Sun Valley can’t cover for first-half mistakes in loss to Pottstown

ASTON >> Early season games are often decided by which team makes the fewest mistakes. Friday night at Sun Valley, the Vanguards learned that lesson the hard way after dropping a 21-0 decision to visiting Pottstown.

Sun Valley battled the Trojans fiercely, but was ultimately hampered by inconsistency on both sides of the ball, along with special teams. Specifically, some poor decisions on special teams and two first-half turnovers led to Pottstown scores. To their credit, the Trojans capitalized on the opportunities that were presented.

“I thought we played with tremendous effort,” said Pottstown coach Don Grinstead. “We always talk to our team about effort. We have talent, but that’s not always going to win you games. When we’re flying around, executing, and paying attention to detail, we’re a tough team to play. I think Sun Valley’s a good team. They’re big upfront and they run the ball well, but the kids responded tonight.”

The Trojans used a persistent ground attack to keep the Vanguards off-balance. Running back Bryant Wise finished the game with 160 yards a touchdown and quarterback Brandon Tinson accumulated 51 yards on the ground.

“We have three or four guys that we use back there and it keeps us fresh,” said Grinstead. “Bryant Wise is a four-year starter and he’s been through a lot of battles. Brandon Stinson, our quarterback, gives us a great compliment and we’ve got a young kid, Isaiah Mayes, who’s developing into a great player. The end all and be all of tonight, though, was really about our offensive line. ”

While Pottstown used its ground game effectively throughout the game, it was the Trojans opportunism that helped get the offense into the end zone.

After an errant snap on a punt attempt, Pottstown took advantage of the Vanguards miscue two plays later when Wise gashed the Sun Valley defense with a dazzling 31-yard run.

The Vanguards luck would not get any better as Sun Valley fumbled on its ensuing possession, setting up the Trojans with the ball on the Vanguards’ 30-yard line.

Three plays later Anthony Wiggins (40 yards rushing) scampered into the end zone from 20-yards away to put Pottstown up 12-0. Tinson then hit Ernest McCalvin with a pass for a successful two-point conversion and a 14-0 Pottstown lead.

“I think we need to go back and work the fundamentals,” said Sun Valley coach Ray Gionta. “We didn’t block well and we didn’t tackle well. This is a very young football team. We have a small amount of seniors and all of our skill players are juniors. Did I expect this? No, but (Pottstown) is an athletic football team. Looking at us, we’ve got to get back to doing the fundamental things like blocking and tackling and then we’ll get better.”

Sun Valley had an opportunity to take advantage of a rare Pottstown miscue when Tinson barely touched the ensuing kickoff after Wiggins’ touchdown, which gave the Vanguards an excellent opportunity to claw back into the game.

After driving inside the Trojans six-yard line, Pottstown defense rallied to stifle the Sun Valley offense on four consecutive plays. The importance of that defensive stop could not be underestimated as the Trojans were energized heading into the locker room for halftime.

“It feels good and shows that all the hard work pays off,” said Wise. “We came out with the ‘W’ working as a team. Our coaches preach to us about taking advantage of opportunities. We were able to do that and build momentum and keep it throughout the game.”

Pottstown tacked on another touchdown in the fourth quarter when Mayes plunged into the end zone from the one-yard line to extend the Trojans lead to 21-0.

Despite the deficit, the Vanguards fought to put themselves in a fourth down and goal situation from the eight-yard line with just over three minutes to go in the game. Unfortunately, for Sun Valley, quarterback Gabe Boccella was unable to connect with his intended receiver on a pass attempt in the end zone. Clearly, the Vanguards will be looking to change the results next week against Radnor.

“We just need to keep working harder and get better at practice,” said Vanguards senior linebacker/offensive lineman Bobby Koons. “We really just need to keep improving.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply