Perkiomen Valley, Spring-Ford looking to put Friday in rearview

All the excitement that came from Friday’s win.

All the morose that came from Friday’s loss.

Well, that all can be forgotten now.

It’s district playoff time and Spring-Ford and Perkiomen Valley are gearing up for a deep run in the District 1-AAAA playoffs, leaving the memories of the Rams’ 28-14 victory over the Vikings four days ago behind.

John Strickler - The Mercury Rams #7 cuts back and threaded his way through the Perk Valley defense for the first touchdown of the game for SFord.
John Strickler – The Mercury
Rams #7 cuts back and threaded his way through the Perk Valley defense for the first touchdown of the game for SFord.

A task that the kids have seemed to adhere to, says Perkiomen Valley head coach Scott Reed and Spring-Ford head coach Chad Brubaker said.

“The kids are kids,” Reed said. “They seemed fine today. They’re just ready to move on to the next season.

“They worked hard today, we lifted, watched film and it felt like any other Monday. They seem to be in really good spirits, even in losing Friday. We’ll move on.”

Reed’s sentiments were echoed by Brubaker.

“I think our kids realize they need to hit the reset button,” Brubaker said. “I think our kids recognize that they have to turn it back on. We had a good weekend and now we’re ready to go.”

For Spring-Ford, the Rams come into their opening round date with No. 13 Neshaminy high off Friday night’s victory that garnered them their first PAC-10 title since 2011. The Rams dominated the ground game, registering 350 yards on the ground, while Matt Gibson rushed for a game-high 187 yards and two scores in the win.

The defense lived up to its end, limiting the Vikings (ranked No. 1 in points per game), to six points in the first half, yielding the second score on a Stephen Sturm quarterback keeper with 33 seconds remaining in an already decided game.

“There were a lot of different guys that made plays and that was nice to see,” Brubaker said. “We had guys that hadn’t really played before that came in. Nick Crawford with the interception, he’s been out since the first game when he broke his hand. Tyler Uba came in a couple of times to play corner and did a good job in coverage and almost had a big interception. Joe Campbell had a sack. There were a lot of guys that came in and did a decent job for us when we needed it.”

The loss sent Perkiomen Valley tumbling down the District 1-AAAA power rankings, dropping them to 10th with a trip to Haverford looming, while also ending the team’s quest for a PAC repeat. Stephen Sturm finished the game with 298 passing yards and a score in the loss while the offense sputtered in the Rams end of the field, turning the ball over on downs three times in plus field position.

But for running back Ronnie Arch, the loss wasn’t all bad.

“It definitely woke us up,” Arch said. “It was a wake up call. Now, we’re ready for the upcoming weeks and hopefully we can make a district run.

“During our film session, Coach Reed emphasized to forget about Friday. We need to play our hardest this Friday because it’s do or die. None of us want this season to be over.”

Let the fun begin.

Unchartered Territory
Pottstown is heading to the District 1-AAA playoffs for only the second time in school history and will travel to face Upper Moreland (8-2) Friday night. The Trojans’ last visit to the district playoffs came in 2002, the last season the Trojans won the PAC-10 title. Pottstown fell 35-7 to Strath Haven.

Closing in on History
Perkiomen Valley’s Stephen Sturm is poised to make history Friday night. The junior signal caller needs 35 more passing yards to break Zach Zulli’s (also a Perk Valley alum) PAC-10 record for most passing yards in a season of 2,541. Sturm can also tie Zulli’s mark for most touchdown passes in a season (29), needing only two to do so. Perkiomen Valley travels to Haverford in the first round of the District 1-AAAA playoffs.

Pottsgrove's Wyatt Porter breaks a tackle for a long run against Pottstown Friday. (Tom Kelly III - For The Mercury)
Pottsgrove’s Wyatt Porter breaks a tackle for a long run against Pottstown Friday. (Tom Kelly III – For The Mercury)

Also in the Valley, Perkiomen Valley’s Justin Jaworski can become the second PAC-10 player in history to eclipse 1,000 yards receiving. The junior goes into Friday’s game needing 96 yards to eclipse the thousand mark. Upper Perkiomen’s Ronnie Gillespie still holds the mark of 1,020 set in the 2010 season.

Sack Happy
Methacton’s Dylan Henry made his presence felt Saturday, recording a PAC-best 6.5 sacks in the Warriors’ 21-14 win over Pope John Paul II. Henry, a 5-8, 150-pound defensive tackle, is now third in the PAC in sacks.

District 1 Bracket
Downingtown East emerged as victors in its rivalry battle with Downingtown West and earned the No. 1 seed entering the District 1-AAAA playoffs Friday. East will host Plymouth Whitemarsh Friday. West, the No. 2 seed, will host Pennsbury.
Other matchups include: Garnett Valley (No. 14) at Upper Dublin (No. 3); Neshaminy (No. 13) at Spring-Ford (No. 4); Quakertown (No. 12) at Central Bucks East (No. 5); Council Rock North (No. 11) at Upper Darby (No. 6); Perkiomen Valley (No. 10) at Haverford High (No. 7); North Penn (No. 9) at Unionville (No. 8).
In Class AAA: Springfield-Delco (No. 8) at Academy Park (No. 1); Pottstown (No. 7) at Upper Moreland (No. 2); Marple Newtown (No. 6) at Pottsgrove (No. 3); Interboro (No. 5) at Great Valley (No. 4).

District 3 Doings
Exeter (10-0) closed out a Section 1 title with a win over Daniel Boone Friday. The Eagles earned a No. 3 seed in the District 3-AAAA playoffs and will host Cedar Crest Friday night. Governor Mifflin earned a District 3 bid as well and will travel to face No. 4 seed Manheim Township, also on Friday.
Also in Berks, Conrad Weiser earned a No. 10 seed and will travel to No. 7 Susquehanna Township in Class AAA. Wyomissing (10-0), victors over Berks Catholic over the weekend, earned a No. 1 seed in the Class AA bracket and will face Hamburg. Berks Catholic is seeded second and will host Annville-Cleona on Friday.

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