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Perkiomen Valley avoids Methacton’s upset bid

FAIRVIEW VILLAGE >> It didn’t come easily, but the Battle Ax Trophy is staying at Perkiomen Valley.

Perkiomen Valley picked up its sixth-straight win of the season Friday night, as it knocked off the Methacton Warriors, 18-9, behind a pair of touchdown passes from Cole Peterlin.

The improved Warriors were within 12-9 in the third quarter but the Vikings’ standout quarterback Peterlin crucially found Isaiah Domine on a 60-yard strike that put the score to rest while improving to 5-2 (3-0 PAC).

Defense dominated the first quarter as neither team had much success moving the ball. Perkiomen Valley did pick up 55 yards on their first three plays from scrimmage, but after a failed lateral in the backfield, the drive resulted in a turnover on downs.

The two teams then traded punts for the rest of the first quarter before the Vikings broke through and scored the first points of the game on a 12-yard touchdown run by Jon Moccia. Following a missed extra point, Perk Valley led, 6-0, at the half.

After the teams traded punts on their first drives of the second half, Austin Rowley decided to take matters into his own hands, intercepting Dylan Schultz and then extended the Vikings’ lead a few plays later when he took a pass from Peterlin 29 yards for a touchdown.

“That was a big sequence for us,” Perkiomen Valley head coach Rob Heist said. “I thought our defense played well all night, but anytime you can get a little bit of breathing room, that’s huge.”

Methacton’s response came in the closing seconds of the third quarter. Schultz converted a second-and-16 by hitting Ron Fondots for 31 yards. Four plays later, Schultz hooked up with Larry Dickerson to cut the Vikings’ 12-point lead in half.

On the ensuing Perkiomen Valley drive, Reece Borkowski intercepted Peterlin and set up a 36-yard field goal that cut the Perk Valley lead to just three.

“We stuck to our gameplan and things finally hit for us in the third quarter,” Methacton head coach Dave Lotier said. “Our kids believed in our ability to run the ball and then take those deep shots once we get a chance.”

But Peterlin bounced back to put the game away midway through the fourth quarter. The senior rolled out to his left and unleashed a 60-yard missile into the outstretched hands of Isaiah Domine to push the Vikings’ lead back up to 9 points.

“I told the fullback the wrong play,” said Peterlin of the broken play turned highlight-reel touchdown. “But once I rolled out to my left, I saw Isaiah was wide open and I just had to make sure I got it to him.”

Perk Valley’s offense was paced by the duo of Moccia and Jacob Sturm, who combined for 81 and 71 yards, respectively. The Vikings finished with 320 yards of total offense, more than double the 156 yards Methacton finished with.

Friday night’s victory for Perkiomen Valley also gave the Vikings possession of the coveted Battle Ax trophy, given annually to the winner of the rivalry game. The win came much harder than last season’s 51-0 laugher.

“Methacton has gotten better each week on the tape,” Heist praised. “Credit coach Lotier for turning this program around. Their offense moved the ball, their defense was scrappy. Having this rivalry is good for our team and having good teams in our division is good for the conference.”

“I thought we played well tonight, but there are no more moral victories,” Lotier added. “We aren’t the lovable losers anymore. We need to go from competing against good teams to beating them.”

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