Phoenixville hammers Upper Perk, 49-0
PHOENIXVILLE » Don Grinstead felt it was not a matter of play calling, Xs and Os or any of that.
The Phoenixville football coach pointed to another facet of the game.
“More than anything else, we played really hard,” said Grinstead. “Upper Perkiomen and us, we’ve both been struggling. I didn’t know how we would play tonight.”
The Phantoms satisfied the coaching staff and themselves immensely with a 49-0 shutout over Upper Perkiomen to celebrate Homecoming at Washington Field.
With the result, Phoenixville won its first Pioneer Athletic Conference Frontier Division game after three setbacks and upped their overall record to 3-5. Upper Perkiomen fell to 0-4 in the PAC and 1-7 overall.
The Phantoms took control of the game early and maintained the momentum the rest of the way. The hosts led 14-0 after one quarter and 27-0 by halftime. It was 35-0 entering the final frame.
Alex Washington scored three touchdowns, one on an 8-yard pass from quarterback Connor Patania, while Travis Pannella, Aidan Foley and Owen Koch added single scores for the Phantoms.
Washington opened the scoring with a 47-yard scoring run down the left side with 6:31 remaining in the first quarter to give Phoenixville a 6-0 lead and the Phantoms never looked back. He later threw a 39-yard halfback pass to Patania in the quarter.
Washington also scored on a 16-yard run in the third quarter.
“We played hard from the start,” said Grinstead. “We did a great job of maintaining it in the second half. We put it all together. We played harder.”
The offense, defense and special teams clicked together for the first time this season although the Phantoms have been in every contest.
Tre Davis intercepted two passes, and the Phantoms did not allow Upper Perkiomen to get anything going all night with strong pursuit against the run and heavy pressure against the pass.
“The past few weeks we beat ourselves,” said Patania. “We executed tonight. We were able to run the ball and we were able to pass the ball. And that is why we got a 49-0 win.
“Our line did a great job. I was able to make easy reads. The line is the hardest position to play in football. I am thankful and appreciate every one of them.”
Homecoming proved to be the perfect time for the Phantoms to break out of their slump.
“It was way more exciting and motivating with the crowd and a great atmosphere,” Patania said. “It was fun to play.”
Upper Perkiomen coach Tom Hontz didn’t like what he saw from his team on the night.
“They (Phantoms) were a very disciplined team tonight and we weren’t,” said Hontz. “That cost us. We had a couple penalties. We started off with two false starts on first down, and then we had a pass interference on fourth down. Defensively, we’re not good enough to overcome those mistakes.
“Tip your hat to them. They were the physical team and we weren’t.” NOTES » Daniel Gray, Washington, Pannella, Jordan Ford, Dave Nicholas and Jack Pizor were among the other defensive leaders for Phoenixville . ... Upper Perkiomen got strong defensive games from Luke Whary, Ben Houseknecht, Brady Thompson, Owen Reinhart and Logan Hollingsworth among others . ... Morgan Morris was crowned Homecoming Queen and Drew Gibson was named Homecoming King during halftime ceremonies . ... Prior to the game, the late Nick Basca (Class of 1935) became the first Phoenixville player to have his number retired with members of his family on hand. He wore jersey number 60. Basca, a quarterback and halfback, played at Villanova and went on to play for the Philadelphia Eagles. He enlisted in the United States Army and was killed during battle in World War II.
Phoenixville’s Dave Nicholas takes down Upper Perkiomen’s Hunter Flack Friday.