Home-field advantage on the line in Pottstown/Pottsgrove rivalry

Pottstown and Pottsgrove face off in a crosstown rivalry Friday night in another contest between two teams near each other in the PAC standings.

Pottsgrove is coming off a 47-3 victory over Owen J. Roberts and is looking for its 13th straight victory over the Trojans, last falling in the 2002 season when the Trojans took home their most recent PAC-10 title. A win for either squad will likely give it a home game in the opening round of the District 1-AAA playoffs next week.

“They’re a very good, dangerous team,” Pottsgrove head coach Rick Pennypacker said. “If we don’t play inspired, emotional football, we’ll be on the outside looking in. We have to come in and play. I think my kids are ready to play and hopefully they respond to the passion and the emotion Pottstown is going to come in with.”

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A win won’t garner them a PAC-10 championship, but it would give them a sense of pride to close out the PAC-10 schedule.
Pope John Paul II and Methacton, both winless, end their respective PAC-10 schedules Saturday at Methacton at 2 p.m., a win putting some sun on a dreary season for both teams.

“It’s going to be a good game,” Methacton head coach Paul Lepre said. “PJP is just like us. Their kids are plugging away until the end and there’s no quit in them. It’s going to be a battle of attrition. We’re in the same boat as they are with kids playing both ways on offense and defense and even special teams.”

Methacton’s fall from the top of the PAC came after a senior class led by quarterback Conner Derrickson, Nick Nwankwo and Louis Cottetta departed, leaving the Warriors with a roster hovering around 30 players. It’s been a steep fall, as the defense is giving up an average of 48.9 points per game in the team’s 0-9 start. Moving beyond the winless record, there has been some positives.

“Dylan Henry has had a real solid season,” Lepre said. “The 136-lbs that he is gives you everything he has on every play. Scott Stueben has been battling injuries all year and he’s given us a tremendous effort in the offseason to prepare for this season. We just don’t have enough bodies to plug in around those guys.”

Pope John Paul II comes in seeking its first win and is led by senior quarterback Matt Duff, who has thrown for 1,324 yards and 13 touchdowns. Jared Johns-Lupold (36) and Dan Cirino (35) rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in the PAC in receptions.

“From my vantage point they’re (PJP) doing a hell of the job down there,” Lepre said.

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Phoenixville can still reach four overall wins for the first time in two years if it can first top Upper Perkiomen. The Indians are coming off a 45-0 loss to Perkiomen Valley, but did register three sacks against a team that had allowed five prior to the game.

Phoenixville’s Matt Palubinsky comes in ranked second in the PAC with 37 receptions.

“Upper Perk is a good team similar to us,” Phoenixville head coach Evan Breisblatt said. “I think it’s going to be a real competitive football game. They have an excellent running back, a good quarterback that’s had a very nice season.

“For us to win, it’d be huge. We set out to have a .500 season and we came awfully close. We’d have 3-4 wins at this point. Injuries have taken their part on us. We’ve played a couple of games without some starters so winning against Upper Perk would be huge for us and having a chance at winning four games would be a huger improvement from last season.”

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Elsewhere, Boyertown takes on Owen J. Roberts. Sophomore wide receiver Jerry Kapp needs 54 more receiving yards to break the mark of 603 set by Nick Brough in 2013.

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