Spring-Ford runs rampant over Upper Perk

By Dan Dunkin
For The Mercury

ROYERSFORD >> Spring-Ford ran only nine plays from scrimmage in the first quarter Friday night.

You’d think the opponent was doing a pretty good job of ball control, correct?

Incorrect. When the Rams had the ball, Upper Perkiomen had a very hard time finding it, or catching them.

In nine plays, plus an opening kickoff return for a touchdown, the Rams rampaged to a 43-0 first-quarter lead and ultimately routed the Indians, 53-7.

“I’m just happy that we executed; that’s the most important thing,” Rams coach Chad Brubaker said after Spring-Ford improved to 3-0 overall (2-0 in the PAC-10) and scored 50-plus for the second straight week (it clobbered Phoenixville 58-7 last week). “We saw some things on film and our kids executed.”

Rarely does a game blueprint transfer near-perfectly to the field, but that was basically the case as Spring-Ford had it all rolling, starting with its passing game and defense.

The Rams’ execution was aided by the Indians’ self-destructive turnovers. Four in the first quarter – two interceptions and two fumbles – led to three touchdowns and a field goal. Rams senior quarterback Ricky Venuto was lights-out as a passer and field orchestrator, completing 10 of 11 for 193 yards and three TDs – all in the first half.

“They roll their coverage into a Cover-3, and we were trying to run plays into that. (Venuto) did a good job of getting us into running the right play,” Brubaker said.

The fun for Spring-Ford began immediately when Fort Lauderdale, Fla., transfer Ta’von Todd sped 90 yards to paydirt on the opening kickoff. On the fifth Upper Perk play, Spring-Ford defensive back Bobby Welsh picked off Zeke Hallman in the flat and the Rams took possession at the Indians’ 42. Two plays later, versatile junior Stone Scarcelle took a Venuto pass for a 43-yard score with 9:13 left in the first period.

Spring-Ford would outgain Upper Perk (0-2, 0-3) 361-75 from scrimmage in the first half. Venuto enjoys surveying the field and seeing all the weapons at his disposal.

“It’s great because the line does a great job of pass protecting, and we’ve got so many weapons and they work so hard,” Venuto said. “We scouted them on film and we did a real good job of executing tonight.”

Upper Perk, which nearly came all the way from a 20-point deficit last week against Boyertown, would not be able to mount any kind of comeback in this one. Just two plays into the Indians’ second possession, Rams senior linebacker Steven Rice intercepted and ran it back to the Indians’ 22. Junior Selwyn Simpson, a constant threat as a runner and receiver, made the Indians pay immediately with 22-yard catch and run for a TD as the Rams went up 21-zip.

Upper Perk, which got some good hard runs from Michael Felix and some after-the-catch gains from Tyler Whary, just couldn’t sustain any offense as the Rams’ speed and physicality swarmed to the ball. A fumble triggered a 58-yard Ram drive to a 29-0 lead. Matt Gibson’s 43-yard burst put the Rams in position for Scarcelle’s Wildcat run from the QB spot for a 12-yard score.

The Rams showcased their explosiveness again when Venuto connected with Trey Jarmon on the right sideline and Jarmon blazed to a 73-yard touchdown. On their next possession the Rams scored on the first play, with Simpson romping 56 yards to a 43-0 lead just before the first quarter ended.
Scarcelle added a 28-yard TD pass to Venuto as they switched roles with 4:20 left in the first half.

“We practice that a lot,” Scarcelle said. “Last week at Phoenixville, Ricky was wide open and I missed it. This week I had a chance to redeem myself on that.

“We’ve all got confidence,” he added. “It’s just a matter of getting our mind right and doing what we’re told and executing like we do in practice.”

Venuto has thrown eight TDs in the first three games. And the Rams have shown they can hit you from every angle with so many explosive players.

“We’re rolling with confidence; we’ve just got to keep getting better,” Venuto said. “There are still some things definitely we can improve on.”

“As a coaching staff, our concern is complacency, and we want to make sure we stay hungry and execute,” Brubaker said.

Notes >> In their last five wins over Upper Perk, Spring-Ford has outscored the Indians 256-27 … Simpson has four rushing TDs in the first three games and Scarcelle has 170 receiving yards … Upper Perk’s touchdown came with 3:39 left in the game when Hallman hit Kevin Loose for a 27-yard score.

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