Perkiomen Valley’s improvement apparent in 42-16 win at Owen J. Roberts

BUCKTOWN >> Two weeks ago, Rob Heist was optimistic in the wake of his team’s season-opening loss to Spring-Ford.

“I saw some positives out here,” the Perkiomen Valley head coach said, “and this team will improve every week.”

Since that night, the Vikings have proven their leader’s words to be prophetic.

A first half passing explosion staked PV to a 25-point halftime lead, and the Vikings never looked back in handing Owen J. Roberts its first loss, 42-16, at Henry J. Bernat Stadium on Friday night.

Ethan Kohler passed for 201 yards and three touchdowns before halftime, and even halfback Rasheem Grayson got into the act with an 80-yard scoring toss on a halfback option on the Vikings’ first play from scrimmage.

In all, Kohler would compile 227 yards and four scores through the air, tying a career-high he set last week, and add a rushing touchdown in another stellar performance. The junior also tossed for four scores in last week’s win over Upper Perkiomen. After their week one struggles at Spring-Ford, it’s been a very sudden and drastic improvement for the Vikings’ offense.

“We have to remember, those [Spring-Ford] are our rivals… it’s at their place, with no scrimmage, nine new starters on either side of the ball,” said Perkiomen Valley coach Rob Heist.

“Since then, we are getting better every week.”

Perkiomen Valley’s Avrey Grimm, center, breaks away from Perkiomen Valley’s Joseph Corropolese on a 54-yard touchdown run. (Owen McCue – MediaNews Group)

Avrey Grimm added a career-high 194 yards and a rushing touchdown for OJR, who dropped to 2-1.

It was OJR who started fast when sophomore quarterback Michael Reed threw a quick out to Dante DeNardo, who did the rest in outracing the PV defense 63 yards to the end zone to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead.

But from that moment, PV took immediate control of the first half, starting with Grayson’s 80-yard scoring connection with Dawson Debebe (the first of two scores for Debebe in the half.)

“We like to have gadgets installed, we practice them every week,” said Heist. “I felt good about it tonight, and it paid off.”


As for Grayson, he took his first high school pass in stride. What did he see on the play?

“A touchdown,” the sophomore deadpanned.

“I’m really thankful for these guys,” Grayson continued, nodding to Kohler and wideout Jason Posner, who added two scores of his own on the evening. “I’m young, I’m new to the team, and they’re helping me learn the plays and gain confidence.”

After a botched punt snap by OJR, Kohler would keep on an option play, carrying four yards to pay dirt to give PV a lead they wouldn’t relinquish at 14-7 only four minutes into the contest.

Debebe and Leo Hunsberger would add scoring receptions in the second quarter, boosting the PV lead to 28-7.

OJR got a boost when Grimm burst up the middle for a 90-yard gain on the next possession, but the PV defense stiffened to force a fourth down on which a Wildcats TD was called back for holding. Carson Johnson’s 27-yard field goal was successful, but the Wildcats’ best chance of the quarter was squandered.

“You have to score from the [one-yard] line,” lamented OJR coach Rich Kolka. “Doesn’t matter who you play, or what level of football you’re playing, you have to convert that opportunity. It’s on all of us, and it’s relatable to every aspect of this game.”

Perkiomen Valley’s Kevin Beattie jukes Owen J. Roberts’ Andrew Proitte. (Owen McCue – MediaNews Group)

Before the half ended, Kohler hit Posner over the middle for a 51-yard score to expand the Vikings’ advantage to 35-10 with just five seconds before the break.

It was the first of two scoring connections for Kohler and Posner, as Posner would break two tackles and score on another reception from five yards out on Kohler’s final pass of the evening, late in the third quarter.

“We have the talent, we just needed experience,” said Kohler. “The past couple weeks, we’ve gained a lot of confidence and guys are learning what they’re capable of doing.”

“Ethan puts the ball in great spots,” said Posner, who finished with 76 yards receiving and the two scores.

“I think [the loss to Spring-Ford] was inspiring to get us to come back stronger, continue to improve,” he continued. “So far, we’ve been doing it.”


The Wildcats drew closer when Grimm carried for a 54-yard score midway through the stanza. It was the third consecutive 100 yard-plus outing to start 2020 for the junior.

The outcome moves both teams to records of 2-1, tied for second place with Methacton and one game behind PAC-leading Spring-Ford. Perkiomen Valley will likely be OJR’s biggest fans in two weeks when the Rams visit Henry J. Bernat Stadium in hopes of claiming at least a share of the league title.

“We’re taking it one game at a time, though,” said OJR’s Kolka, “because if we can’t bounce back next week (against Upper Perkiomen), the game in two weeks won’t mean as much.”

OJR’s Hunter Rhoads had the hustle play of the night, dragging down PV’s Jake Beaudoin after a 63-yard interception return in the final minutes. With the game well in hand for PV at that point, Rhoads’ never-say-die effort did not go unnoticed by either sideline or the fans in attendance.

But on a night where Perkiomen Valley accumulated 400-plus yards of total offense for a second straight week, the story was the remarkable progression of their offensive line and skill players in only two short weeks of football.

“Our offensive line has had some time to gel,” summarized Heist. “They’re learning, they’re protecting, and I thought they did a really nice job again tonight.”

Dylan Crothers (32) and the Perkiomen Valley defense celebrate Crothers’ interception Friday against Owen J. Roberts. (Owen McCue – MediaNews Group)


Perkiomen Valley142170042
Owen J. Roberts7360016

Perkiomen Valley

Player Comp Att Pass Yds Pass TD Int. Rush Att. Rush Yds Rush TD Rec Rec Yds Rec. TD Sacks Def. Int XPM XPA FGM FGA
Ethan Kohler11192274010441000000000
Rasheem Grayson1180105150280000000
Leo Hunsberger000002002751000000
Mason Thompson00000240000000000
Dawson Debebe0000000031092000000
Kevin Beattie000000003450000000
Jason Posner000000003762000000
Brayden Basile00000000000006611
Tyler Marshall00000310000000000
Brad Curci000002270000000000
Carson Pascoe000002190000000000
Ryan Klimek000002-20000000000
Danny Koehler116002120000000000
Mason Licwinko00000000000100000
Dylan Crothers00000000000010000
Jake Beaudoin00000000000010000

Owen J. Roberts

Player Comp Att Pass Yds Pass TD Int. Rush Att. Rush Yds Rush TD Rec Rec Yds Rec. TD Sacks Def. Int XPM XPA FGM FGA
Matt Cutrone00000260000000000
Avrey Grimm00000171941000000000
Christian Grossi00000000000000000
Michael Reed3974115-80000000000
Dante Denardo000000002611000000
Hunter Rhoads00000430000000000
Carson Johnson00000000000001111
Will Whitlock1553013-20000000000
Aston Shrum000000001530000000
Danny Cashman000000001130000000
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