By Rob Senior
For Digital First Media
POTTSTOWN >> On an evening designated to celebrate the program’s storied history, Pottsgrove football fans got their first look at a team that looks poised to add its own chapter.
Quarterback Jay Sisko accounted for four total touchdowns (three rushing, one passing), and Rahsul Faison ran wild for 235 yards and two touchdowns as the Falcons rolled to a 56-0 victory in their home opener over Methacton.
Before the game, Pottsgrove celebrated “Past Champions Night,” as representatives of past championship teams were honored on the field. Those who stayed for the game got to see a team with a great chance to join those ranks.
Faison, who rushed for over 2,000 yards in 2016, showed his power early by carrying for 63 yards on five rushes before Sisko opened the scoring on a 10-yard scamper. The junior QB would add another score on the ground before airing one out to Desmond Austin to give the Falcons a 21-0 lead after one quarter.
Faison took over in the second quarter, racking up touchdowns from 25 and 65 yards respectively, before Sisko added his 3rd rushing score on the play of the night. Flushed from the pocket on a broken play, the QB retreated several yards before cutting down the sideline, evading at least two tacklers and tumbling in for the score.
“Once the play broke down, I really didn’t know what to do,” Sisko admitted, “so I figured I might as well make something out of it. Once I got outside, I just did what I could.”
The night was complete for Sisko, Faison and the rest of the Falcons’ starters at halftime, but not before the dynamic duo combined for almost 300 yards on the ground and six of their team’s seven first-half touchdowns. Javon Colbert contributed the seventh, taking the ball over just before halftime from seven yards.
In all, Faison carried 15 times for 235 yards and the two scores. Sisko completed both his passes, including the TD pass to Austin, and scored on all three of his carries, compiling 60 yards in the process.
After halftime, Pottsgrove demonstrated its depth, when sophomore Isaiah Taylor took a carry around left end for a 56-yard touchdown run of his own to close out the scoring.
For Methacton, Joseph Costello gave the Warriors strong starting field position for most of the night, but the Pottsgrove defense — led by linemen Ephraim Hurt-Ramsey and Michael Dickey — never allowed the Methacton offense to get into a rhythm.
“Our defense is good — and they should be, with eight starters back from last year,” said Pottsgrove coach Rick Pennypacker. “But I’m proud of two shutouts (Pottsgrove took down West Catholic, 14-0 last week) to start the season.
“At the same time, I know there are some tough games coming up, and we’re going to need to be even stronger.”
Methacton used the second half to get some younger players game experience, with sophomores Dylan Schultz and Nick Hanson connecting for consecutive first down passes in the fourth quarter. The Warriors advanced well into Pottsgrove territory late in the game, but penalties were their undoing.
“It means a lot to me, to see the way we came out and handled our business in the second half,” said Methacton coach Paul Lepre. “Not only are we young, we’ve got some first-time seniors playing for us … it takes time to gel.”
“We’re fortunate, in a way, to see a team like Pottsgrove early. My guys had the opportunity to measure themselves against a great team, and now we know where we’ll need to improve in order to compete.”
For Pottsgrove, it was a night to celebrate what was — and look forward to what might be.
“Our players understand the program’s history,” said Pennypacker. “They know they didn’t build this program, they inherited it. They understand the tradition that’s here, and it means a lot to them to see those guys come back.”
The way they’re going, some day the 2017 Falcons may be walking right beside them.