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Pope John Paul II executes in all phases to beat Phoenixville

Phoenixville's Jack Pizor is brought down by Pope John Paul II's RJ Rippert. (Barry Taglieber - For MediaNews Group)

PHOENIXVILLE >> Pope John Paul II functioned on all cylinders in its Friday night Pioneer Athletic Conference football game at Phoenixville.

With their offense, defense, both lines and special teams executing well, the Golden Panthers handled the Phantoms, 47-6, in the Frontier Division contest at Washington Field.

Pope John Paul II turned a 13-6 first-period lead into a 33-6 cushion by halftime. The Golden Panthers scored again in the third quarter to make it 41-6 with 9:29 left in the third and put the running clock in order from that point on the rest of the way.

Senior quarterback Kamal Gray engineered the attack, completing 13 of 20 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns. Gray also rushed for 72 yards and a score on seven carries,

Gray connected with Steve Skarbek on a 34-yard pass play to put the visitors on the scoreboard with 10:09 to go in the first quarter. Jacob Snyder booted the extra point for a 7-0 lead and PJP never trailed after that.

Later, Gray found Justin Kormos on a 52-yard touchdown pass to make it 33-6 with 1:09 remaining in the third period. Kormos scored before that on a 60-yard interception from his position in the defensive secondary.

“It was a good team win,” said PJP coach Rory Graver. “Phoenixville is a really good team. They are a well-coached team. Our guys did a good job tonight. There is always room for improvement. We can get better on the defensive side of the ball.”

Phoenixville’s Anthony Stevenson tries to push for more yardages as Pope John Paul II’s Josh Little closes in for the tackle. (Barry Taglieber – For MediaNews Group)

PJP (6-1 overall, 3-0 PAC Frontier) amassed 403 yards of total offense, 202 through the air and 201 on the ground for a balanced look.

Justin Mitala, Daylin Gooden and Josh Little added touchdowns for the Golden Panthers. Gooden displayed good quickness as he gained 83 yards rushing on five attempts, including a 23-yard touchdown run.

Phoenixville’s lone touchdown came on a 12-yard run by Anthony Stevenson with 50 seconds left in the opening quarter. Stevenson ran for 92 yards on 20 calls. He also caught four aerials from quarterback Jack Pizor for 43 yards.

The Phantoms closed with 156 yards of total offense. Tre Davis, Pizor and Chase McDonnell took turns running the ball when the game was still close. All three players figured high on defense. McDonnell also caught two passes and Brady Aselton had one catch. McDonnell left the game with an injury in the second half.

“They’re a good team,” Phoenixville coach Don Grinstead said of PJP. “The quarterback (Gray) is one of the best guys in the area. We had a couple opportunities to get to him, but we didn’t wrap up. We blew some coverages more than we had been. He read the plays. Give him credit, he made the plays. They are going to be a hard team to beat for a lot of teams.”

Pope John Paul II’s Steve Starbek is tackled by Phoenixville’s
Anthony Stevenson and Daniel Gray. (Barry Taglieber – For MediaNews Group)

Grinstead thought Phoenixville (2-5, 1-2) had two nice drives on the night. Some others were cut short by some missed assignments up front.

“They (Phantoms) schemed us in the first half,” said Graver. “They were going with odd and even fronts. We made some adjustments and protected better in the second half.”

Gray passed for 188 yards in the first half alone. He hit Andrew McDonald six times for 67 yards, Skarbek four for 66 yards and a TD, Kormos one for 52 and a TD and Dylan Walker once.

Defensively, PJP was led by Matt Dobrowolski, Sean Anderson, Julian Paskel, Walker, Ambrose Colluroi, Kormos, Skarbek, Little and others.

Phoenixville got some good work up front on defense from Daniel Gray, Roman Ciaverelli, Aselton and Matt Johnson. Sam Fisher was used as a blocking back and linebacker on defense.

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