Spring-Ford runs all over Bears

The Community Connection - - FRONT PAGE - By Rob Se­nior

ROY­ERS­FORD >> Fri­day night’s game against Boy­er­town rep­re­sented Spring­Ford’s last chance to fine­tune their prepa­ra­tion for the big­gest two-game stretch of their reg­u­lar sea­son. They did so in im­pres­sive fash­ion, top­ping Boy­er­town by a fi­nal score of 66-31 to move to 6-1 on the sea­son (3-0 PAC Lib­erty).

Ryan En­gro threw for 298 yards and five TDs be­fore half­time in the Rams’ most ex­plo­sive of­fen­sive per­for­mance thus far in 2018. The Rams amassed 52 points by half­time, putting up six TDs in the sec­ond quar­ter alone.

En­gro would fin­ish with 358 yards pass­ing and six TDs through the air, a sea­son-best for the league.

“Just an all-around great of­fen­sive per­for­mance tonight,” said En­gro. “The line gave us time, the re­ceivers made plays. It was just a fun night for us.”

The win leaves the Rams tied atop the Pioneer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence’s Lib­erty Di­vi­sion with Perkiomen Val­ley and one game ahead of Owen J. Roberts. Not so coin­ci­den­tally, those two teams rep­re­sent the Rams’ fi­nal two reg­u­lar sea­son op­po­nents. Spring-Ford con­trols its own des­tiny and could reach its first PAC cham­pi­onship game since the league went to a two-di­vi­sion sys­tem with wins in the next two con­tests.

The Rams got off to a sim­i­lar fast start last sea­son be­fore ev­ery­thing came crash­ing down in those fi­nal two con­tests a year ago. Af­ter drop­ping the OJR and PV games by a com­bined score of 61-7, Spring-Ford barely re­cov­ered in time to qual­ify for the Dis­trict 1 Class 6A play­offs, where they lost to Ne­shaminy in the first round.

“Right now, it’s just OJR,” coach Chad Brubaker said in re­gard to the Rams’ looka­head. “We’re not look­ing ahead at all — we were em­bar­rassed by them last year, and they sched­uled us for Home­com­ing again. We’re go­ing to go in there with a lot of fire next week.”

The re­turn­ing mem­bers of the squad say that ex­pe­ri­ence has fu­eled their mo­ti­va­tion for the stretch run this year.

“Last year’s been both­er­ing me a lot,” En­gro ad­mit­ted. “33-0 last year against OJR — we’re def­i­nitely ready to get some re­venge.”

The Rams’ of­fense wasted no time Fri­day night show­ing why they ex­pect this sea­son’s out­come to be dif­fer­ent.

Af­ter forc­ing a quick three-and-out, Leo Van Hulst’s punt re­turn set Spring-Ford up in Boy­er­town ter­ri­tory. Af­ter a tough 4th down run from Stephen Brill ex­tended the drive, QB En­gro found his fa­vorite tar­get Dante Bo­nanni all alone down the left side­line for a quick 7-0 lead.

The en­su­ing Boy­er­town drives each ended in fum­bles re­cov­ered by Ar­mante Haynes, who was dom­i­nant for the Rams de­fen­sively. The first re­sulted in a 28yard Tay­lor Smith field goal.

The sec­ond turnover was con­verted into a nine-yard Brill TD run that ig­nited a sec­ond quar­ter that was (un­of­fi­cially) one of the long­est of the sea­son and (of­fi­cially) the high­est-scor­ing of the PAC cam­paign, with the Rams and Bears com­bin­ing for 60 points. What fol­lows is a synopsis of the most chaotic quar­ter of foot­ball any­one in at­ten­dance could re­mem­ber:

Boy­er­town quickly re­sponded with a lat­eral pass from Noah Se­gal to Con­nor Rohrbach, who found tail­back Jamie Moc­cia all alone down­field for a 74yard Bears TD. Af­ter a blocked PAT, Boy­er­town had trimmed the Rams’ lead to 17-6.

But it only took Spring­Ford one play to re­spond, as En­gro hit Brill down the seam for a 58-yard score. In the first 39 sec­onds of the sec­ond quar­ter, the teams had com­bined for three touch­downs.

The teams took about a two-minute break from scor­ing un­til Se­gal hit Rohrbach for a 22-yard TD on a drive aided by Spring­Ford penal­ties.

But the Rams wouldn’t take long to an­swer, as En­gro found Bo­nanni again, this time for 37 yards and a 31-12 Rams ad­van­tage. Three min­utes later. En­gro con­tin­ued his ex­cel­lent first half, find­ing Noah Baker for a 23-yard TD—his fourth of the half.

Moc­cia would re­spond with a 97-yard kick re­turn— un­like an ear­lier ef­fort, this one was not flagged—and Boy­er­town cut the deficit to 20 points with 2:30 re­main­ing be­fore half­time.

En­gro quickly made it five TD passes, find­ing Max Bunn af­ter a pro­longed scram­ble from 24 yards away. Af­ter Boy­er­town fum­bled the en­su­ing kick­off, it was Baker’s turn to join in the fun, as he took an end-around and tossed it to Ni­cholas Teets for a six­yard TD.

When all was said and done, the teams com­bined for 60 points and 23 ac­cepted penal­ties in a sec­ond quar­ter that took one hour, nine min­utes to com­plete.

“No, I haven’t ever seen any­thing like that,” Brubaker said. “(Jamie) Moc­cia’s a very good player, but our kick­off cov­er­age was hor­ren­dous, and then we get a punt blocked. It def­i­nitely gives us plenty to work on for next week.”

Half­time did lit­tle to break the Rams’ mo­men­tum, as the first play saw an­other En­gro-to-Baker con­nec­tion to make it 59-18 and put the game into run­ning clock ter­ri­tory.

“It’s just a mat­ter of the read on each play,” En­gro re­sponded when asked if he had a go-to re­ceiver. “Who­ever’s open—I’m gonna hit ‘em.”

An­drew Yoon quickly added an­other Rams touch­down on a 20-yard run that showed great vi­sion on a bounce to the out­side.

Boy­er­town got a cou­ple of late touch­downs to close out the scor­ing on runs from Dy­lan Robert­son and Se­gal. The Bears fell to 1-6 (0-3 PAC Lib­erty) on the sea­son. Six lost fum­bles on the evening doomed the Bears, who none­the­less turned in some im­pres­sive plays against a tough Spring-Ford de­fense.

“They (Spring-Ford) are at the level we’d like to get to,” said Boy­er­town coach TJ Miller. “Right now, though, we are two steps and a few turnovers be­hind.”

AUSTIN HERTZOG - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Boy­er­town’s Trey Ye­sav­age (67) is con­grat­u­lated af­ter record­ing a sack against Spring-Ford.

AUSTIN HERTZOG - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Boy­er­town’s Noah Se­gal (16) throws a touch­down pass over the mid­dle against Spring-Ford.

AUSTIN HERTZOG - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Spring-Ford’s Ar­mante Haynes (36) is con­grat­u­lated by Leo Van Hulst (11) af­ter his sec­ond fum­ble re­cov­ery of the game in the sec­ond quar­ter against Boy­er­town.

AUSTIN HERTZOG - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Boy­er­town’s Jamie Moc­cia (7) catches a long pass on a dou­ble-pass trick play as Spring-Ford’s Nick Uba chases dur­ing the sec­ond quar­ter.

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