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Perkiomen Valley bounces back, pulls away from Upper Perkiomen, 34-0

Perkiomen Valley’s Leo Hunsberger, center, is taken down by Upper Perkiomen’s Corey Jackson and Logan Simmon. (Owen McCue - MediaNews Group)

GRATERFORD >> The Perkiomen Valley football program is relying on a lot of new faces this season.

While unproven, that doesn’t mean there’s not a lot of talent on the Vikings’ roster as displayed by a 34-0 victory over Upper Perkiomen on Friday night at Thomas J. Keenan Stadium to prevent its first 0-2 start since 2004.

Junior quarterback Ethan Kohler, the veteran of the squad, completed 19-of-22 passes for 212 yards and four touchdowns and sophomore running back Rasheem Grayson tallied 154 total yards and a score, while the Vikings’ defense pitched its fourth shutout in five years.

“I think the first game against Spring-Ford it really showed our inexperience, but after that I feel like we’re playing football,” said senior defensive back Aidan Owens, who picked off a pass in Friday’s win. “We’re playing football. It’s football. Kids are going to get into their role. Kids are going to have to do what they have to do and that’s what we did tonight.”

 

Along with giving PV a chance to bounce back from an opening weekend loss to Spring-Ford, Friday’s win also marked the Vikings’ first game on their recently installed turf field.

“It was so awesome,” PV head coach Rob Heist. “I’m happy for our community and our district and our program. I feel like PV and the people who come and support us every Friday night deserve a facility like this. It’s beautiful and hopefully we’re going to get to play on it for a very long, long time.”

PHOT GALLERY: Perk Valley-Upper Perk Football 10.2.20

While Perk Valley’s offense moved the ball early, the Vikings couldn’t put the ball in the end zone until Kohler found Dawson Debebe for an 18-yard score with 8:23 to go in the first half.

After nearly muffing a punt and giving the Indians a chance to tie or take the lead, the Vikings went up 13-0 with 11 seconds left in the first half when Kohler connected with senior wideout Kevin Beattie for a 20-yard touchdown pass.

The momentum shift continued at the start of the second half when PV marched 71 yards in nine plays on the opening possession, capping the drive with a six-yard touchdown run by Grayson.

An interception by Owens helped set up a 10-yard touchdown pass from Kohler to Jason Posner on the next PV possession. Kohler found Mason Thompson for a five-yard touchdown pass on the next drive late in the third quarter to finish off the game’s scoring.

“The touchdown at the end of the half was really a momentum shift for us,” Kohler said. “We were only up 6-0 and going up two scores is a big advantage and we knew that we got the ball after the end of the first half. In the locker room we were talking. ‘If we score out of halftime, we have this game away.’”

 

“The momentum from the second quarter completely carried over,” he added “We got over the hump that last drive of the first half, so then as soon as that happened we just carried that all the way through the second half and played great.”

After winning the yardage battle 67-50 in the first quarter, Upper Perk finished the game outgained 455-180 by the Vikings. The Indians best shot at points came on a second-quarter field goal attempt set up by a 47-yard completion from senior Hunter Flack to junior Logan Simmon.

Flack completed 8-of-17 passes for 96 yards. Simmon caught five passes for 57 yards and added another 22 yards rushing, and Malachi Duka chipped in a team-high 48 yards on the ground. Trey Robinson added two catches for 20 yards and Corey Jackson added a 19-yard grab to round out the Upper Perk offensive leaders

“We wanted to win. We played like a team and played together like a brotherhood,” the senior Jackson said of his team’s effort. “That’s all I can ask from them.”

“(PV) took momentum over (after halftime) and we have some mistakes we gotta clean up for next week, but that’s all about practice,” he added.

Perkiomen Valley’s Antonio Ciarlello (71) and Joey Corropolese (28) attempt to take down Upper Perk quarterback Hunter Flack on Friday. (Owen McCue – MediaNews Group)

Spreading the Wealth >> Six different receivers had multiple catches for PV. Jason Posner led the way with five catches for 61 yards, Debebe followed with three grabs for 49 yards and Grayson added five catches for 48 yards.

Grayson led the Vikings on the ground with 11 attempts for 86 yards. Fellow sophomore Leo Hunsberger ran 12 times for 69 yards.

“We spread the ball around perfectly,” Kohler said. “We have talent and speed and once they get going and they get confident, they can do anything. And the o-line blocked great all night. They were getting a good push up front. And when they pave the path those guys can run and find the holes great.”

Digging Deep >> Jackson said he and his teammates are excited about the challenge of facing some the league’s bigger schools this season. Upper Perk hadn’t played PV since 2015 before Friday night.

Though the Indians have the smallest roster in the PAC, they’ve shown through two games not to be intimated by the Liberty Division schools they’ll face in this reconfigured season.

“I was telling them, ‘We play with the same starting 11. We’ve got no depth and look we’re standing with these teams,’” Jackson said of his postgame message to his teammates. “We’ve gotta go an extra mile now. Now, we’ve gotta dig a little deeper. We know we can play with them. Now we’ve gotta dig a little deeper, give it everything we got every single game.”

Perkiomen Valley’s Kevin Beattie (10) celebrates his touchdown catch with teammates Ethan Kohler (11), Dawson Debebe (13) and Nate Gey (57) on Friday. (Owen McCue – MediaNews Group)

Laying the Boom >> One of the signatures of the Vikings’ defense over the years has been a pride in tackling. That was the case Friday as the feisty Vikings’ defense laid a few good licks on the Indians.

“Hitting hard is a staple of Coach (Matt) Young’s defense,” Owens said. “Coach (Don) Lindberger teaches it. It gets everyone hype and our defense loves it.

The Perkiomen Valley football celebrates its win over Upper Perkiomen on Friday night. (Owen McCue – MediaNews Group)

Results

Team1234OTT
Perkiomen Valley013210034
Upper Perkiomen000000

Perkiomen Valley

Player Position Comp Att Yds TD Int. Rush Att. Rush Yds Rush TD Rec Rec Yds Rec. TD Sacks Def. Int XPM XPA FGM FGA Longest
Ethan KohlerQuarterback19222134094500000000000
Rasheem Grayson-000001169154700000000
Leo Hunsberger-000001379021500000000
Mason Thompson-0000043202910000000
Andrew Beck-000001000000000000
Ryan Klimek-000001000000000000
Dawson Debebe-0000000034910000000
Kevin Beattie-0000000023110000000
Jason Posner-0000000056210000000
Nico Holder-000000000000.5000000
Jordan Daniels-000000000000.5000000
Aidan Owens-000000000000100000
Brayden Basile-000000000000040000
Danny Koehler-000001600000000000
Total 1922213404023111921341140000

Upper Perkiomen

Player Position Comp Att Yds TD Int. Rush Att. Rush Yds Rush TD Rec Rec Yds Rec. TD Sacks Def. Int XPM XPA FGM FGA Longest
Hunter Flack-8179601131500000000000
Logan Simmon-00000922055700000000
Malachi Duka-0000054800000000000
Jose Vera-000002000000000000
Jonathan Traynor-000001000000000000
Trey Robinson-0000000022000000000
Corey Jackson-0000000011900000000
Total 81796013085089600000000

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