Phoenixville runs wild on Upper Merion in 43-7 victory

PHOENIXVILLE >> A 65-yard touchdown drive on its first possession. Another 65-yard march on its second. And Phoenixville was off and running just as it had hoped Friday night against Upper Merion. The Phantoms went on to rack up 311 yards and five scores on the ground in a 43-7 win at Washington Field in the Pioneer Athletic Conference Frontier Division opener for both teams.

Samuel Moore, Deacon Williams and Darius Watson did most of the damage on the ground for Phoenixville (4-1 overall) with the help of an impressive offensive line and quarterback Ty Romance went 8-for-10 through the air for 95 yards and a TD. Justin Besz ran 71 yards for the only touchdown for the Vikings (1-4 overall).

The Phantom defense forced a Viking punt on the first possession of the night and then the offense took just six plays to score in a little under three minutes, with Watson running into the end zone from 17 yards out. Then another Upper Merion punt and a five-play drive, topped off by a 10-yard run by Williams, quickly followed to make it 13-0 with 4:01 remaining in the opening quarter.

“That’s what we wanted to do,” said Romance. ”We wanted to come out strong and we succeeded in that. The line played fantastic. They’re always quick off the ball. They always do a good job up front. You can always rely on them.”

“That’s what we do,” said Watson, who also set up a touchdown with an interception from his middle linebacker position. “We’ve been playing together since fifth or sixth grade. We want to be a powerhouse team. Our backs do what we do. Our line always comes to play. That’s why we got 43 points tonight.”

Romance kept the ball and ran 11 yards for a score late in the second quarter to make it 20-0 at the half and hit James Lear with a perfect pass in the end zone from 20 yards out in the third quarter to make it 27-0. Williams ran seven yards for a score on the first play after the interception by Watson, Lanorde Wheeler added a 20-yard touchdown run and Ryan Jacobson booted a 30-yard field goal for the other Phantom points.

The Phoenixville defense held the visitors to 113 total yards and three first downs while stopping the Vikings’ short passing game.

“Our corners came to play, and our safeties, too,” said Watson.

“The defense played really good,” Romance added.

The three main Phantom backs all ran for over 60 yards and Phoenixville averaged nearly seven yards on 46 rushing plays.

“It really helps a lot,” Romance said concerning the number of strong runners in the Phantom backfield. “They (the defense) never knows what guy will hit them. It makes it easy to spread out the offense and keep pounding the ball.”

“We knew that was the best front line we were going to go against in the near future,” said Upper Merion coach Davis Chubb. “They punched us in the mouth. We didn’t respond. We’ve got to fight when things don’t go our way. We’ve only scored one touchdown in the last 10 quarters. Our defense has been pretty dominant. But the defense can’t hold forever.

“We’re a young team. We start seven to eight sophomores. And injuries, too. We’re looking for bodies right now. I look at us as where Phoenixville was two years ago, and look at them now. It’s about execution. They executed more than we did.”

On the other hand, the Phantoms played the way they wanted to all night on both sides of the ball.

“We hadn’t played a full game this year,” said Watson. “This was a full game. This was four quarters.”

Phoenixville 43, Upper Merion 7

Upper Merion 0 0 0 7 – 7
Phoenixville 13 7 13 10 – 43

PX- Watson 17 run (Jacobson kick)PX- Williams 10 run (kick failed)PX- Romance 11 run (Jacobson kick)PX- Lear 20 pass from Romance (Jacobson kick)PX- Williams 7 run (run failed)PX- Wheeler 18 20 run (Jacobson kick)UM- Besz 71 run (Palladino kick)PX-Jacobson 30 FG

Team StatsUM PXFirst Downs 3 21Yards Rushing 46 311Yards Passing 67 95Total Yards 113 406Passes C-A-I 14-22-1 8-10-0Fumbles 1-0 1-0Penalties-Yds 5-46 5-35Punts-Avg 6-40.8 2-25.0

Individual StatsRushingUpper Merion: Besz 7-69, 1 TD; Solley 4-(-23); Totals 11-46

Phoenixville: Moore 19-85; Williams 11-83, 2 TD’s; Watson 7-67, 1 TD; Romance 6-31, 1 TD; Lear 2-25; Wheeler 1-20, 1 TD; 46-311, 5 TD’s

PassingUpper Merion: Solley: 12-19-53, 1 INT; Wright 2-3-14, Totals 14-22-67, 1 INT

Phoenixville: Romance 8-10-95,1 TD

ReceivingUpper Merion: Cherry 4-17; Wallace 3-25; Edwards 3-3; Ramirez 2-14; Scavello 1-9; Besz 1-(-1); Totals 14-67

Phoenixville: Moore 2-36; Lear 2-31, 1 TD; Ford 1-19; H Tenbroeck 1-8; Kingsbury 1-4; Callen 1-(-3); Totals 8-95, 1 TD

Interception: Phoenixville-Watson. Sacks: Phoenixville-Williams 0.5, Callen 0.5

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