Pottsgrove escapes with win after missed PAT

BOYERTOWN >> There are never any certainties in the high school game.

Converting on extra points is one of them.

After Hunter Vogels hauled in a 5-yard reception to pull upset-minded Boyertown within an extra point of forcing a second overtime with perennial PAC-10 power Pottsgrove at 28-27, the Bears were made aware of just how cruel this game can be.

On a snap that was handled with delay, the Boyertown kicker couldn’t adjust the timing, pulling the kick wide left as Pottsgrove escaped with a dramatic 28-27 victory at Memorial Stadium Friday night.

It was a rough twist of fate for Boyertown (3-4 PAC-10, 3-5 overall) that had the opportunity to tie things up after Javon Colbert gave Pottsgrove a 28-21 lead in the first overtime on a 1-yard plunge, its first lead of the game.

But even in the loss, Boyertown head coach George Parkinson and the Bears weren’t ones to hang their heads.

They shouldn’t have after nearly pulling off a dramatic upset.

“Even though it turned out to be a loss it feels like a win,” Parkinson said. “I thought we took a big step forward because they played well and overcame adversity. We had some fumbles and turnovers and it didn’t get them down. They kept fighting and fighting and that was a big step because in the past we had a hard time getting over that stuff.”

The missed extra point was one of the few miscues for a Boyertown team that had arguably its best performance of 2015. Lawrence Garnett threw for 188 yards and four touchdowns while Jerry Kapp hauled in six receptions for a season-best 130 yards and three scores.

“They’ve been connecting all year,” Parkinson said. “They just have chemistry between the two of them. Jerry came out and told me he could take his man so we went with it.”

The Bears defense held up to its end of the billing as well, holding PAC-10 leading rusher Tyrell Barr to 58 yards on the ground while forcing three fumbles and intercepting a pass.

It just wasn’t enough against a Pottsgrove team that was already without three starters before losing four more in the course of the game including starting safety and running back Wyatt Porter in the first quarter before Chris Defrancesco was sidelined for the second half. Barr and Mike Gantert were also limited throughout, missing some time before playing the second half.

“I’ve never seen anything like that. I’ve never seen as many kids go down than we had tonight,” Pottsgrove head coach Rick Pennypacker said.

The injuries had forced some new players into the varsity spotlight with mixed results as the team fumbled the ball three times (lost two), one of which resulted in a Boyertown touchdown.

“You have to give Boyertown credit. George (Parkinson) did a great job,” Pennypacker continued. “Our fundamentals were bad and penalties and turnovers are two things that kills every high school football team. That’s what we had tonight.”

Senior quarterback Deyon Doctor was the key catalyst to the Falcons’ win, throwing for 97 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 143 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. His poise late in the game was vital as he led the team on an 8-play, 55-yard drive that culminated with a 27-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Bailey Delp to tie the score at 21 with nine minutes remaining. He was a big factor in getting the Falcons to the Boyertown 16 with 10 seconds remaining in regulation, but his efforts were spoiled by a field goal that missed wide right that forced the game into overtime.

“They (Boyertown) got after me, they hit me pretty good,” Doctor said. “I was just trying to get away from them as much as possible. I didn’t want to lose and I tried whatever I could. Really, I have to give my offensive line all the credit, they did a good job blocking up front all night.”

“I knew the kids would come back,” Pennypacker said. “I give my kids credit. They fought and they won.”

Pottsgrove (5-2 PAC-10, 5-3 overall) needed all the fight it had in them.

Boyertown went up 7-0 on its initial drive of the game as Garnett connected with Kapp, who caught it in double-coverage, for a 19-yard score on fourth down. Following a Doctor 17-yard touchdown run early in the second, Garnett found Kapp again on a fade route for a 22-yard score to make it 14-7 with five minutes remaining in the half.

Doctor then made some magic in the third quarter, reversing field before plowing his way across the pylon for a 5-yard touchdown run to make to make it 14-all with 3:30 remaining. The Garnett and Kapp connection answered right back with Garnett finding Kapp, again on a fade route, for a 39-yard score to make it 21-14, all before Doctor found Delp on the aforementioned 27-yard touchdown pass that set the table for overtime.

NOTES >> Mike Banks was named the Defensive Player of the Game as Boyertown honored Tom Paul, a former Bears linebacker and receivers coach who passed away from cancer. … Boyertown’s Hunter Vogels and Pottsgrove’s Adam Girafalco each had interceptions.

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