Trenchmen to play a huge part in PAC-10 title game

[one_third last=”no”]…[/one_third][embedyt][/embedyt]

They were seen as the major question mark entering the 2015 season.

Now, Perkiomen Valley’s offensive line has become one of its strengths as it enters the PAC-10 Championship against Spring-Ford Friday night at Coach McNelly Stadium at 7 p.m.

“I think they’ve gotten better.” Perkiomen Valley head coach Scott Reed said. “It all works together. Stephen has a good internal clock and gets the ball out. Our receivers have made plays, and our backs have made plays and I think that’s what gives the offensive line confidence. Where they believe on any play, ‘hey this could be a positive play.’

“At the same time, our offensive line has played nine games together. There’s a sense of chemistry that’s started to build between them. I think they take pride in what each other is doing and the jobs each other are doing out there.”

Whether that chemistry would be built with the departures of Seth Jonassen, Andrew Narducci, Darrell Philpot and Dan Roh was the major question entering the season for PV, with four new starting linemen joining the only returning starter in John Tittle.

Despite a shaky Week 1 effort in a win over Council Rock North, the line consisting of seniors Tittle and Anthony Rohrbach, juniors Chris Jimenez and Vaughn Stolzer and sophomore Jahir Holmes, has done enough to quell any remaining doubt.

The trenchmen have paved the way for the No. 1 ranked Viking offense (454 yards per game) and have given up only eight sacks in quarterback Stephen Sturm’s 207 dropbacks.

“One of the biggest question marks was up front considering I was the only returning starter,” Tittle said. “I think we definitely meshed well. I think we’re ready to get after it.”

“A lot of our success has to do with the coaches,” Stolzer added. “They put in all their time, whether its on the field in practice or at home, and pick up on things that we might not pick up on. Then they make sure that we know it so when it comes to gametime, there’s nothing we will be surprised with.”

So far, with guidance of offensive line coach, Jason Basile and a bonded group, there hasn’t been much to shake the Vikings line.

Even if they aren’t the biggest.

“We do have our strengths,” Jimenez said. “Me and Anthony are obviously a lot bigger than the rest but I mean everyone else on the line, their tough. Jahir is tough. He put is time in the weightroom and he’s not the strongest kid that we have but he’s a hard working kid. He never gives up. Tittle is the smallest guy on our line, one of the heaviest, but he has heart. Him and Vaughn aren’t very fast but they get it done.”

* * *

Spring-Ford’s offensive line has a ‘no access’ policy on their quarterback Ricky Venuto as well, as the team has surrendered a league-best six sacks this season. The line, led by senior Matt Rice and consisting of Sean Tatum, Alex Nagy, Nick Salomone and Casey Callahan have helped lead the Rams to score 45.2 points per game, second best in the PAC behind Perkiomen Valley.

“When we go to practice we always work hard,” Spring-Ford senior offensive lineman Matt Rice said. “It all starts up front. That’s our big message. We may get blamed for stuff, we may not get credit sometimes, but we go in, get our work in and go out and do what we need to do.

“Our offensive line sticks together. We’re always talking in the locker room, always making jokes. We stick together, we don’t yell at each other when things go wrong and we pick each other up and keep moving on. That’s what helped us be so successful this year.”

* * *

The Rams’ defensive line has been on a roll the past few weeks as well, recording six sacks in a 56-0 win over PJP Saturday while pitching two straight shutouts. Spring-Ford head coach Chad Brubaker believes they have to be at their best Friday.

“I think their line (PV’s offensive line) has done a really good job all year,” Brubaker said. “We don’t have any secret formulas, we line up across from the other guy and try to beat them. Danny Kelchner, Tim Rudderow, Jeremiah Ndjali, Tanner Romano, Toby Poet and Joe Campbell have played well.

“Everyone has to play their best game, that’s what it’s about. This week, at some capacity is a playoff game for us. It’s not lose and be done, but at the same time there’s just as much at stake as a playoff game.”

* * *

Both teams have gone through the conference unscathed after Week 1 tests.
Spring-Ford overcame a 19-7 halftime deficit to State College, scoring 21 fourth-quarter points to spring its season into motion.

“The win was huge,” Senior quarterback Ricky Venuto said. “We weren’t playing bad in the first half, but we weren’t playing great. We weren’t playing Spring-Ford football. Teddy Dylinski, who’s unfortunately out for the rest of the year, made some huge plays for us. That really revived us. We were able to close the game and we’re hoping to do the same against the brown and orange.”

Perkiomen Valley, meanwhile, trailed 30-21 at the half to Council Rock North before the Vikings scored 21-unanswered in the third quarter before rolling to a 56-36 victory.

Since then, the Rams have outscored their opposition 379-47; Perkiomen Valley outscoring its opposition 379-50.
* * *

Since the PAC-10 was formed in 1986, Spring-Ford leads the overall series 15-14 with Perkiomen Valley winning last season’s encounter 20-7.

* * *
The last time two teams were undefeated entering the last week of the season was in 1994 when Spring-Ford ousted Phoenixville on Thanksgiving Day 22-17.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply