Owen J. Roberts rallies from down 6 to stun Perk Valley, 12-11


In his pregame speech, Bryan Churchey told his Perkiomen Valley boys lacrosse team, ‘This is just another game on our schedule.’

Churchey, as much as anyone else, and his Vikings know that’s not true when it comes to a meeting with Owen J. Roberts.

Owen J. Roberts' Jack Colt (5) tries to beat Perkiomen Valley's Shawn Coulter during the first half Friday. (Austin Hertzog - Digital First Media)
Owen J. Roberts’ Jack Colt (5) tries to beat Perkiomen Valley’s Shawn Coulter during the first half Friday. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

The former Perk Valley player (2007 graduate) and now fourth-year head coach has been through the battles with the Wildcats … and has known almost only heartbreak.

But Friday was different. The 11-5 on the scoreboard in favor of Perkiomen Valley late in the third quarter said so.

The only trouble was, Owen J. Roberts, with so much history in its favor, wasn’t willing to accept that.

With two tide-turning goals by Austin Delgatto and Jack Colt late in the third quarter, the Wildcats grabbed all the momentum and never relinquished it, rallying from six goals down and shutting out the Vikings in the final quarter for a thrilling 12-11 win on their home turf.

Colt, who starred with five goals, netted the tying goal on a feed from Ben Gindhart before Joe Tordone found Andrew O’Brien for the game-winner with 1:14 left to play.

The drama of the occasion made the win all the sweeter for Owen J. Roberts (6-1, 6-2).

“It’s the best feeling in the world,” Colt said. “We could have come out here and beat PV 20-0 but it wouldn’t be the same as the feeling we have now coming back from down six and we come back, chip away and they don’t have a goal in the fourth quarter. There’s no feeling like that.”

Noah Calle had three goals and Austin Koury had two goals and two assists, including the highlight of the night with his behind-the-back goal on the run to cut the PV lead to 1.

“I think we just came together,” Colt said. “We weren’t playing together in the first three quarters, but at the end of the third quarter when Austin Koury won those two faceoffs and we got two quick goals it kept us going. It was all uphill from there.”

Perkiomen Valley's Remy Sell, right, breaks up field as Owen J. Roberts' Austin Delgatto chases Friday. (Austin Hertzog - Digital First Media)
Perkiomen Valley’s Remy Sell, right, breaks up field as Owen J. Roberts’ Austin Delgatto chases Friday. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

For Perkiomen Valley (4-2, 5-2), Matt Baker (one assist) and Shawn Coulter had three goals apiece and Brian Fehr had a goal and two assists. Yet it will go down as a chance missed.

“We played good lacrosse. Did we play our best? No. We didn’t complete it,” Churchey said. “We have to take care of us and focus on what we are doing that can help us down the road. My players understand the mistakes we made, which is huge. They’re holding themselves accountable and that speaks volumes about the character of our guys.”

The history includes last season’s 8-7 overtime win for OJR in the PAC playoffs plus 2014 when the Vikings’ most recent win over the Wildcats — the second meeting of the regular season on April 23 — was erased with losses to OJR in the league and district playoffs.

A back-and-forth first half was tied 4-4 before the Vikings grabbed the momentum on goals from Mario Scotese and Baker and some crucial saves from goalie Kevin Mo (18 saves) for a 6-4 halftime lead.

It was all PV in the third quarter as it had the OJR defense confused, goals from Baker, Connor Willey (two assists), Fehr and Coulter building a 10-5 advantage.

Owen J. Roberts defender Colin Devine (17) tries to get past Perkiomen Valley's David Neilsen Friday. (Austin Hertzog - Digital First Media)
Owen J. Roberts defender Colin Devine (17) tries to get past Perkiomen Valley’s David Neilsen Friday. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

“In the third quarter it was really ugly. It was them completely,” Colt said. “At that point we really needed to recollect ourselves.”

An OJR timeout and rousing speech from Jake Karpinski didn’t take hold immediately – Coulter hit again for the 11-5 lead. Then everything changed.

“We were up 11-5 and we made a mistake that resulted in a turnover which resulted in a goal,” Churchey said. “You lose a faceoff, they catch us off guard. Any team that’s down six going into the fourth quarter, I think they pack it in with the momentum in the other team’s favor. But with those two quick goals, that brings someone who’s dead back to life. It gave them life. And that’s on us; we gave them that.”

Within two minutes of the start of the fourth quarter, OJR coach Jeff Neese’s charges cut the deficit to 11-9. Koury’s magical moment – assisted by Andrew Siana – left OJR down by one but the comeback began to feel inevitable, later completed when Tordone (two assists) hit O’Brien on the doorstep to complete the huge comeback.

So much for being just another game.

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