DeFrancesco, Spring-Ford ham­mer Nor­ris­town

The Phoenix - - SPORTS - By Sam Ste­wart sstew­art@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Sa­muel_Ste­wart7 on Twitter

Ru­mor has it Spring-Ford’s Justin DeFrancesco owns real es­tate in the end zone. For as many times as the se­nior was in it Satur­day, that’s the only pos­si­ble ex­pla­na­tion.

In to­tal, the do-it-all back’s five touch­downs and 100-plus yard game on the ground was more than enough to help lift Spring-Ford to a 49-6 vic­tory over host Nor­ris­town in both teams’ Pi­o­neer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence open­ers.

It marked the sec­ond straight game DeFrancesco fin­ished with 100 yards or more on the ground. He fin­ished with a game-high 163 yards on 16 at­tempts with four scores as he helped re­vive a Rams squad that strug­gled to turn it on through the first quar­ter-plus with two fum­bles and a three and out. He fig­ured in the Rams’ first three scores, a 12-yard touch­down re­cep­tion and a 29-yard touch­down run on a counter in a span of two min­utes giv­ing the Rams a 21-0 lead late in the sec­ond.

DeFrancesco now ranks sec­ond in the PAC with 656 rush­ing yards and eight rush­ing touch­downs.

“We knew we just had to stay in the game and it would all come to us,” DeFrancesco said. “Our O-line re­ally stepped up in the run block and the run scheme. We just stuck to our game­plan.”

“You’ve got to get the ball into the hands of the guys who can make plays,” Spring-Ford head coach Chad Brubaker said. “Turnovers are some­thing we have to clean up. We’re in league play now, so every week is im­por­tant.”

Spring-Ford quar­ter­back TJ Pergine had an­other pro­duc­tive day throw­ing for 163 yards and three scores, his most im­pres­sive com­ing on a strike to Dante Bo­nani on a go route for a 67yard touch­down to make it 28-0 be­fore the half. DeFrancesco added five re­cep­tions for 56 yards and a score for a Ramof­fense that had five scor­ing drives that lasted less than two plays. Part of that plays credit to the Rams’ de­fense forc­ing three turnovers, in­clud­ing a blocked punt that led to the team’s sec­ond score of the game.

“We knowwe have a lot of po­ten­tial on this team and we haven’t even reached that po­ten­tial yet,” DeFrancesco said. “We have a lot of peo­ple on our team that are just start­ing to be­where they need to be. We’re all com­ing to­gether.”

“We just need to put some drives to­gether,” Brubaker said. “In a game like that, it’s good to score quickly, but I’d like to see us put some drives to­gether.”

The re­sult was never in ques­tion, but Nor­ris­town’s Iza­iah Webb and re­ceivers Boubacar Di­awara and John Devine made enough plays to keep it in­ter­est­ing as the run­ning clock was held off un­til the fourth quar­ter. Webb fin­ished with 236 yards through the air with Di­awara sup­ply­ing seven re­cep­tions for 81 yards. Devine added three re­cep­tions for 49 yards and the team’s lone touch­down that capped a nine-play, 51yard drive to open the sec­ond half. Nor­ris­town fin­ished with 259 yards of to­tal of­fense and were in dan­ger of fin­ish­ing with a neg­a­tive to­tal in rush­ing yards be­fore Isa­iah Tucker’s 30-yard run at the gun late in the game.

“We had them in ad­van­ta­geous down and dis­tance sit­u­a­tions and let them out of it,” Brubaker said af­ter­ward of his team’s ef­forts in the game. “Some of that is a credit to them and plays that they­made and some of it is at­trib­ut­able to not do­ing what we’re sup­posed to be do­ing.”


Spring-Ford’s Justin DeFrancesco scores a touch­down in the first quar­ter against Nor­ris­town on Satur­day.


Spring-Ford’s Mitchell Vag­nozzi breaks a tackle be­fore run­ning for a first down dur­ing the sec­ond half.


Spring-Ford’s Ben D’Ar­can­gelo, left, and David Giangiulio cel­e­brate af­ter a Nor­ris­town three and out.

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