PJP II, Up­per Perk high­light week’s slate

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Sam Stewart sstew­art@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Sa­muel_Ste­wart7 on Twit­ter

Who wants some Satur­day af­ter­noon foot­ball?

Hope­fully some hands are raised for Pi­o­neer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence fans be­cause a sea­son high three con­fer­ence games will be played in the day­light hours, in­clud­ing the Mer­cury-Area Game of the Week: Up­per Perkiomen at Pope John Paul II.

Satur­day previews will come Fri­day night and will be in Satur­day’s edi­tion of The Mer­cury. For Fri­day’s games, here you are:

Potts­grove at Phoenixville, 7 p.m.

Each Fal­cons pre­view is start­ing to be­come re­dun­dant: Insert stat on star run­ning back Rah­sul Fai­son. Insert plug on of­fen­sive line that is look­ing strong as ever. Add an­other for a de­fense that con­tin­ues to lead the PAC in nearly ev­ery stat cat­e­gory. In all se­ri­ous­ness, Potts­grove (30, 7-0) is look­ing scary good as the reg­u­lar sea­son winds down, the Fal­cons outscor­ing their op­po­nents 153-30 in their last three wins while record­ing a league-high three shutouts de­fen­sively. Fai­son sits at a district-high 1,679 yards on the ground with 23 touch­downs while Bai­ley Delp and Ji­mai Spring­field are tied for fourth in the PAC with three in­ter­cep­tions. Phoenixville (12, 1-6) comes into Fri­day af­ter record­ing its first win of the sea­son. Af­ter a rough fiveg­ame stretch to start the year, Evan Breis­blatt’s Phan­toms have come on strong the past two weeks — tak­ing an un­de­feated PJP team to over­time be­fore ex­plod­ing for a 41-6 win last week. The Phan­toms will look to repli­cate their per­for­mance against the ‘Grove from last sea­son, PHX hold­ing a 24-14 half­time lead be­fore even­tu­ally fall­ing 56-37. KICK­ING IT » Potts­grove’s Nathan Kasper ranks sec­ond in the league with 40 points — all com­ing via ex­tra point at­tempts. Phoenixville’s Nick Si­napius ranks fourth with 32 points (17 ex­tra points and five field goals).

PRE­DIC­TION » Potts­grove 35, Phoenxville 16.

Owen J. Roberts at Methac­ton, 7 p.m.

Owen J. Roberts’ Lib­erty Di­vi­sion hopes were levied a sig­nif­i­cant blow via the leg of Boy­er­town kicker De­clan Coyle, who hit the game-win­ner in a 24-21 Wild­cat loss. There’s still plenty for the Wild­cats (1-2, 5-2) to play for as they head to Fairview Vil­lage ranked No. 15 in the 16team District 1 Class 6A field. OJR’s de­fense still ranks No. 2 in the PAC in both to­tal de­fense (181 ypg) and third in scor­ing de­fense (11.3), but will need its of­fense to come back into form. Since av­er­ag­ing 335 yards per game in the team’s 4-0 start, the OJR of­fense has strug­gled to move the ball, av­er­ag­ing 187 yards per game in a 1-2 stretch — its 52.3 yards com­ing through the air also a 100-yard de­crease. Methac­ton (0-3, 0-7) will look to bounce back af­ter be­ing shut out for a fourth time this sea­son in what ended up be­com­ing a 35-0 loss to Nor­ris­town. HIS­TORY LES­SON » Owen J. Roberts is 1-6 against the War­riors in the past seven sea­sons, in­clud­ing a 14-12 loss last sea­son. The Wild­cats’ last vic­tory over the War­riors came in 2015 in a dom­i­nat­ing 47-7 vic­tory that saw the team pile up 318 yards of to­tal of­fense and limit Methac­ton to just 121 to­tal yards. PRE­DIC­TION » Owen J. Roberts 28, Methac­ton 6.

Up­per Me­rion (0-3, 0-7) vis­its Pottstown (0-3, 1-6) in a clash between the two bot­tom teams in the Fron­tier Di­vi­sion. The Vik­ings will look for some pos­i­tives af­ter be­ing shut out for the fourth time this sea­son in a 35-0 loss to Pope John Paul II. The same can be said for the Tro­jans, which have scored 12 points in its past two games — six in a 41-6 loss to Phoenixville last week and an­other six in a 49-6 loss to Potts­grove in Week 6. STAY­ING STRONG » Pottstown’s Ja­mal Adams and Ne­hemiah Figueroa both look to con­tinue their strong sea­sons. Adams ranks third in the PAC with 385 yards re­ceiv­ing on 20 re­cep­tions while Figueroa is third in the league in in­ter­cep­tions (four). WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR » If the pre­vi­ous seven games are an in­di­ca­tion, look for a low-scor­ing con­test. Up­per Me­rion comes into Fri­day ranked 11th in the PAC with an av­er­age of six points per game. Pottstown is 10th at 10.0 ppg. Both of­fenses rank the same in to­tal of­fense, Up­per Me­rion at 137.4 yards per game and Pottstown at 199.0 ypg.

PRE­DIC­TION » Pottstown 13, Up­per Me­rion 8.

Academy of the New Church at Perkiomen School, 7 p.m.

Perkiomen School plays the rare “home” game un­der the lights as the Pan­thers will call Up­per Perkiomen’s In­di­ans Sta­dium home for their con­test against a 1-5 ANC squad. The Perk School (3-2 over­all) comes into Fri­day’s tilt af­ter a 53-14 loss to the Kiski School and will look to down the Lions for a third straight sea­son. ANC is com­ing off its lone win of the sea­son — a 23-9 vic­tory over Bi­cen­ten­nial Ath­letic League’s Lower More­land. Sopho­more Devin Bryant was the stand­out in the win, rush­ing for 115 yards on 14 car­ries while haul­ing in four passes for 38 yards and a score. PRE­DIC­TION » Perkiomen School 24, ANC 21.

Daniel Boone at Read­ing, 7 p.m.

The Blaz­ers (2-1 Berks 1, 2-4) got back into the win col­umn with a grind-it-out vic­tory 28-21 over win­less Fleet­wood. The road gets a lit­tle tougher against a Read­ing squad (1-1, 1-5) that comes in af­ter a 21-13 loss to Con­rad Weiser in which the Knights let go of a 13-7 half­time lead. Still, his­tory sides on Read­ing in Fri­day night’s tilt af­ter the team has downed Boone in back-to-back years, a 3213 vic­tory last year fol­low­ing a 61-7 vic­tory over the Blaz­ers in 2015. WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR » Read­ing’s ground at­tack ranks third in Berks Con­fer­ence, av­er­ag­ing 277.7 yards per game. The run-heavy of­fense fea­tures five backs with 400 rush­ing yards or more, in­clud­ing team’s lead­ing rusher Jai Whit­lock (1,341 yards on 182 at­tempts).

PRE­DIC­TION » Read­ing 34, Daniel Boone 20.

AUSTIN HERT­ZOG — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Potts­grove’s Bai­ley Delp (10) re­turns an in­ter­cep­tion deep into Pottstown ter­ri­tory dur­ing the first quar­ter in Week 6. Delp, along with team­mate Ji­mai Spring­field, are tied for fourth in the Pi­o­neer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence with four in­ter­cep­tions.

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