Potts­grove sinks Boy­er­town

The Community Connection - - SPORTS - By Jeff Stover js­tover@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Mer­curyXS­tover on Twitter

Hard as it might be to be­lieve, Rick Pen­ny­packer got the kind of start to a game he sought for his Potts­grove squad.

The Fal­cons, who came into Fri­day’s game at Boy­er­town un­scored upon in their first two out­ings, saw the Bears end that run two plays into the con­test. And af­ter they pulled even late in the first quar­ter, their hosts went ahead again one play into the sub­se­quent pos­ses­sion. Then Potts­grove saw its next se­ries end with a pass be­ing in­ter­cepted on the first play.

Af­ter that, Potts­grove took charge for keeps. The Fal­cons rode three quar­ters of dom­i­nant play to a 49-14 vic­tory at BASH Me­mo­rial Sta­dium to re­main un­beaten for the 2017 sea­son.

“I wanted that so bad,” Pen­ny­packer said at the con­clu­sion of this cross-di­vi­sion Pioneer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence pair­ing. “The kids were cocky and big­headed, think­ing Boy­er­town was no good. They re­al­ized they had to come back and start play­ing foot­ball.”

The Potts­grove of­fense proved to be more than the “Rah­sul Fai­son Show,” though their mar­quee se­nior run­ning back rushed for more than 200 yards and scored a pair of touch­downs. Quar­ter­back Jay Sisko had three sec­ond-half scor­ing strikes to Bai­ley Delp, Ryan Bodo­lus and Des­mond Austin, and Javon Col­bert got things rolling with his rush­ing touch­down in the first quar­ter.

Even Avery Grant, see­ing ac­tion on the Fal­cons’ fi­nal pos­ses­sion of the game, got into the scor­ing act with a 40-yard burst around his left end in­side the game’s two-minute mark.

“The kids have to re­mem­ber, ev­ery game we play is the other team’s Su­per Bowl,” Pen­ny­packer said. “They’re com­ing out to beat us. But we came out with a win, and that’s all that mat­ters.”

Boy­er­town, look­ing to get the first win for new head coach T.J. Miller, elec­tri­fied its home­town crowd when Mar­cus Thomas made a 59-yard run up the mid­dle with only 39 sec­onds elapsed on the game clock. Ay­den Mathias then staked the Bears to a 14-7 lead when he went 13 yards around his left end with 1:20 left in the first quar­ter.

Their strong start con­tin­ued when Jami­son Moc­cia in­ter­cepted Sisko at the Potts­grove 14. But with the ex­cep­tion of a drive that ended at the Potts­grove two­yard line as time ran out in the first half, Boy­er­town (0-3) was un­able to keep pace with the Fal­cons the rest of the night.

“We fig­ured if we came out

early, we’d have a shot at them,” Miller said. “Our con­fi­dence came out at the start.”

But the fast start ran into the re­al­ity of an­other work­man­like ef­fort from Fai­son. He rushed for 233 yards on 31 car­ries, scor­ing on a 30-yard burst through his right tackle at the 5:13 mark in the sec­ond quar­ter, then on a three-yard push through the mid­dle with 1:19 left in the first half.

“I like be­ing the go-to guy,” he said. “Our of­fen­sive line was a big help. I took what they gave me.”

Potts­grove’s pass­ing game of­fered a nice com­ple­ment to its 330-yard ground game. Sisko com­pleted six of eight pass at­tempts for 178 yards, half of that com­pris­ing his three scor­ing tosses.

The ju­nior hooked up with Delp on a 25-yard toss four min­utes into the third quar­ter. He capped the Fal­cons’ next pos­ses­sion by com­plet­ing a 24-yard scor­ing pass to Bodo­lus about four min­utes later, then came back within the next two min­utes to col­lab­o­rate with Austin on a 40-yard pass.

“They put 11 guys in the box against us,” Pen­ny­packer noted. “We can throw the ball, and we’ll do it.”

“We came into the game feel­ing if they were go­ing to beat us, it was go­ing to be in the air,” Miller said. “To some ex­tent, they did.”

The Fal­cons’ de­fense also turned in a solid sec­ond-half ef­fort, lim­it­ing the Bears to one first down and just one ex­tended pos­ses­sion of eight plays. Col­bert and Par­ris Janusek dropped Boy­er­town quar­ter­backs Jerome Kapp and Mathias, re­spec­tively, for lost yardage down the stretch.

Of­fen­sively, Boy­er­town’s ground game was headed by Thomas (nine car­ries, 67 yards) and Mathias (761). In the air, Mathias and Kapp com­bined for eight com­ple­tions in 16 tries, good for 102 yards.

“We showed more ex­plo­sive­ness tonight,” Miller said. “That’s some­thing we hadn’t seen. In the first half, we made a cou­ple big plays.

“The kids played with a lot of heart.” As for Potts­grove ... “It’s a good win. We’ll take it,” Pen­ny­packer said. “We needed to score, and we got them where we wanted them.”

Austin fin­ished as Sisko’s pri­mary tar­get in the pass­ing game, mak­ing three catches for 92 yards. ... Kapp headed the Bears’ re­ceiv­ing corps, col­lect­ing four Mathias passes for 58 yards. He also went 2-for-2 be­hind cen­ter, cov­er­ing 24 yards . ... For the pre-game coin toss, Boy­er­town had for­mer head coach Bob Hil­le­gas par­tic­i­pate. Hil­le­gas, a 1962 Boy­er­town grad­u­ate and mem­ber of its Ches-Mont League cham­pi­onship team that year, coached the Bear pro­gram from 1987 to 1994.

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