Perk Val­ley avoids up­set at­tempt of Methac­ton, 18-9

The Phoenix - - SPORTS - By Tucker Ba­gley

FAIRVIEW VIL­LAGE >> It didn’t come eas­ily, but the Bat­tle Ax Tro­phy is stay­ing at Perkiomen Val­ley.

Perkiomen Val­ley picked up its sixth­straight win of the sea­son Fri­day night, as it knocked off the Methac­ton War­riors, 18-9, be­hind a pair of touch­down passes from Cole Peter­lin.

The im­proved War­riors were within 12-9 in the third quar­ter but the Vik­ings’ stand­out quar­ter­back Peter­lin cru­cially found Isa­iah Domine on a 60-yard strike that put the score to rest while im­prov­ing to 5-2 (3-0 PAC).

De­fense dom­i­nated the first quar­ter as nei­ther team had much suc­cess mov­ing the ball. Perkiomen Val­ley did pick up 55 yards on their first three plays from scrim­mage, but af­ter a failed lat­eral in the back­field, the drive re­sulted in a turnover on downs.

The two teams then traded punts for the rest of the first quar­ter be­fore the Vik­ings broke through and scored the first points of the game on a 12-yard touch­down run by Jon Moc­cia. Fol­low­ing a missed ex­tra point, Perk Val­ley led, 6-0, at the half.

Af­ter the teams traded punts on their first drives of the sec­ond half, Austin Row­ley de­cided to take mat­ters into his own hands, in­ter­cept­ing Dy­lan Schultz and then ex­tended the Vik­ings’ lead a few plays later when he took a pass from Peter­lin 29 yards for a touch­down.

“That was a big se­quence for us,” Perkiomen Val­ley head coach Rob Heist said. “I thought our de­fense played well all night, but any­time you can get a lit­tle bit of breath­ing room, that’s huge.”

Methac­ton’s re­sponse came in the clos­ing sec­onds of the third quar­ter. Schultz con­verted a sec­ond-and-16 by hit­ting Ron Fon­dots for 31 yards. Four plays later, Schultz hooked up with Larry Dick­er­son to cut the Vik­ings’ 12-point lead in half.

On the en­su­ing Perkiomen Val­ley drive, Chris Sar­pong in­ter­cepted Peter­lin and set up a 36-yard field goal that cut the Perk Val­ley lead to just three.

“We stuck to our game­plan and things fi­nally hit for us in the third quar­ter,” Methac­ton head coach Dave Lotier said. “Our kids be­lieved in our abil­ity to run the ball and then take those deep shots once we get a chance.”

But Peter­lin bounced back to put the game away mid­way through the fourth quar­ter. The se­nior rolled out to his left and un­leashed a 60-yard mis­sile into the out­stretched hands of Isa­iah Domine to push the Vik­ings’ lead back up to 9 points.

“I told the full­back the wrong play,” said Peter­lin of the bro­ken play turned high­light-reel touch­down. “But once I rolled out to my left, I saw Isa­iah was wide open and I just had to make sure I got it to him.”

Perk Val­ley’s of­fense was paced by the duo of Moc­cia and Ja­cob Sturm, who com­bined for 81 and 71 yards, re­spec­tively. The Vik­ings fin­ished with 320 yards of to­tal of­fense, more than dou­ble the 156 yards Methac­ton fin­ished with.

Fri­day night’s vic­tory for Perkiomen Val­ley also gave the Vik­ings pos­ses­sion of the cov­eted Bat­tle Ax tro­phy, given an­nu­ally to the win­ner of the ri­valry game. The win came much harder than last sea­son’s 51-0 laugher.

“Methac­ton has got­ten bet­ter each week on the tape,” Heist praised. “Credit coach Lotier for turn­ing this pro­gram around. Their of­fense moved the ball, their de­fense was scrappy. Hav­ing this ri­valry is good for our team and hav­ing good teams in our di­vi­sion is good for the con­fer­ence.”

“I thought we played well tonight, but there are no more moral vic­to­ries,” Lotier added. “We aren’t the lov­able losers any­more. We need to go from com­pet­ing against good teams to beat­ing them.”

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