Phoenixville grinds down Pottstown for 40-0 PAC Frontier victory

PHOENIXVILLE >> Anthony Ciarlello considers himself to have one of the easiest head-coaching jobs in the region’s high-school football circuit.

“All I have to do is stand out there,” he said jokingly Friday. “The players and my assistant coaches do everything.”

The Phoenixville grid program, pairing a potent offense and shutdown defense through the first 1-½ months of the current season, maintained both standards when they hosted Pottstown at Washington Field. Pouring on the points in the fourth quarter of this Pioneer Athletic Conference Frontier Division duel, the Phantoms rolled the Trojans 40-0 for a satisfactory cap to a night when the school honored its seniors on the football team, cheerleading squad and marching band.

The output was in keeping with its earlier games, when Phoenixville outscored the opposition by a 186-62 clip and its wins were by an average margin of 33 points. After they and their parents were recognized in a pre-game ceremony, the senior gridders led the way in running the team’s current win streak to three games, and its record to 5-1.

Several of the 12th graders reveled in the success afterward … success built over the course of their last four years playing together, and even before that.

“We’ve been playing together since fourth grade,” Shane Callen said of classmate teammates Ty Romance, Sam Moore and Danny Aselton, who congregated with him at game’s end. “I feel close to this group of guys.”

Callen got into the scoring act for the Phantoms (2-0 Frontier), as did Romance and Moore. A pair of juniors contributed touchdowns to the surge: Deacon Williams with successive second-half runs, and Ben Springer with a fumble recovery in the Pottstown end zone to bring the running clock into play for the game’s final 7:31.

For Romance, back from an injury-hampered junior season, his teammates have made his return memorable.

“It makes being quarterback easy,” he said. “We have a great line and fantastic backs. I love being out on the field with the team.”

Three stout defensive series by Pottstown (0-2 Frontier, 3-3 overall) were key to preventing more potential Phantom scoring drives from fruition. Tyrese Washington stopped one on downs inside the 10-yard line in the second quarter with his tackle of Romance, Tyson Robbins halted another with an interception at the Trojans’ 31 before the half, and Nahzir Booker recovered a fumble at the Pottstown 20 near the midway point in the third quarter.

But Nahzier Booker’s 65 rushing yards were the biggest bright spot on the offensive side for Pottstown, whose winning scores were an average of 22.7-9.7.

“They were more physical,” head coach Levert Hughes said. “That was it. We’re still young, but we’re still in the hunt. Our main focus is to get into the playoffs.”

Phoenixville’s ground game accounted for 286 of its total 338 yards offense, headed by Deacon Williams’ 108 stripes and his touchdown runs of 25 and three yards. Moore added 96 yards and a game-opening six-yard burst in the first quarter, Callen scored from one yard out late in the second quarter and Romance (five carries, 61 yards) went on a 41-yard scoring jaunt early in the fourth.

“It’s mostly Sam out of the backfield,” Callen said. “He can catch, juke and run.”

“We have so much talent behind the line,” Moore added.

Defensively, the Phantoms benefited from the fumble recoveries of Stephen Ferko and Andrew Kirk in addition to Springer’s “strip six.” Kirk’s recovery early in the fourth set the stage for Romance’s TD run at the 10:39 mark.

“Our defense has been consistent,” Ciarlello said. “They believe in doing the little things.”

Coming up on their own stretch run of the regular season, Ciarlello noted changes in the Phantoms’ game plan will be in the works.

“We’ll put in additional wrinkles as necessary,” he said. “Some stunts and blitzes … little things to disguise what we’re doing.”

And refinement of its current dominating play will be another focus.

“At the end of the (2022) season, we picked up some bad habits,” Aselton noted. “As we went on, we gained confidence being able to punish teams.”

“We want to limit our penalties,” Moore added. “We’re striving to be perfect. We’re not going to be content until we do.”


Callen on Phoenixville’s approach to the remainder of the season: “We’re taking it week by week, practicing hard like we’re 1-and-oh.” … Hughes on Pottstown’s drive to get back on the winning track following a second straight loss: “Focus. That’s the biggest thing. We have to keep our eye on it. It (season) is not over … we’re nowhere near out of it.”

PAC Frontier Division

Phoenixville 40, Pottstown 0

Pottstown 0 0 0 0 – 0

Phoenixville 7 7 6 20 – 40

First Quarter

Px – Moore 6 run (Jacobson kick), 5:31

Second Quarter

Px – Callen 1 run (Jacobson kick), 3:21

Third Quarter

Px – Williams 25 run (kick failed), 6:17

Fourth Quarter

Px – Williams 3 run (kick failed), 11:55

Px – Romance 41 run (Jacobson kick), 10:39

Px – Springer fumble recovery in end zone (Jacobson kick), 7:31



First downs 8 17

Rushing yards 96 286

Passing yards 26 52

Total yards 122 338

Passes C-A-I 4-11-0 3-5-1

Fumbles-Lost 4-3 1-1

Penalties-Yards 11-53 7-50

Punts-Avg.3-24.0 0-0



Pottstown – Booker, 16-65; Rivera, 6-19; Mayes, 5-7; Lyons, 2-3; Tribble, 2-2.

Phoenixville – Williams, 14-108, 2 TDs; Moore, 11-96, 1 TD; Romance, 5-61, 1 TD; Watson, 3-14; Kingsbury, 1-6; Callen, 1-1, 1 TD.


Pottstown – Mayes, 3-6-17; Rivera, 1-5-9.

Phoenixville – Romance, 3-5-52, 1 INT.


Pottstown – Booker, 1-15; Suber, 1-9; Dinkelocker, 1-2.

Phoenixville – Kingsbury, 1-26; Moore, 1-13; Tenbroeck, 1-13.

Interceptions – Pottstown: Robbins 1.

Sacks – Pottstown: Washington 1. Phoenixville: Team 1.

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