Vik­ings sur­vive heat, War­rior rally

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - SPORTS -

for a 1-yard loss. Then on sec­ond down, Fo­ley and Capo­bianco led a swarm of white and orange jer­seys that greeted Akeem Wal­cott for a 2-yard loss with 46 seconds left.

On third down, Der­rick­son tried to hit Don­tae Thomas on a quick slant, but the pass wound up be­ing in­com­plete with Liam Grande on the tight cov­er­age.

Then, Der­rick­son’s deep ball on fourth down in­tended for Wal­cott on a wheel route was bat­ted down by Tim Mal­lon with 35 seconds left, and the Vik­ings could fi­nally ex­hale.

“Those (last) two plays at the end were go­ing to mean ev­ery­thing,” Reed said. “Luck­ily we were able to get them to have a mis­fire on third down, and on fourth down Tim Mal­lon made a heck of a play in cov­er­age. Like I said, we were able to make a play at the end, but we were hang­ing on for dear life.”

Just two quarters ear­lier, the game seemed more likely headed for a rout than a rous­ing come­back.

The Perkiomen Val­ley sopho­more tan­dem of south­paw quar­ter­back Stephen Sturm and wide­out Justin Ja­worski hooked up for a 24-yard touch­down con­nec­tion with 5:31 left in the first quar­ter, then left-footed kicker Gar­rett Patla booted home a 29-yard field goal to put the Vik­ings (1-1) up 9-0 a lit­tle more than two min­utes later.

A 23-yard Sturm-to-David Wil­liams screen pass set up Ron­nie Arch’s 1-yard TD run that ex­tended the lead to 16-0 mid­way through the sec­ond quar­ter, while the PV de­fense al­lowed just 41 first-half yards.

“The first half, it hon­estly didn’t look like we were a very well-coached foot­ball team,” Methac­ton coach Paul Lepre said. “We couldn’t seem to get lined up right; plays didn’t seem to be com­ing into the hud­dle right. That’s my job as a head coach, to be out there and set th­ese guys up for suc­cess, and it looked like I didn’t do that this week.”

At least in the first half. Over the fi­nal two quarters, though, the War­riors fought their way back into it be­hind the duo of Der­rick­son (263 pass­ing yards) and Cot­teta (five catches, 169 yards).

Cot­teta raced around the left edge for a 21-yard TD run to get Methac­ton on the board less than three min­utes into the sec­ond half.

PV, how­ever, an­swered with a 64-yard march cul­mi­nat­ing in Sturm’s 1-yard TD run that made it 22-6 with 5:56 re­main­ing in the third quar­ter.

That’s how things stayed un­til Cot­teta de­liv­ered a ver­i­ta­ble light­ning bolt, turn­ing a short com­ple­tion from Der­rick­son into an 83-yard catch-an­drun TD to get the War­riors within 22-12 with 9:07 left in the game.

“We were able to keep them on their end of the field in the first half and stay ag­gres­sive,” Reed said. “But in the sec­ond half, they started hit­ting some big plays and our of­fense to­tally sput­tered.”

Der­rick­son’s 5-yard run with 3:21 left cut the deficit to three points, and the Methac­ton de­fense — which was out­stand­ing in forc­ing three three-and­outs over the fi­nal pe­riod — gave the of­fense one last chance.

“For­tu­nately, we were able to count on our de­fense in the first half to keep us in the ball­game,” said Lepre. “We said, ‘Look, we’re only down two scores, what do you want to make of this?’ The guys re­sponded to the chal­lenge of com­ing out there and mak­ing this a ball­game, and they cer­tainly did that. I com­mend our guys for how they played in the sec­ond half.”

That said, it was a gutsy last stand by their PV coun­ter­parts that en­abled the Vik­ings to es­cape with the W.

“We just had to get the job done,” Fo­ley said. “I was very proud of our team. We worked hard to­gether and to stop them at the end like that was in­cred­i­ble.”

“It was a long day,” said Reed. “I’m just glad it’s over and we’re on top.”

••• NOTES: Grande and Mike Hol­land each recorded in­ter­cep­tions for PV, while Grif­fin Bili­cic had a pick for Methac­ton. ... The War­riors wound up with a 300-285 edge in to­tal of­fense. ... Wil­liams rushed for a team-high 57 yards for PV, with Ja­worski catch­ing four passes for 71 yards. ... Nick Nwankwo had a 53-yard punt for the War­riors, while Grande had a 51-yarder for PV. ... The Vik­ings have now won all seven meet­ings of the PAC-10 se­ries with Methac­ton (which still holds an 18-11-2 edge in the over­all se­ries).

Adri­anna Hoff/Times Her­ald Staff

Perkiomen’s Val­ley’s David Wil­liams is tack­led by Methac­ton’s Louis Cot­teta and Nick Nwankwo dur­ing the first quar­ter of the Vik­ings’ 22-19 vic­tory on Satur­day.

The As­so­ci­ated Press

LeSean McCoy and the Ea­gles are ready to be­gin their 2014 sea­son against the vis­it­ing Jack­sonville Jaguars. Kick­off is at 1 p.m. on CBS.

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