COLLEGEVILLE >> Building a special pass-and-catch chemistry between quarterback and receiver takes time.
In their fourth season together, Perkiomen Valley quarterback Stephen Sturm and wide receiver Justin Jaworski are a very difficult combination to stop. And Friday night at home against Frankford, they were virtually unstoppable.
Their first-half stats alone were staggering en route to the Vikings’ 46-24 victory over the Pioneers. Putting on a clinic, showing how all that hard off-season work pays off, Sturm threw for 297 yards in the first half, completing 16 of 21 passes for three touchdowns. All three went to Jaworski, who made 13 of his 14 receptions in the first two quarters while recording a stunning 261 yards receiving in the first half. At that point the Vikes had the game in hand, leading at the break 39-18.
Jaworski finished with 271 yards and a fourth TD, and Sturm ended up 19-for-25 for 329 yards and the four scores. It was a special night for a QB and receiver who have had many in their stellar high school careers.
“We really thought that our skill guys could make a few plays in the first half in terms of catching,” Sturm said, “and they started playing really off coverage. So we started throwing stuff underneath, taking what we could get.
“They were guarding against the deep ball. They switched their coverage from a Cover 3 to a Cover 2, with two safeties over the middle. We took what we could get, and it worked out.”
Indeed it did.
Jaworski took a short pass and went 17 yards for a score on the game’s first series. He made a diving catch for a 42-yard play that set up David Williams’ TD run for a 14-0 margin with 4:22 left in the first quarter.
“Sturm scrambled out, and he threw it so far,” Jaworski said, adding he adjusted his route deep as Sturm bought time. “He made a good throw and he got hit when he threw.”
Most of the night Sturm’s jersey was clean.
“We knew they had some holes we could find in their defense; we game-planned for that,” Jaworski said. “It’s nice to have an O-line that can protect when I’m running deep. It’s nice to have a quarterback that can scramble around and throw the ball right on target. And nobody can really double-cover us because we have so many weapons.”
“Both of them are special players,” PV coach Rob Heist said. “We’re really blessed to have them on our team. The chemistry they have is great. They know the timing of the routes we work on all off-season. I was proud of how they executed and proud of the line and how they protected and gave us time to throw.”
PV (2-0) had to keep the pedal to the metal because Frankford has playmakers. Quarterback Mikey Morell threw four TDs, three of them over 40 yards. Ezequiel “Esky” Lopez caught three of the scores and totaled 213 yards receiving on six catches.
But the Vikings created enough distance and unlike on opening week didn’t give up most of a big lead.
From a 14-6 lead, they drove to Brendan Schimpf’s 3-yard TD run after Jaworski got 15 yards on fourth down. Jaworski and Sturm connected again from 22 yards when Jaworski made a one-hand snag of a bullet over the middle. Then they combined on a 29-yard score late in the first half.
While the passing game led the fireworks, the Vikings played solid run defense and got a balanced running game led by Schimpf and David Williams to help set up the passes. Now comes a big test next week against traditionally tough Suburban One League foe Pennridge on the Vikes’ field.
“Pennridge is a powerhouse,” Jaworski said. “We can play with anybody in the state as long we’re playing hard and doing the right stuff.”
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