 200 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns. Quarterback Jay Sisko had three second-half scoring strikes to Bailey Delp, Ryan Bodolus and Desmond Austin, and Javon Colbert got things rolling with his rushing touchdown in the first quarter.
Even Avery Grant, seeing action on the Falcons’ final possession of the game, got into the scoring act with a 40-yard burst around his left end inside the game’s two-minute mark.
“The kids have to remember, every game we play is the other team’s Super Bowl,” Pennypacker said. “They’re coming out to beat us. But we came out with a win, and that’s all that matters.”
Boyertown, looking to get the first win for new head coach T.J. Miller, electrified its hometown crowd when Marcus Thomas made a 59-yard run up the middle with only 39 seconds elapsed on the game clock. Ayden Mathias then staked the Bears to a 14-7 lead when he went 86 yards around his left end with 1:20 left in the first quarter.
Their strong start continued when Jamison Moccia intercepted Sisko at the Pottsgrove 14. But with the exception of a drive that ended at the Pottsgrove two-yard line as time ran out in the first half, Boyertown (0-3) was unable to keep pace with the Falcons the rest of the night.
“We figured if we came out early, we’d have a shot at them,” Miller said. “Our confidence came out at the start.”
But the fast start ran into the reality of another workmanlike effort from Faison. He rushed for 233 yards on 31 carries, scoring on a 30-yard burst through his right tackle at the 5:13 mark in the second quarter, then on a three-yard push through the middle with 1:19 left in the first half.
“I like being the go-to guy,” he said. “Our offensive line was a big help. I took what they gave me.”
Pottsgrove’s passing game offered a nice complement to its 330-yard ground game. Sisko completed six of eight pass attempts for 178 yards, half of that comprising his three scoring tosses.
The junior hooked up with Delp on a 25-yard toss four minutes into the third quarter. He capped the Falcons’ next possession by completing a 24-yard scoring pass to Bodolus about four minutes later, then came back within the next two minutes to collaborate with Austin on a 40-yard pass.
“They put 11 guys in the box against us,” Pennypacker noted. “We can throw the ball, and we’ll do it.”
“We came into the game feeling if they were going to beat us, it was going to be in the air,” Miller said. “To some extent, they did.”
The Falcons’ defense also turned in a solid second-half effort, limiting the Bears to one first down and just one extended possession of eight plays. Colbert and Parris Janusek dropped Boyertown quarterbacks Jerome Kapp and Mathias, respectively, for lost yardage down the stretch.
Offensively, Boyertown’s ground game was headed by Thomas (nine carries, 67 yards) and Mathias (7-61). In the air, Mathias and Kapp combined for eight completions in 16 tries, good for 102 yards.
“We showed more explosiveness tonight,” Miller said. “That’s something we hadn’t seen. In the first half, we made a couple big plays.
“The kids played with a lot of heart.”
As for Pottsgrove …
“It’s a good win. We’ll take it,” Pennypacker said. “We needed to score, and we got them where we wanted them.”
NOTES >> Austin finished as Sisko’s primary target in the passing game, making three catches for 92 yards. … Kapp headed the Bears’ receiving corps, collecting four Mathias passes for 58 yards. He also went 2-for-2 behind center, covering 24 yards. … For the pre-game coin toss, Boyertown had former head coach Bob Hillegas participate. Hillegas, a 1962 Boyertown graduate and member of its Ches-Mont League championship team that year, coached the Bear program from 1987 to 1994.