Vikings survive heat, Warrior rally
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).
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.
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.