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Stuart-to-Kapp connection sparks Team Freedom in PAC Senior Bowl

RED HILL >> When it came time for Owen J. Roberts football coach Rich Kolka to draft his team for the Pioneer Athletic Conference Senior Bowl, he definitely had a plan in mind. He selected OJR all-time career touchdown pass leader Dawson Stuart and Jerry Kapp, who set a record for career receiving yards at Boyertown, to spearhead a prominent passing attack.

That selection strategy worked like a charm as the talented duo teamed up for two touchdowns in the first half Sunday afternoon that sparked their Freedom Team to a 36-20 win over the Independence Team in the seventh annual all-star contest at Upper Perkiomen’s Indian Stadium.

Freedom’s Dawson Stuart (Owen J. Roberts) tries to avoid the sack attempt of Independence’s Simeon Little (Spring-Ford) during the PAC Senior Bowl Sunday at Upper Perkiomen. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Stuart went 12-for-18 for 135 yards and also threw a TD pass to Spring-Ford’s Mitchell Vagnozzi as the Freedom squad built a 29-0 halftime advantage. Pope John Paul II’s Jake Bildstein ran 32 yards for a score and Pottsgrove’s Dez Austin caught two passes for a total of 81 yards from Spring-Ford’s T.J. Pergine for the Independence Team.

“That was a priority of mine to get those two together,” Kolka said concerning Kapp and Stuart.

“All I had to do was put it anywhere close and I knew he’d go and get it,” Stuart said concerning Kapp. “It was a nice feeling.”

Independence’s Kobey Baldwin (Pottsgrove), left, deflects a pass intended for Freedom’s Hunter Hinrichs (Owen J. Roberts) during the PAC Senior Bowl Sunday at Upper Perkiomen. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

The Independence squad had a tough time holding onto the ball in the first half, fumbling it away five times due to a combination of errant snaps and pitches and some hard defensive hits.

Upper Merion’s Preston Hampton returned one of those fumbles 41 yards for the game’s opening score. Then Stuart hit Kapp from 13 yards out soon after another fumble in the opening quarter and lofted a pass into the right corner of the end zone to Kapp early in the second quarter for a 20-0 lead.

Independence got on the board in the second half on a 10-yard touchdown toss from Pergine to Pottstown’s Jamal Adams and closed to within 29-12 on Bildstein’s burst. But Spring-Ford’s Justin DeFrancesco countered with a 20-yard touchdown run and front flip into the end zone to wrap up the win with under seven minutes to go.

Freedom’s Anthony Wiggins (Pottstown) sacks Independence quarterback TJ Pergine on a two-point conversion attempt during the PAC Senior Bowl Sunday at Upper Perkiomen. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

“It was amazing,” said Class 6A All-State First Team defensive back Kapp, who led the state with 11 interceptions last fall and added another with an acrobatic move at the right sideline on Sunday. “I thought it was cool to play one more game against high schoolers you’ve been playing against for three years.”

“It was fun, being it’s kind of a laid back game,” said Stuart, who completed four passes to Wildcat teammate Hunter Hinrichs. “There was a lot of trash talking.”

Independence’s Jamal Adams (Pottstown) catches a touchdown pass in the third quarter during the PAC Senior Bowl Sunday at Upper Perkiomen. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Head coaches Kolka and Tom Hontz from Upper Perk drafted the teams in February. Any PAC senior was able to declare himself eligible. Kolka also selected Pottsgrove record-setting running back Rahsul Faison, who did not play since he is on the Pennsylvania roster for the Big 33 Football Classic on June 16.

The Freedom Team practiced three times, on a Sunday and two weekdays.

“It’s hard to get everyone on the same page,” said Kolka. “They did a nice job of picking it up. Defensively, we played really well. We were tough up front. I think both teams had a lot of fun.”

Freedom’s Eleazar Hill (Norristown) deflects a pass intended for Independence’s Dez Austin (Pottsgrove) during the PAC Senior Bowl Sunday at Upper Perkiomen. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Both Stuart and Kapp had good things to say about Norristown defensive end Tyler Tate, who was a key factor in shutting down the Independence side in the first half.

“He was impressive against us, so I picked him,” added Kolka.

Independence’s TJ Pergine (Spring-Ford), left, runs away from the pressure of Freedom’s Tyler Tate (Norristown) during the PAC Senior Bowl Sunday at Upper Perkiomen. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

The Independence team wound up with a 199-165 advantage in total yards.

“Hats off to the other team,” said Kapp. “They played really hard. I want to thank the Owen J. Roberts coaching staff for getting us ready for the game.”

Kapp had the chance to play against some of his high school teammates, as did many others on both sides.

“You scrimmage against them in practice,” he said. “It’s a lot different playing against them. There was a lot of trash talking, but the referees knew it was between teammates.”

Kapp (Seton Hill) and Stuart (East Stroudsburg) could face each other in September when their college teams meet in Week 2 of the season.

Freedom’s Mitchell Vagnozzi (Spring-Ford) is congratulated by teammates after his receiving touchdown in the second quarter during the PAC Senior Bowl Sunday at Upper Perkiomen. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Freedom’s Preston Hampton (Upper Merion), left is congratulated by Anthony Wiggins (Pottstown) after his fumble recovery returned for a touchdown during the PAC Senior Bowl Sunday at Upper Perkiomen. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Freedom’s Malik Gardner (Pottsgrove), left, looks for running room after a catch as Perkiomen Valley’s Brendan Schimpf (24) closes in for the tackle during the PAC Senior Bowl Sunday at Upper Perkiomen. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Independence’s Colby Goldsmith (Spring-Ford) tackles Freedom’s Hunter Hinrichs (Owen J. Roberts) after a reception during the PAC Senior Bowl Sunday at Upper Perkiomen. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

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PAC Senior Bowl - June 4th @ 3p

Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association all-star game set for Sunday

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Lincoln’s Sammy Karr trying to escape the grasp of an Olney defender in a Public League game last season.
by Rick O'Brien, Staff Writer  @ozoneinq |
The 17th annual Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association all-star game will be played at 2 p.m. Sunday at Mansion Park Stadium in Altoona.
Spring-Ford’s Chad Brubaker will guide the East squad vs. the West team. One of his assistants will be Chas Cathers, who stepped down as Central Bucks West’s head coach after last season.
Here are the rosters:
Local players in bold.
No. Position Player School Ht. Wt. College
1 DB Rahiem Bowens Penn Wood 5’10 163 Undecided
2 QB Michael Ruisch Parkland 6’4″ 185 Susquehanna
3 WR Jake Novak Manheim Central 5’11 175 Kutztown
4 DB Devon Dickerson St. Joseph’s Prep 5’10 165 Undecided
5 WR Xavier Roman Manheim Township 6’1 198 Shippensburg
6 P/K Peyton Denlinger Lampeter-Strasburg 6’0 160 McDaniel
7 RB Brady Fox Middletown 5’10 200 Shippensburg
8 WR Rece Bender Manheim Township 5’10 165 East Stroudsburg
9 DE Calvin Pressley West Catholic 6’4 260 Peddie School
10 TE Grant Smith Central Dauphin 6’4 235 Indiana Univ. of PA
12 DB Donnell Henriquez Harrisburg 5’10 186 Maine
13 ATH Roland Norfleet Susquehanna Twp 5’10 165 Shippensburg
14 QB Yahmir Wilkerson Harrisburg 6’1 205 Indiana Univ. of PA
15 WR Chris Drayton Bethlehem Catholic 5’10” 175 Lock Haven
17 DE Kamal Harrison Imhotep Charter 6’1 218 Maine
18 LB Jayvonne Campfield Neumann Goretti 6’1 220 Undecided
20 LB Tyler Simon Manheim Central 5’11 214 Shippensburg
21 DB Myles Nicholson Imhotep Charter 6’1 180 Shippensburg
22 HB Andrew Nickles Palisades 6’3 225 Delaware
23 WR Luis Aquino-Rios Lebanon 6’0 203 Undecided
28 RB Sammy Karr Abraham Lincoln 5’11 185 East Stroudsburg
32 LB Adrian Otero Hazleton Area 6’1 226 Maine
44 LB Aiden Maldacker Wallenpaupack Area 6’0 220 East Stroudsburg
57 DE Connor Munnelly Downingtown East 6’1 250 West Chester
58 OL Bret Legath Whitehall 6’3 300 Shippensburg
61 DE Peyton Snopek Lancaster Catholic 6’1 255 Franklin & Marshall
64 DL James Starer Manheim Township 6’1 290 Thaddeus Stevens
65 OL Wyatt Schannauer Wilson 6’3 350 Shenandoah
66 DL Nick Shoemaker Dunmore 6’2 265 Monmouth
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Spring-Ford Noah Silva (73) is congratulated after tackling a Chester running back.
73 OL Noah Silva Spring-Ford 6’2 265 Shippensburg
75 OL Jeremiah Gutierrez Stroudsburg 6’3 322 Slippery Rock
77 OL/DL Trevor Watts Souderton Area 6’3 275 West Chester
78 OL Aaron Bensinger Blue Mountain 6’4 265 Bloomsburg
79 OL Jonathan Miller Phoenixville Area 6’1″ 290 West Chester
Camera icon  LOU RABITO
Spring-Ford head coach Chad Brubaker.
Head coach: Chad Brubaker, Spring-Ford
No. Player School Ht. Wt. College
1 DB Robert Kennedy Jeannette 5’10 175 Lackawanna C.C.
2 QB Drew Saxton South Fayette 6’2 195 Case Western
3 RB Tanner Volpatti Bethel Park 5’10 195 Slippery Rock
4 WR Tim Sturgis Central York 6’1 170 Kutztown
5 DB Kavon Morman Montour 6’2 180 California of PA
6 LB Ken Cooper Danville Area 6’2 238 Penn State
7 ATH John Varadzel North Allegheny 6’1″ 175 Pittsburgh
8 DB John Harper McKeesport 6’0 175 Undecided
9 DB Rodney Dennard Woodland Hills 6’1 182 Howard
10 DB Jayquan Smith Woodland Hills 6’1 177 Lackawanna C.C.
11 LB Tyler Petucci Altoona Area 6’1 210 Shippensburg
12 WR Garret Fairman Thomas Jefferson 6’2 200 Robert Morris
14 LB Christian Arrington Cumberland Valley 6’2 210 Rhode Island
15 ATH Cam Suman Penn Trafford 6’2″ 205 Indiana Univ. of PA
17 LB Bryce Lauer Franklin Regional 6’3 250 Towson
18 QB Logan Leiby Selinsgrove 6’0 195 Bloomsburg
20 TE/HB Ryan Langdon North Allegheny 6’1 235 Indiana Univ. of PA
21 WR Ronnie Stevenson Montour 6’5 205 Temple
22 P/K Carter Raupach Berlin 5’10 185 Undecided
28 WR Cam Laconi PCC 5’11 185 Mercyhurst
33 RB Tim Smith Penn Hills 5’9 175 Fairmont State
50 OL Bryce Ramer Beaver Area 6’5 300 Ohio University
53 DL Chase Heath Dover 6’3 265 Bloomsburg
54 DE Jackson Heasley State College 6’1 240 Indiana Univ. of PA
55 DE Gerald Brown West Mifflin 6’0 250 California of PA
56 OL Devega Byrd Woodland Hills 6’1 320 Bethany
58 OL Collin DeBoef State College 6’6 275 Penn State
71 OL Ben Johnson South Williamsport 6’3 265 Marist
72 OL Jayvion Queen Altoona Area 6’5 280 Colegate
74 OL Jake Smetak Norwin 6’4 290 California of PA
75 DL Jacob Neiderhiser Ligonier Valley 6’1 320 Geneva College
78 OL/DL Jacob Fetterolf Cumberland Valley 6’3 280 Johns Hopkins
84 WR Jarrett Inch Selinsgrove 6’2 185 Undecided
99 DE Gavin Vargesko Bethel Park 6’1 250 Slippery Rock
West head coach: Eric Kasperowicz, Pine-Richland​

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