OJR rolls over ri­val Pottstown

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Sam Ste­wart sstew­art@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Sa­muel_Ste­wart7 on Twit­ter

BUCKTOWN >> He’s off to Dis­ney World a win­ner.

Owen J. Roberts head coach Rich Kolka can thank his de­fense for that.

OJR’s run de­fense was suf­fo­cat­ing while the Wild­cats built an early three-pos­ses­sion lead en route to a 23-6 vic­tory over Pottstown in the 58th in­stall­ment of the team’s Thanks­giv­ing Day ri­valry.

OJR (7-5) closes out the sea­son win­ners of three straight while also clinch­ing its first win­ning sea­son since 2010.

“It was very im­por­tant for us to come out with a win,” ju­nior wide re­ceiver Sean Praweckyj said. “With the back-to-back sea­sons where we’ve im­proved, I feel like we’ll have more kids come out. It’s a big pos­i­tive for us.”

“Go­ing into the off­sea­son win­ning the last three will give us a ton of mo­men­tum to build upon,” Kolka said. “We only had four se­niors this year so it’ll be a big mo­men­tum boost for our un­der­class­men.”

Pottstown has now lost four straight Thanks­giv­ing Day games. The Tro­jans started strong on the game’s first two pos­ses­sions, but had mo­men­tum sucked away via a Ted Brad­ford 58-yard pick six on a bub­ble screen late in the first quar­ter. From there, it was all OJR, which built a 20-0 lead for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive sea­son, be­fore hold­ing on in the sec­ond half.

“That was a def­i­nite mo­men­tum swinger,” Kolka said. “You didn’t see that play again af­ter that. That was def­i­nitely a big play.”

“That was tough,” Pottstown head coach Gary Rho­den­baugh said of the in­ter­cep­tion. “That has been our Achilles Hell, turnovers and killing drives with them. That was un­for­tu­nate that it happened again to­day.”

Pottstown’s rush­ing at­tack was stymied through­out, fin­ish­ing with just six yards on the ground. Quar­ter­back Owen Mor­ton threw for 137 yards on 10-of-19 pass­ing while re­ceiver Aaron Di­a­mond hauled in three re­cep­tions for 56 yards. None of which were good enough to get the Tro­jans a much-sought af­ter vic­tory.

“We thought that if they could throw the ball and beat us, then good for them,” Kolka said. “We didn’t think they’d be able to do that. We had to stop the run and we were able to do that pretty well.”

“We knew we had to stop the run and we did a pretty good job on that,” se­nior Nick Du­li­akas, who rushed for 25 yards on a fake punt, said. “We got them into their pass­ing ter­ri­tory which is kind of un­treaded with them.”

OJR fin­ished with 224 yards of to­tal of­fense. Hunter Scher­fel led the ground at­tack with 60 yards on 10 car­ries while Praweckyj fin­ished with 47 rush­ing yards and 13 pass­ing yards on two com­ple­tions, one a touch­down on a wide re­ceiver re­verse pass where he found an await­ing Hunter Hin­richs wide open in the back of the end zone to make it 13-0. Quar­ter­back Daw­son Stuart then sup­plied the dag­ger early in the sec­ond quar­ter with an 11-yard run along the right side to make it 20-0 be­fore the team’s traded field po­si­tion through­out the sec­ond half. Pottstown’s An­thony Wig­gins capped the scor­ing with a one-yard touch­down late in the fourth.

“De­fen­sively we set­tled in,” Rho­den­baugh said. “Over­all I was re­ally proud of the fact they played all four quar­ters. Un­for­tu­nately we didn’t have the result that we wanted, but af­ter a rough start, it could have went in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion.”

SAM STE­WART — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Owen J. Roberts’ Hunter Scher­fel low­ers his shoul­der be­fore plow­ing ahead for a short gain.

SAM STE­WART — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Pottstown’s Ja­mal Adams hauls in an ac­ro­batic catch dur­ing the first half.

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