Perk Val­ley drops Spring-Ford in straight sets on Dig Pink Night.

The Phoenix - - FRONT PAGE - By Tucker Ba­gley

FAIRVIEW VIL­LAGE >> Perkiomen Val­ley quar­ter­back Cole Peter­lin wasn’t sup­posed to play in the Vik­ings game on Fri­day night. Even af­ter be­ing cleared by his doc­tor, the se­nior was listed at QB2 on the Vik­ings’ depth chart.

“If this game was go­ing to be played on our sloppy field, there was no way we were go­ing to risk his health,” Vik­ings head coach Rob Heist said. “But once the game got moved to a turf field, we thought he could help us if we needed him.”

In­deed, Heist did call on Peter­lin in the fourth quar­ter and the se­nior re­sponded by hook­ing up with run­ning back Jon Moc­cia on a screen pass late in the game to lead the Vik­ings to a 14-7 vic­tory over Nor­ris­town at Methacton High School.

“I just wanted to get out guys ex­cited,” Peter­lin ex­plained. “I knew the game wasn’t over yet and all we needed was once score to win.”

De­spite trail­ing late, Perkiomen Val­ley scored the game’s first touch­down on a 2-yard run from Moc­cia, but af­ter that, the Vik­ings’ of­fense went silent, punt­ing five times and turn­ing the ball over on downs twice be­fore fi­nally tak­ing the lead late in the fourth.

“Nor­ris­town’s de­fense played a heck of a game,” Heist said. “I thought their front did a great job of stop­ping our run­ners and not let­ting us get any big plays.”

The Ea­gles’ of­fense amassed just 75 yards of of­fense in the first half be­fore fi­nally catch­ing fire in the clos­ing minute of the sec­ond quar­ter. Quar­ter­back Daniel Wat­son com­pleted passes of 37, 6 and 13 yards to push the Ea­gles within 25 yards of the end zone with just 17 sec­onds re­main­ing in the sec­ond quar­ter.

Wat­son then hooked up with Xza­vier Gorski for 21 yards and then sneaked it in him­self as time ex­pired. An ex­tra point gave the Ea­gles their first lead of the game.

Fresh­man Ethan Kohler got the start at QB in place of Peter­lin and played well, de­spite some unin­spir­ing num­bers, avoid­ing the Nor­ris­town pass rush and sling­ing the ball down the field.

“Ethan is awe­some,” Peter­lin gushed. “You saw his tal­ent out there tonight, he was mak­ing some great plays.”

“An­other kid would’ve buck­led un­der the pres­sure he faced tonight,” Heist added. “But I thought Ethan was poised, I thought he was con­fi­dent and he played very, very well.”

De­spite Kohler’s play­mak­ing abil­i­ties, the Perkiomen Val­ley rush­ing at­tack was stymied by Nor­ris­town, gain­ing just 110 yards on 35 car­ries. De­spite los­ing the field po­si­tion bat­tle for much of the game, the Ea­gles de­fense held to just 250 yards of to­tal of­fense and 13 first downs.

De­spite the loss, Fri­day night’s game marked a huge im­prove­ment for the Ea­gles, who had fallen to Perkiomen Val­ley the past two sea­sons by a com­bined score of 87-0. Wat­son fin­ished the night with 211 yards of to­tal of­fense and wide re­ceiver Xza­vier Gorski caught 7 passes for 99 yards.

How­ever, the Nor­ris­town of­fense strug­gled to hold on to the ball, turn­ing it over four times in the sec­ond half.

The Perkiomen Val­ley of­fense was led by Moc­cia’s 68 yards from scrimmage and two touch­downs, while Kohler con­trib­uted 108 pass­ing yards and an­other 19 yards on four car­ries. Ja­cob Sturm was the Vik­ings’ lead­ing rusher, pick­ing up 51 yards on just 5 car­ries.

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