Boy­er­town sinks Phoenixville

The Community Connection - - SPORTS - By Tim Raub For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

BOY­ER­TOWN » Boy­er­town Area foot­ball coach TJ Miller’s chal­lenge to his team for Fri­day night’s reg­u­lar sea­son fi­nale with vis­it­ing Phoenixville was a tall one — pick up 300 yards rush­ing on the ground, 100 yards through the air and win the turnover battle.

It was noth­ing that he hadn’t chal­lenged his team to do all sea­son, but with the op­por­tu­nity for an Eastern Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship berth on the line, he knew the chal­lenge needed to res­onate within the en­tire team. Mis­sion ac­com­plished. Of­fen­sively, the Bears (4-6 over­all) rode a strong run­ning game, high­lighted by Jami­son Moc­cia’s 187 yards on eight car­ries and two touch­downs and Mar­cus Thomas’ 115 yards on 17 car­ries, and used the arm of Ay­den Mathias who threw for three scores on a 6-for-9 pass­ing night and 150 yards en route to a 41-28 win at Bear Sta­dium.

“We chal­lenged th­ese guys this week,” Miller said. “We knew we needed that mo­men­tum go­ing into next week­end, and be­ing able to bring post­sea­son foot­ball to Boy­er­town. We’re ex­cited about that.”

Boy­er­town also was the ben­e­fi­ciary of a su­perb de­fen­sive ef­fort from se­nior de­fen­sive back Jerry Kapp, who picked off Phan­toms quar­ter­back Con­nor Pata­nia four times on the night.

“We made plays tonight, but we just turned the ball over too many times to win a foot­ball game, and we gave up too many big plays,” said Phoenixville coach Evan Breis­blatt, whose team dropped to 2-8 on the sea­son.

“But it’s been like that all year,” he added. “My kids com­pete, and they have com­peted against ev­ery­one all year. I may be crazy but we are a good 2-8 foot­ball team. I mean, need­less to say, we had prob­lems on the de­fen­sive side with tack­ling and that’s been our Achilles heel all year, and at the end of the day, the turnovers hurt us.”

Boy­er­town made its pres­ence known right from the open­ing kick­off, go­ing 80 yards on seven plays to grab the early 7-0 lead, but the Phan­toms came right back and knot­ted the score when Alex Wash­ing­ton capped an 11-play, 57-yard drive with a nine-yard run up the mid­dle to make it 7-7.

Boy­er­town an­swered quickly though need­ing just one play — an 87-yard touch­down run from Moc­cia to re­take the lead, 14-7,

and widened the gap to 2014 af­ter Mathias found re­ceiver Kevin O’Con­nor on a 25-yard touch­down strike with 11:07 left in the sec­ond quar­ter.

Wash­ing­ton found the end­zone for the sec­ond time on the night later in the quar­ter to cut the gap to 2014, but the Bears closed out the half with Mathias’ sec­ond strike of the night, this time an 18-yard touch­down pass to Thomas to take a 2714 lead into half­time.

Phoenixville chewed up a lot of clock to open the sec­ond half and was re­warded with a four-yard touch­down run from Travis Pan­nella to again make it a one­touch­down game, 27-21, but again, Boy­er­town had an an­swer, this time with Moc­cia’s 60-yard scor­ing run that made it 34-21.

Phoenixville tried to keep it close in the fourth quar­ter and cut the gap to 34-28 on a Pan­nella 11-yard scor- ing run, but Boy­er­town put the game out of reach with 3:08 to play when Mathias picked up his third touch­down pass of the night on a 12-yard strike to Thomas to make it 41-28.

“We wanted to con­trol the clock, and we saw some op­por­tu­ni­ties where we could get some quick hit­ters in there and we did that,” Miller said. “Now, we have a chance to play some post­sea­son foot­ball, and that is just awe­some.”

NOTES » Kapp en­tered the night need­ing just three re­ceiv­ing yards to break Boy­er­town’s ca­reer re­ceiv­ing yardage mark of 1,197 yard, which was set by Bran­don Ma­son in 2000. He picked up the needed yardage and then some on the sec­ond play of the game when he took a screen pass 14 yards to eclipse the mark. ... Pan­nella led the Phoenixville of­fense with 151 yards on the ground and one score to go with 30 yards re­ceiv­ing on the night. ... Pata­nia was 10-for-22 with 154 yards. ... Sean Sabo blocked an ex­tra point for the Phan­toms.

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