Great Val­ley foot­ball tops Phoenixville Phan­toms in non-league opener.

The Phoenix - - FRONT PAGE - By Barry Sankey

PHOENIXVILLE » Great Val­ley blended its staunch de­fense with an ef­fec­tive of­fense to off­set an in­spired ef­fort by host Phoenixville and put to­gether a 28-15 Pa­triot vic­tory in the non­league opener for both teams at Wash­ing­ton Field on Aug .24.

Great Val­ley quar­ter­back Jake Prevost com­pleted 16 of 19 passes for 216 yards and three touch­downs to high­light the Pa­tri­ots’ pass­ing attack. He was 12-for14 for 189 yards in the first half, but also threw an in­ter­cep­tion that Phoenixville line­backer Travis Pan­nella re­turned 60 yards to give Phoenixville some much­needed mo­men­tum.

Josh Burgess and Amani Christo­pher both gen­er­ated big games in of­fen­sive yardage as well as de­fen­sive ef­forts for the Pa­tri­ots.

Burgess caught five passes for 70 yards in the first half, in­clud­ing a 12yard touch­down re­cep­tion that gave Great Val­ley a 14-0 lead at the time.

He fin­ished with six re­cep­tions for 73 yards and also had five rushes for 23 yards and was a force on de­fense for the Pa­tri­ots. Christo­pher fin­ished up with 19 car­ries for 123 yards in­clud­ing a 50-yard touch­down run.

“I am re­ally proud of our kids,” said Great Val­ley coach Dan El­lis. “Our de­fense played great and our of­fense played well. Jake threw a bad in­ter­cep­tion. That gave ev­i­dence that you need a sec­ond scrim­mage, but I pre­fer to play games.”

El­lis said the Pa­tri­ots were also miss­ing some play­ers so they went with lim­ited depth.

Line­backer Gra­ham Mus­cell and nose guard An­drew Disanto also helped an­chor the de­fense for the Pa­tri­ots.

Don Grin­stead made his de­but as the Phan­toms’ head coach and said he was proud of the way his team fought un­til the end of the game, too.

“We made a cou­ple bad mis­takes at key times that cost us,” said Grin­stead. “And you can’t do that against a good team like Great Val­ley that is well­coached.”

The Phan­toms added a fourth-quar­ter touch­down on a 1-yard run by Alex Wash­ing­ton and the two­point con­ver­sion run by Pan­nella. Grin­stead said he was proud of that late push.

Xan­der Craw­ford and Matt John­son helped lead the pres­sure up front on de­fense.

Burgess talked about his per­for­mance fol­low­ing the win.

“I do what­ever the coach wants me to do,” said Burgess. “If he wants me to run the ball, I do that. If he wants me to catch the ball, I do that.

“On de­fense, it is all about do­ing your job. It is all about leav­ing it on the field and be­liev­ing in your brother.”

BARRY TAGLIEBER - FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Great Val­ley’s Bren­dan O’Don­nell has the ball stripped by Phoenixville’s Jor­dan Ford dur­ing last Fri­day night’s game.

BARRY TAGLIEBER - FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Phoenixville’s Jor­dan Ford and Jack Pi­zor wrap up Great Val­ley’s Amani Christo­pher dur­ing their game on Aug. 24.

BARRY TAGLIEBER - FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Phoenixville’s Travis Pan­nella, left, takes a carry against Great Val­ley on Aug. 24.

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