The Week 6 Gridiron, sponsored by the Peanut B & G

RCTV Broadcast of Pottsgrove Game

S-F on the Big Ticket

Spring-Ford’s defense takes care of Pottsgrove in 22-13 victory

ROYERSFORD >> Spring-Ford’s record remained unblemished Friday night.
The Rams have their defense to thank for that.
Six sacks, including a two-sack night by Tim Rudderow, and holding PAC-10 leading rusher Tyrell Barr to under 30 yards sparked the Rams to a 22-13 victory over Pottsgrove Friday night at Coach McNelly Stadium in a game that was marred by penalties and mental miscues from both squads.
“It’s a pretty big game,” Rudderow said. “We were preparing for it all week, our minds were set on trying to win and we got the ‘W.’ It was very nice.”
“Our defense played really well and bailed us out,” Spring-Ford head coach Chad Brubaker said. “We had way too many penalties, way too many mental mistakes, but our defense bailed us out a couple of times. They did a great job.”
Rudderow’s two-sack effort was the highlight for the Rams defense that saw five players register at least a half sack in the win. Dan Kelchner added 1.5 sacks, Tanner Romano 1, with Nick Salomone, Steve Rice and Joe Campbell all adding 0.5 sacks. The run defense was also a catalyst to the team’s win, holding Barr to 29 yards on 10 carries and the Pottsgrove offense to 143 yards on the ground — 100 yards less than their season average.
Senior quarterback Ricky Venuto was solid through the air, throwing for 258 yards on 13-for-21 passing with two scores. Lee Albert finished with a team-high 87 yards receiving for a Rams team that accrued 13 penalties for 115 yards, fumbled the ball twice and punted three times.
“He did a nice job,” Brubaker said of Venuto. “They (Pottsgrove) play a lot of straight man and we talked all week about finding the matchup we wanted and he did a good job of that. There were a couple of really nice catches by guys in key situations. Ultimately we didn’t finish a lot of drives and that’s upsetting but we’ll take the win and build off of that.”
The win snaps Spring-Ford’s (5-0 PAC-10, 6-0 overall) three-game losing streak to Pottsgrove (3-2 PAC-10, 3-3 overall), and keeps them tied atop the conference with Perkiomen Valley, which toppled Pope John Paul II on its homecoming night.
Pottsgrove, meanwhile, will need upsets if it plans on grabbing at least a share of a title that eluded its grasp last season.
Quarterback Deyon Doctor finished with 167 yards passing and a touchdown while Wyatt Porter hauled in a game-high three receptions for 109 yards and a TD in the loss. Much like Spring-Ford, the Falcons were unable to get it rolling offensively, turning the ball over on downs twice while punting four times. The Falcons were denied on a crucial 4th-and-1 at their own 40 yard line while trailing 7-0 late in the second. The Falcons ballcarrier was tripped up behind the line, resulting in the Rams going down the field on a quick four-play, 40 yard drive that culminated with a Trey Jarmon nine-yard touchdown reception to make it 15-0 with two minutes remaining in the half. “We couldn’t get a fourth-and-one (converted), that’s not Pottsgrove football,” Pottsgrove head coach Rick Pennypacker said. “We have done that for 30 years, we’ve gone for it on 4th-and-1 at our own 10-yard line and have gotten it. If we can’t get fourth and half-a-yard, we don’t deserve to win the ball game.
“Give them credit, they played well. They got after us a little bit, were physical up front We new sooner or later that was going to get to us a little bit. We had dropped passes, mistakes, on one drive gave away 40 yards in penalties.
The Falcons remained in the game throughout the second half after Porter rushed for a 17-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter to make it 15-7. Spring-Ford’s Quinn McKenna then answered with a diving 21-yard reception from Venuto for a score to make it 22-7 early in the fourth before Porter hauled in a screen pass from Doctor and scurried 66-yards to make it 22-13 after the PAT was missed.
From there, the offense went flat.
The Falcons were held to negative four yards on their next drive before Ryan Finn replaced the injured Doctor on the final drive with no results, allowing the Rams to ice it with Matt Gibson (14 carries, 69 yards) rushing for two-first downs in the waning minutes.
NOTES >> Pottsgrove finished with six penalties for 55 yards, including three-straight defensive penalties. … Selywn Simpson finished with 62 yards rushing on eight carries. … Stone Scarcelle finished with 76 yards receiving on four receptions. … Jarmon also added an interception. … The Rams finished with 405 yards of total offense to Pottsgrove’s 281.

Venuto, Rudderow help Spring-Ford settle score with Pottsgrove

ROYERSFORD – Spring-Ford had a major score to settle with Pottsgrove Friday night.
Losers of three straight to the perennial PAC-10 powerhouse Falcons, the unbeaten Rams (5-0, 6-0) used a stifling defense featuring six sacks and Ricky Venuto’s 258-yard, 2-TD passing night to exact some revenge in a 22-13 conquest at Coach McNelly Stadium.
“Ricky did a nice job,” said Spring-Ford coach Chad Brubaker of Venuto, who tossed touchdown passes of 9 yards to Trey Jarmon and 21 yards to Quinn McKenna. “Pottsgrove plays a lot of straight man and he did a good job of finding the matchups that we wanted. He lays it up there and we had a couple of guys make nice catches in key situations.”
Spring-Ford overcame pair of lost fumbles and A ghastly 119 yards in penalties to post the win. In addition to a balanced offense that produced 417 yards and a 15-0 halftime lead, the Rams took charge in the trenches, putting the clamps on the PAC-10’s top rusher (Tyrell Barr) and limiting the Falcons to 114 yards on the ground – 164 below their season average.
“We had way too many mistakes, way too many penalties,” said Brubaker. “But our defense played really well and bailed us out a couple of times.”
Head bail bondsman for the Rams was Tim Rudderow, who collected a pair of sacks and generally created havoc in the Falcons’ backfield.
“We have seven tough guys in the box,” said Rudderow. “We did quite a bit of blitzing and did a good job playing on both sides of the ball. It was a big game, and our minds were set on getting the ‘W.’”
Stone Scarcelle showed his versatility all night, catching 4 passes for 77 yards and getting Spring-Ford on the board with a 13-yard run early in the second quarter. The advantage reached 15-0 when Venuto hit Jarmon with a perfect strike in the right corner of the end zone 1:59 before the break.
“Our defense played great and I have to give our line credit for the job they did in pass protection and run blocking.” said Venuto. “I thought there were times when we executed real well but we had too many penalties. My receivers did a good job catching the ball.”
Wyatt Porter scored on a 17-yard run midway through the third quarter to cut the gap to 15-7, but that would be as close as the Falcons (3-2, 3-3) would get. Spring-Ford answered with a 21-yard TD pass from Venuto to McKenna, and although Porter turned a short screen from Deyon Doctor into a 66-yard TD reception midway through the fourth quarter, it was still a two-score lead after the extra point kick hooked wide left.
“Give them credit, they played well,” said Pottsgrove coach Rick Pennypacker. “They got after us a little bit, were physical up front. We had too many mistakes, dropped passes, and on that one drive, we gave away 40 yards in penalties.
“We couldn’t get a fourth-and-one (converted). That’s not Pottsgrove football. We’ve done that for 30 years. If we can’t get a fourth-and-one, we don’t deserve to win the game.”
NOTES: Doctor threw for 164 yards and rushed for another 53 despite facing constant pressure. Barr was held to 29 yards on 10 carries … In addition to Rudderow, Danny Kelchner had 1.5 sacks, Tanner Romano added a sack and Nick Salamone, Steve Rice and Joe Campbell had 0.5 sacks apiece.
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WFMZ News Report on Pottsgrove Game

Spring-Ford ready for challenges Pottsgrove will bring

GIbsonBy Sam Stewart

ROYERSFORD >> They have run roughshod over its Pioneer Athletic Conference competition throughout the past four games.

They have scored the most points of any PAC-10 team throughout the first five weeks, have broken school records for most first half points, not once, but twice.
They shattered a PAC-10 record for most points scored in a game and have a quarterback with an astronomical quarterback rating.
This week, however, Spring-Ford faces a challenge far greater than ones they’ve seen in the opening slate of its PAC-10 schedule as the Rams take on Pottsgrove, a team that has defeated them in the past three seasons.
For that, the Rams aren’t taking the Falcons lightly.
“They’re going to be really tough, they’re going to be really fast,” Spring-Ford senior quarterback Ricky Venuto said. “We have to be more physical than they’re going to be.”
Venuto, son of Villanova offensive coordinator Sam Venuto, has had a stellar senior season to date in leading the Rams to a 5-0 start (4-0 PAC-10). The senior signal caller has recorded a gaudy 232.2 quarterback rating (calculated by NCAA standards) and has thrown for 794 yards (No. 2 in the PAC-10) and 15 touchdowns (tied with Perkiomen Valley’s Stephen Sturm for first).
The Rams’ offense has reflected his production as they recorded a school-best 53 first-half points in a victory over Upper Perkiomen before shattering that record with 55 first-half points in a 82-0 victory over Methacton last week. The 82 points were the most any PAC-10 team has scored in the conference’s history.
But records aside, Venuto and the Rams know that Pottsgrove presents a tall task, one the team hasn’t seen since squaring off against State College in the season opener.
“Pottsgrove is the most physical and toughest defense we’ve seen all year,” Venuto said. “They play a lot of press-man coverage. They’re going to blitz us a lot so when we run the ball, if we break a tackle we’ll be in good shape and get some yards. We’ll be good if our receivers get off the press quickly, I put the ball on the money and our offensive line does a good job in protecting us.”
“We have to play up against their physicality and make sure we know what we’re doing,” Teddy Dylinski added. “We know we’ve had them the last few years and last year was a close game. I still want a couple plays back from that game.”
The Rams’ backfield that consists of Matt Gibson, Selwyn Simpson and athlete Stone Scarcelle, will go against the league’s top rated rushing defense (Pottsgrove allows 36.8 yards on the ground per game). Meanwhile, the Rams’ defense goes up against the league’s top runner in Tyrell Barr (785 yards and nine touchdowns).
Gibson knows how important it is to win the battle on the ground,
“I think it’s very important,” the junior back said. “You can’t just have a good passing game, you need to have a good run game. Our line is very good, they open up a lot of holes. We need to be physically prepared on both sides of the ball, offense and defense.”
If they’re prepared, the Rams could snap their losing streak right where they want to.
On their home turf.
“It would be huge (to win at home),” Venuto said. “We haven’t beaten them in three years. All of our focus is on Pottsgrove right now. We just have to come out, play fast and play good.
“If we can win,” Gibson added, “this game will definitely give us a lot of momentum going into the rest of the season.”

Finally healthy, Pottsgrove ready to tackle Spring-Ford

By Sam Stewart
POTTSGROVE >> He’s already missed one big game due to injury.
Pottsgrove senior quarterback Deyon Doctor isn’t missing this one, however.
Not against Spring-Ford. Not with a chance to fight into PAC-10 title contention on the line.
“It feels great (being able to play),” Doctor said. “I’ll probably have a little nerves during pregame but I’m a senior, I’ve played under the lights for a while. I don’t think I’ll be too nervous. It’s nice being a starter in this big of a game. I’m ready.”
Doctor will be making his second consecutive start under center after missing the past three-plus games because of a lower body injury suffered in a Week 1 loss to Ben Franklin.
He, and the rest of the Falcons are finally healthy. And with a date with Spring-Ford lurking Friday night, the recovery couldn’t have come at a better time.
“It’s good that we don’t have to have a lot of kids go both ways. We got everyone healthy, we’re excited about playing this game,” Pottsgrove head coach Rick Pennypacker said.
The Falcons have won the past three meetings over the Rams. Friday’s contest could mark the last in the series for the foreseeable future due to PAC-10 realignment with Norristown and Upper Merion becoming full members next season.
Spring-Ford and Pottsgrove aren’t slated to play each other next season.
“The sad thing about this is that we’ve always enjoyed playing Spring-Ford,” Pennypacker said. “It’s always been David and Goliath, they’re the big school and we’re the small school. We always liked playing them and have had success with them but this is the last year we’re playing. We don’t play them next year. It’s a shame to see that rivalry go, we always loved the rivalry. It just wasn’t in the cards in scheduling.”
For Doctor, there couldn’t be more implications.
“Coach (Pennypacker) just said to come out and play hard,” Doctor said. “Our PAC-10 title is on the line now. We have to win out if we want to be PAC-10 champs or co-champs. Districts, and getting a good seed for it, are on the line, too.”
Doctor will quarterback an offense that has rode a plethora of good rushing efforts to wins so far this season. Senior running back Tyrell Barr emerged as the team’s leading rusher after an early injury to Wyatt Porter and he’s rushed for an area-best 785 yards and nine touchdowns. Porter, who returned on defense in Week 2 before being close to 100 percent in Week 3’s clash with Perkiomen Valley, is sixth in the PAC-10 with 356 yards rushing and six touchdowns.
Parris Janusek and Eric Bodolus also figure in a run-heavy Pottsgrove attack that is led by a line featuring Jake Adams, Brandon Drozda and Michael Gantert among others.
“We came out here and got the job done this week in practice. We’ll see if we go out there and compete with a good team out there,” Drozda said. “We have to go out there and play like our hair’s on fire tomorrow.”
“We’re blessed right now,” Barr added. “With everyone healthy and coming back, I think we have a good chance.”
For Pennypacker, it’s all about staying relaxed.
“I want my kids to have fun,” he said. “We’re not going to do anything different, we’re going to play our brand of football. My kids are excited, they’re going to battle. They had a great week of practice and we’ll see what happens.”

Week 5 - Gridiron, sponsored by the Peanut B&G

Spring-Ford Cheerleader Comedy Night Fundraiser

Zac DeMedio behind the scenes with Temple football

Spring-Ford football player selected to participate in Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Ceremony

Ben D’Arcangelo, a Spring-Ford Area School District sophomore, recently attended the National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF) in Washington D.C. Ben, who set a lofty goal of attending the United States Military Academy at West Point, has taken a full slate of honors courses for the past two years and participates in football, wrestling and tennis for Spring-Ford. In seeking out opportunities that would help Ben reach his goal, he registered for the National Youth Leadership Forum.
As part of the conference, there was an essay contest awarding two students the honor of participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. A week prior to leaving, Ben approached his English teacher, Katie Uhas, to edit his essay. She enthusiastically agreed and spent time both in and out of school working with Ben to perfect the essay. With more than 300 students in attendance from across the country, and more than 100 entrants in the essay contest, Ben was one of two students selected for the laying of the wreath ceremony.
Congratulations to Ben, his family and his teachers; their joint effort made this once-in-a-lifetime dream come true! Read Ben’s full essay:
“As a silhouette of a soldier emerges from the mists wearing the colors proudly, he fights with and for his brothers around him. Who is this soldier? It is irrelevant. However, what this soldier represents is the pinnacle of service. He embodies a ‘leave no man behind’ paradigm that is of the oldest military tradition.
The prodigious idea about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier serves as both a living reminder of the fallen but those who also serve today. The fact that the tomb is guarded 24 hours a day 365 days a year honors and represents the kind of sacrifice paid by men and women through our nations history. Coming from a long line of military service in my family placing the wreath would be honoring not only my heritage but also the men and women who make this country great through their service. I continue to honor our servicemen and women today by the work that I do in the Civil Air Patrol.
Having two parents who both served as active duty Air Force officers and my father having a service-connected disability when I see veterans I make a point to thank them for their service. This is how I started to see the importance behind our military members and it makes me desire to give back even more. Hearing stories of my parents experiences, the people they met, and their jobs helps me realize the oath these people make to the United States is one of the highest honors. Even though my parents stopped being on active duty when I was very young whenever I visit military installations I see the respect that all of them have for the people they encounter. All of these traits that these men and women display are what make me want to be part of them even more.
My involvement with the Civil Air Patrol has allowed me to gain a bigger role in service of my community. This organization has given me many opportunities to be involved from Memorial Day ceremonies, 4th of July wreath laying ceremonies, and search and rescue missions. These occasions give me a great appreciation and love for the Americans who serve. Civil Air Patrol has given me the opportunity, as a young adult, to help aid and serve the fallen as part of the United States Air Force Auxiliary. Since middle school I have wanted to attend a service academy upon graduation because I felt drawn to military service. It was not until my involvement and advancement in Civil Air Patrol that I realized what service in the military was all about.
Being chosen for the wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery is one of the greatest honors a civilian could ever be bestowed with. Having witnessed sacrifice in my own family I am developing an understanding of what service means. It is a great desire of mine to participate in this seemingly small but profoundly meaningful ceremony.”

Week 4 Gridiron - Sponsored by The Peanut B & G

GameTime Fall Preview

Huge second half propels Spring-Ford past Boyertown

By Tom Nash
NEW HANOVER >> It didn’t begin the way the Rams had hoped.
Spring-Ford's Bryce Dorsey turns and heads upfield after catching a pass in the first half Friday against Boyertown. (Tom Kelly III - The Mercury)
Typically a quick-starting team with the ability to light up the scoreboard, Spring-Ford’s offense didn’t show it early on.
However, a late push in the second half powered the Rams to a 39-6 win over Boyertown on Friday night.
Coming off a 53-point first half performance against Upper Perkiomen the week prior and entering Friday night with a 66-5 first-quarter scoring advantage, the Rams (2-0 PAC-10; 4-0 overall) could only muster three points in the opening half at Boyertown’s Memorial Stadium.
“Offensively we really struggled in the first half. We didn’t have a good flow,” said Spring-Ford senior quarterback Ricky Venuto. “Nothing was going right at all. We really needed to wake up.
Spring-Ford's Matt Gibson breaks a tackle before hitting a pack of Boyertown defenders Friday night. (Tom Kelly III - The Mercury)
“We finally woke up and turned it on it the second half. We played Spring-Ford football and played really well in all phases of the game.”
Boyertown head coach George Parkinson says he’ll need to watch the film to see what changed in the final 30 minutes.
“Defensively I’m not quite sure what happened in the second half,” said Parkinson. “On offense we couldn’t get the ball moving. It seemed like our line couldn’t hold (Spring-Ford) back and they were getting a lot of pressure on our quarterback.
“Spring-Ford did a nice job. They certainly played four quarters and they had a nice offensive game plan in the second half. My hat’s off to them.”
Venuto finished the game with 142 yards and a touchdown through the air while completing nine of his 15 passing attempts. He also carried the ball eight times for 37 yards and two scores.
Stone Scarcelle spent time under center, in the backfield and out wide, where he totaled 71 yards (six passing, 26 rushing and 39 receiving) with a rushing and receiving touchdown.
“Stone can step in at anytime and do what we need him to do,” said Spring-Ford head coach Chad Brubaker. “He practices at wide receiver, running back and quarterback all week, so we’re pretty comfortable (with putting the ball in his hands).”
Running back Selwyn Simpson totaled 34 yards on the ground with a touchdown while Matt Gibson rushed it 13 times for 85 yards on the ground along with a 13-yard catch.
Trey Jarmon hauled in four catches for 79 yards.
“We executed a little bit better in the second half,” said Brubaker. “Boyertown deserves a lot of credit, they played us really well on defense. Mentally we were all over the place in the first half.”
The Bears had their chances.
As has been the norm this season, Boyertown’s offensive woes continued inside the red zone.
Late in the second quarter in a scoreless game, the Bears eventually got down to the 3-yard-line after a pass interference call on Spring-Ford.
But they couldn’t take advantage, after a false start penalty eventually forced them into a 26-yard field goal attempt which came up short.
“That was real deflating,” said Parkinson. “Our penalties killed us. We had (a penalty) when we really shouldn’t have and that’s really tough. The fact that we couldn’t punch it in was discouraging.”
About midway through the fourth quarter, Bobby Welsh picked off Boyertown quarterback Lawrence Garnett’s pass at his own 20-yard line and brought it all the way back to the Bears’ 13 to end another Bears’ redzone threat.
Garnett finished the game completing 8 of 17 attempts with a 10-yard touchdown to receiver Jerry Kapp.
On the ground, Garnett piled up 45 yards on 14 carries while running back Dan Heller totaled 58 yards on six carries.
Boyertown will look to get back on track Saturday as the Bears travel to Pope John Paul for a 1 p.m. game while Spring-Ford will look to keep its strong second half momentum rolling into its game against Methacton Friday at 7 p.m.
NOTES >> During halftime, Randy Kehl (‘66) and Tim Kusniez (‘95) were both inducted into to the Boyertown Football Hall of Fame. Both were given plaques and honored along with members of the 1962 Boyertown team which went on to win the Ches-Mont Championship. … Friday marked Boyertown’s 400th loss. … Owen Gulati nailed a 26-yard field goal in the first half and went 2-for-2 on extra points. … Spring-Ford’s Danny Kelchner finished with 1.5 sacks while Tim Rudderow had a half sack.

Rest of PAC-10 ready for another shot at breaking up Big 3’s domination

It may only be Week 4, but this week’s slate of PAC-10 games already has big implications.
PAC-10 title big?
Not necessarily. More like, ‘Can anyone compete with the Power 3 of the PAC-10?’ big.
So far, that answer is no.
Perkiomen Valley, Pottsgrove and Spring-Ford have handled their conferences foes with ease to start 2015. Pottsgrove overcame a sloppy first half to top Pope John Paul II by 22 two weeks ago, Perkiomen Valley pitched a 60-0 shutout over a depleted Methacton squad and Spring-Ford, fresh off a 58-7 victory over Phoenixville, scored 53 first-half points in a 53-7 win over Upper Perkiomen last week.
Should that be surprising?
In the last three-plus seasons, the Big 3’s cumulative record against Boyertown, Owen J. Roberts, Phoenxiville, Pottstown, Pope John Paul II and Upper Perkiomen has been 60-1. The lone loss came with Spring-Ford playing the majority of their subs in a 49-0 loss to Phoenixville in 2012 — a game thrown right into the Rams’ District 1-AAAA playoff race, played a few days before the team defeated Pennridge three days later on Saturday in the district semifinals.
Making the wound even deeper: no game in the 60 victories has been decided by 10 points or less.
That’s why this week becomes integral in diagnosing the parity, or lack there of, in the PAC-10.
Friday, three teams come in with something to prove as Boyertown looks to snap a four-game losing streak to Spring-Ford, likewise with Owen J. Roberts, which looks to snap its losing skid to Perkiomen Valley. Phoenixville will attempt to double its win total from last season with a victory over Pottsgrove, a team that has dominated the Phantoms as of late, not falling since 2005.
All have something to prove, especially Boyertown after racking up near 100 yards of penalties while its offense proved to be inept in the red zone in the first half in a 28-14 loss to Pottstown.
“Spring-Ford is a good team all around and will be are toughest opponent so far in the PAC-10,” Boyertown head coach George Parkinson said. “We need to enter this game being focused, disciplined and enthusiastic throughout.”
Phoenixville is looking to build off its victory over Methacton Friday where quarterback Troy Rossman threw for four touchdowns, three of them to Nasir Green. Pottsgrove will be their second stiff test in three weeks after the Phantoms fell to Spring-Ford in Week 2.
“Pottsgrove’s a very physical smash mouth team with a stable of backs that can run you over or go around you,” Phoenixville head coach Evan Breisblatt said. “Coach (Rick) Pennypacker is the best and we are getting a very angry Pottsgrove team who was physically dominant last week. We are going to have to eliminate our mistakes and be able to stop the run. Offensively, we have to be able to run the football, attack their man coverage and protect Troy.”
Owen J. Roberts, meanwhile, is also riding high after running away from Pope John Paul II for Rich Kolka’s first win. The Wildcats are surely hungry to give him his second, especially against a team as good as Perk Valley.
“PV is extremely talented with explosive playmakers on both sides of the ball,” Kolka said. “They force teams into mistakes and take advantage of them.”
All three go into Week 4 with a chance to shirk the proverbial monkey that is the Power 3 off its back.
It’s no easy feat, but even keeping the final results close will go a long way in closing a gap that continues to dangerously widen.

Week 3 - Gridiron

Spring-Ford runs rampant over Upper Perk

By Dan Dunkin
For The Mercury
ROYERSFORD >> Spring-Ford ran only nine plays from scrimmage in the first quarter Friday night.
You’d think the opponent was doing a pretty good job of ball control, correct?
Incorrect. When the Rams had the ball, Upper Perkiomen had a very hard time finding it, or catching them.
In nine plays, plus an opening kickoff return for a touchdown, the Rams rampaged to a 43-0 first-quarter lead and ultimately routed the Indians, 53-7.
“I’m just happy that we executed; that’s the most important thing,” Rams coach Chad Brubaker said after Spring-Ford improved to 3-0 overall (2-0 in the PAC-10) and scored 50-plus for the second straight week (it clobbered Phoenixville 58-7 last week). “We saw some things on film and our kids executed.”
Rarely does a game blueprint transfer near-perfectly to the field, but that was basically the case as Spring-Ford had it all rolling, starting with its passing game and defense.
The Rams’ execution was aided by the Indians’ self-destructive turnovers. Four in the first quarter – two interceptions and two fumbles – led to three touchdowns and a field goal. Rams senior quarterback Ricky Venuto was lights-out as a passer and field orchestrator, completing 10 of 11 for 193 yards and three TDs – all in the first half.
“They roll their coverage into a Cover-3, and we were trying to run plays into that. (Venuto) did a good job of getting us into running the right play,” Brubaker said.
The fun for Spring-Ford began immediately when Fort Lauderdale, Fla., transfer Ta’von Todd sped 90 yards to paydirt on the opening kickoff. On the fifth Upper Perk play, Spring-Ford defensive back Bobby Welsh picked off Zeke Hallman in the flat and the Rams took possession at the Indians’ 42. Two plays later, versatile junior Stone Scarcelle took a Venuto pass for a 43-yard score with 9:13 left in the first period.
Spring-Ford would outgain Upper Perk (0-2, 0-3) 361-75 from scrimmage in the first half. Venuto enjoys surveying the field and seeing all the weapons at his disposal.
“It’s great because the line does a great job of pass protecting, and we’ve got so many weapons and they work so hard,” Venuto said. “We scouted them on film and we did a real good job of executing tonight.”
Upper Perk, which nearly came all the way from a 20-point deficit last week against Boyertown, would not be able to mount any kind of comeback in this one. Just two plays into the Indians’ second possession, Rams senior linebacker Steven Rice intercepted and ran it back to the Indians’ 22. Junior Selwyn Simpson, a constant threat as a runner and receiver, made the Indians pay immediately with 22-yard catch and run for a TD as the Rams went up 21-zip.
Upper Perk, which got some good hard runs from Michael Felix and some after-the-catch gains from Tyler Whary, just couldn’t sustain any offense as the Rams’ speed and physicality swarmed to the ball. A fumble triggered a 58-yard Ram drive to a 29-0 lead. Matt Gibson’s 43-yard burst put the Rams in position for Scarcelle’s Wildcat run from the QB spot for a 12-yard score.
The Rams showcased their explosiveness again when Venuto connected with Trey Jarmon on the right sideline and Jarmon blazed to a 73-yard touchdown. On their next possession the Rams scored on the first play, with Simpson romping 56 yards to a 43-0 lead just before the first quarter ended.
Scarcelle added a 28-yard TD pass to Venuto as they switched roles with 4:20 left in the first half.
“We practice that a lot,” Scarcelle said. “Last week at Phoenixville, Ricky was wide open and I missed it. This week I had a chance to redeem myself on that.
“We’ve all got confidence,” he added. “It’s just a matter of getting our mind right and doing what we’re told and executing like we do in practice.”
Venuto has thrown eight TDs in the first three games. And the Rams have shown they can hit you from every angle with so many explosive players.
“We’re rolling with confidence; we’ve just got to keep getting better,” Venuto said. “There are still some things definitely we can improve on.”
“As a coaching staff, our concern is complacency, and we want to make sure we stay hungry and execute,” Brubaker said.
Notes >> In their last five wins over Upper Perk, Spring-Ford has outscored the Indians 256-27 … Simpson has four rushing TDs in the first three games and Scarcelle has 170 receiving yards … Upper Perk’s touchdown came with 3:39 left in the game when Hallman hit Kevin Loose for a 27-yard score.

Week 2 - Gridiron

Spring-Ford smashes Phoenixville, 58-7

By Austin Hertzog
Spring-Ford's Matt Gibson runs for daylight as Phoenixville's Corey Bird looks to make the tackle Friday. (Barry Taglieber - For The Mercury)
PHOENIXVILLE >> Spring-Ford continued its fast pace to start the scholastic football season with a 58-7 Pioneer Athletic Conference victory over host Phoenixville Friday night at Washington Field.
Selwyn Simpson rushed for three touchdowns and 76 yards on just five carries as Spring-Ford followed up a 16-0 first-quarter lead with a 44-0 halftime cushion that put the running clock in motion. The Rams then tacked on 24 points in the fourth period.
The Rams started the PAC-10 season in fine fashion after starting the year with a non-league win over powerful State College last weekend. The Rams rushed for 236 yards and passed for 149 more yards to close out the game with 385 yards of total offense.
“We are doing great,” said Simpson. “We are doing well right now. The line is blocking great and we’re running well. We are finding holes. Overall, I think we are playing great. Our JVs did, too.”
Quarterback Ricky Venuto completed 10 of 13 aerials for 151 yards and one touchdown. Venuto completed a 30-yard scoring pass to Bryce Dorsey. Simpson scored on runs of 53, 11 and nine yards.
Matt Gibson had a 1-yard scoring run, and Quinn McKenna recovered a bad snap in the end zone for another touchdown. Jason Wilson had a 1-yard scoring plunge, and Matt Booth capped the scoring with a 21-yard TD run.
Phoenixville’s lone score camme on a 39-yard pass from Matt Palubinsky to Nasir Green in the fourth quarter.
Phoenixville's Nasir Green breaks up a pass intended for Spring-Ford's Stone Scarcelle as Phoenixville's Dorian County looks on Friday. (Barry Taglieber - For The Mercury)
Phoenixville’s Nasir Green breaks up a pass intended for Spring-Ford’s Stone Scarcelle as Phoenixville’s Dorian County looks on Friday. (Barry Taglieber – For The Mercury)
“Coach (Chad Brubaker) has been saying all week to not underestimate an opponent,” said Simpson. “But we came out a little slow. They (Phantoms) came out fighting, but then we got going. Our defense did awesome. Hopefully, they can keep it up, and offensively we can keep on scoring.”
“We jusgt expect to get a great performance, no matter who the opponent is and what the score is,” said Brubaker. “We executed and playeda good hard game and covered defensively. We didn’t move the ball offfensively the first two drives, but then we opened it up and started to be successful. We had a nice completion to Stone Scarcelle, and then Selwyn had the long run, and we settled down a little bit.”
Brubaker explained that he went for the two-point conversion throughout the eening because two of his varsity kickers were competing at a boys soccer game at the same time.
Palubinsky rushed for 49 yards on six carries and had one burst of 31 yards. Quarterback Troy Rossman completed seven of 16 throws for yards. Green had four receptions for 51 yards and one score.
“Spring-Ford is an excellent football team,” said Phoenixville coach Evan Breisblatt. “They are well-coached. They have tremendous depth. We came out after them in the firsrt quarter, but then they took over and dominated us. I don’t think we can dwelllon this. They are a quad-A team and we are a triple-A football team.
“We are going to have a tough September. We got banged up pretty good tonight.”

Week 1 - Gridiron

Big Ticket - State College at Spring-Ford

Spring-Ford stuns State College on late TD

By Samuel Stewart Updated: September 4, 2015    
Spring-Ford quarterback Ricky Venuto tries to beat a pair of State College defenders to the edge on a carry Friday. (Sam Stewart - The Mercury)
It took shots to the jaw throughout the game.
Never wilting, Spring-Ford made sure it landed the knockout punch in a 28-25 victory over State College that saw three lead changes in the final eight minutes.
“I just talked in there (locker room) about resilience,” Spring-Ford head coach Chad Brubaker said. “Resilience is a huge thing for teenagers. We made a ton of mistakes in the first half but our kids didn’t get down, our kids just kept battling and it was great to see kids picking each other up.”
“We were extremely resilient,” Spring-Ford quarterback Ricky Venuto said. “We never gave up, we were dedicated to get the win. Football is about being smart and having heart, we had both tonight.”
Venuto sparked the Rams in the second half, throwing for 149 yards and three scores in the final 24 minutes as Spring-Ford overcame first-half mistakes and a botched snap on a punt in the final six minutes to pull out the win against the team that felled them a season prior in State College.
That year, Spring-Ford and the PAC-10 went 0-10 in Week 1 play.
This year, there was no chance of that happening, even with the seemingly back-breaking miscues.
It started with a poor tackling exhibition by the Rams secondary that allowed State College running back Jordan Misher (20 attempts, 150 yards) to break free for a 65-yard score. It continued with Noah Woods finding himself wide open down the sideline and hauling in a 68-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Snyder to make it 19-7 before the half.
The would-be-back-breaking miscue came late in the fourth with the Rams holding a 20-19 lead as a high snap on a fourth down sent athlete Stone Scarcelle racing back to pick up the bouncing ball near his own goal line before making a desperate attempt to punt the ball away. He got the punt off, but only to the 16 where Snyder and Jay Shoop made quick work on a two-play scoring drive, culminating with a 10-yard touchdown pass that made it 25-20.
But this was Spring-Ford’s night.
Fresh off throwing two touchdown passes to Teddy Dylinksi on subsequent drives to give the Rams the aforementioned one-point edge, Venuto delivered again, hitting Scarcelle on a drag route before he broke through two arm tackles and scampered 37 yards for the eventual game-winning score.
Nick Salomone and Trey Jarmon then stood tall defensively the next possession with Salomone getting a critical quarterback hurry that forced Snyder to throw the ball into the turf on third down before Jarmon jarred the bar loose from Brandon Clark on a fake punt attempt to help seal the win.
“In terms of regular season wins, this is right up there,” Brubaker said. “But we have to play Phoenixville next week, it’s coach talk but its true. We can’t have a let down and we’ll have fun with this tonight, come in Sunday, see what we did wrong and try to get better next week.”
NOTES >>  Venuto finished the game 14-24 for 189 yards and four touchdowns in his first career varsity start. Selywn Simpson finished with 56 yards on 13 attempts. Scarcelle made the game-sealing interception with 13 seconds left on a heave from Snyder (16-31 for 211 yards and two TDs).
Dylinski made a sensational catch on a seam route that made it 20-19. On the same route he ran the play prior, Dylinski beat out the safety in a one-on-one situation, caught the ball and toed the sideline for the score.
“That was a huge play,” Brubaker said. “We just saw that we had a Cover 2 on that side and we felt that the safety was hugging the hash a bit and we could go back to it. That was a check at the line on both of them. We didn’t think we’d get the same coverage, but we did and we went back to him.”
“We saw them on film and we knew they were slow off their break,” Dylinski said. “I knew I could shake him.”

Spring-Ford rallies past State College in season opener

rgery@centredaily.comSeptember 5, 2015 
ROYERSFORD — State College coach Matt Lintal gathered his team on the field and tried to put a tough season-opening loss into perspective.
The Little Lions came into the year with high expectations, with goals to win the Mid Penn Conference Commonwealth division title and district championship, and to make a run toward more. Those goals remain within reach even after State College fell 28-25 to Spring-Ford on the road Friday night. Lintal made that clear to his players despite the disappointing start.
“That adversity can help us to become a better football team,” Lintal said.
The Little Lions (0-1) felt a range of emotions in a game that was decided in a wild fourth quarter. Spring-Ford scored 21 points in the final period on three touchdown passes by Ricky Venuto. The Rams quarterback completed 14 of 23 passes for 196 yards and four touchdowns. He found Stone Scarcelle for the game-winning score, connecting on a 37-yard pass less than one minute after State College took a five-point lead.
The Little Lions benefited from a Spring-Ford miscue to set up their go-ahead touchdown with just more than four minutes to play.
The Rams faced fourth-and-4 at the 26-yard line and prepared to punt, but the snap sailed over Scarcelle’s head. Scarcelle chased the ball into the end zone, ran to his right and got a punt off to the right sideline.
State College needed to go 16 yards to erase a one-point deficit.
Running back Jordan Misher — who finished with 147 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries — rushed for six yards on first down. On the next play, State College quarterback Tyler Snyder fired a pass to Jay Shoop in the right corner of the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown.
The Little Lions’ two-point conversion attempt failed, but they led 25-20 with 4:08 left.
The lead was short-lived as the Rams answered with a kickoff return past midfield to the 45-yard line. Running back Selwyn Simpson picked up eight yards before before Venuto drilled Scarcelle over the middle of the field.
He took off for the left corner of the end zone to complete the 37-yard touchdown, and Bryce Dorsey punched in the two-point conversion to make it 28-25.
“That’s not what you’re hoping but you’re planning for that next series,” Lintal said. “So even as we came off, we tried to keep the kids real level-headed and get ready for their next set of downs, whether you’re trying to run the clock out or put the ball back into the end zone.
“Having those learning experiences throughout tonight, I think is going to pay dividends throughout the year.”
State College went three-and-out on its next series, and punter Brett Graham’s deep pass for Brandon Clark on fourth down was knocked down. The Little Lions regained possession with 26.3 seconds to go, taking over 80 yards away from the end zone.
Snyder hit Graham for 15 yards. Then, Scarcelle picked off his next pass lofted downfield, sealing the Rams’ win.
Snyder had an up-and-down night, getting off to a tough start before finding his rhythm in the middle of the game. His first two passes were incomplete on the first two plays of the night. He then threw a pass behind Misher for a fumble that gave Spring-Ford first-and-goal at the 4-yard line.
Venuto hit Quinn McKenna to give the Rams the lead.
Snyder completed 16 for 29 with two interceptions to go with a 68-yard touchdown pass to Noah Woods and his touchdown to Shoop.
“I think he’ll grow in confidence each and every week as any first-year starting quarterback kind of has to go through,” Lintal said. “I’m proud of him for keeping his head up, staying positive and just keeping that trust level there. He’s a great quarterback and he’s going to continue to develop week in and week out.”
Lintal thinks his team will learn from the loss, too.
“You never felt like either team had the game in hand right down to the final second,” Lintal said. “I’ll tell you our kids are going to learn a lot from this experience, and I think we just talked about how adversity is what can bring you together and as a football team, obviously that whole game was up and down. But we’re going to grow from this.”
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State College looks to replicate what it did in last year’s win over Spring-Ford

jmcgonigal@centredaily.comSeptember 3, 2015 
STATE COLLEGE — On Aug. 29, 2014, a “new era” started for State College football as head coach Matt Lintal patrolled the sidelines for the first time after Al Wolski did the same for a decade.
The opponent? Spring-Ford. The result? A sometimes sloppy, but progressive 14-point win.
Then, the Little Lions were still getting comfortable with Lintal and his staff. Now, as State College prepares to play Spring-Ford again, this time on the road, at 7 p.m. on Friday, things are a little different.
“Compared to a year ago, I feel like we’re well ahead of where we were,” said Lintal, entering his second season. “The kids know what the expectation level is … They’ve bought into everything we’re doing as a coaching staff and as a program, and they’re really able to execute it now in a more confident fashion.”
Lintal is happy with how his players comprehend and follow out assignments in an attempt to set the pace and tone of the game.
Gameplan-wise, it’s what Lintal’s team did in last season’s season opener against Spring-Ford. The Little Lions pounded for 315 rushing yards, but kept the Rams’ defense honest with 141 passing yards.
That’s what Lintal wants again out of State College — a multiple offense.
On one end, the Little Lions know what it has in running back Jordan Misher. The senior tallied 1,539 yards and 16 touchdowns last year, and Misher’s illustrious campaign started with a 226-yard, three-touchdown performance against Spring-Ford.
Lintal said, after a notable preseason, there’s a lot of faith in State College’s offensive line to open holes for Misher to do much of the same.
“As long as we can be on the same page up front … hopefully Jordan can replicate that success from last season,” the coach said.
Paired with Misher in the backfield will be newly-appointed starting quarterback Tyler Snyder.
Snyder, a junior, was the Little Lions’ varsity backup last season while leading the junior varsity side to an undefeated campaign. In four 2014 varsity appearances, Snyder was 4 of 6 for 46 yards.
Despite his inexperience, Lintal is confident in his signal-caller.
“He’s a very good point guard of our offense,” Lintal said. “He knows he doesn’t have to make every play, but he’s got to get the ball to the guys that can make those big plays.”
What should help is the return of receiving weapons, one of which Snyder has a blossoming relationship with.
Tight end Brett Graham had 41 receptions for 467 yards and four touchdowns last season, and those numbers could grow starting Friday.
Graham, a senior, had four catches against Spring-Ford last year, and Lintal said he and Snyder have a bit of chemistry. The coach said in 2014’s first 7-on-7 camp, Snyder hit Graham for a touchdown.
While that connection has been well in place, Lintal noted that a familiarity with other receivers has been attained. He has potent options, too, especially senior wideout Kellin Valentine, who had 363 receiving yards and four scores in 2014.
“They now have a real trust in Tyler and what he’s able to do,” Lintal said.
Taking over for last year’s starter John Weakland likely won’t come without growing pains. But against a Spring-Ford defense that has “more of a bend don’t break” mentality, it could be an opportunity for State College to establish a run-pass harmony that Lintal not only craves, but also expects.
It would be easy for Snyder to get under center, take the snap, and hand it off to Misher play after play, which will still happen quite a bit. But Lintal has other plans in the team’s attempt to beat Spring-Ford for the second consecutive year.
“Our kids understand that we’re not just a running team. We’re not just a passing team,” Lintal said. “We’ve got to be multi-dimensional. We’ve got to get the ball in a lot of guys’ hands, not just Jordan.
“That’s going to win us football games.”
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