Thursday, April 17, 2014
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Football: Perkiomen Valley vs. Spring-Ford

A CLOSER LOOK: PERKIOMEN VALLEY VS. SPRING-FORD

Football: Perkiomen Valley vs. Spring-Ford

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Perkiomen Valley's Dakota Clanagan heads for the end zone before being ridden down by Plymouth Whitemarsh's Brian Afflick during the Vikings' 33-0 win on Aug. 30. Led by a stout defense, Perkiomen Valley is off to a 2-0 start. (Elizabeth Robertson/Staff)

A CLOSER LOOK: PERKIOMEN VALLEY VS. SPRING-FORD

It’s been a terrific start to the football season for Perkiomen Valley, with two victories gained by a combined differential of 70 points.

Spring-Ford struggled out of gate, falling to District 11’s Whitehall by 16 points and then rebounding with a romp over Southern.

In what is a key early Pioneer Athletic Conference matchup, the Vikings (2-0) and Rams (1-1) meet at 7 p.m. Friday in Royersford.

It must be noted that three of Spring-Ford’s seniors – speedy tailback Jarred Jones, wide receiver Gary Hopkins, and linebacker Jake Leahy – did not suit up in the 37-21 loss to Whitehall. Rams coach Chad Brubaker would only say they were "unavailable" for the opener.

The trio returned in last week’s 34-0 blanking of Southern, with Jones, who has been clocked at 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash, rushing for 180 yards and three touchdowns.

"He an extremely talented running back, has good vision, good hips, and is a great closer," Perkiomen Valley coach Scott Reed said.

In the Vikings’ first two games, the Vikings’ Rasaan Stewart, a 6-foot-1, 188-pound senior and dual-threat quarterback, has rushed for 150 yards and thrown for 294.

Here is a closer look at Friday’s game.

Last year. In Week 10, with Jones rushing for 208 yards and scoring on a 90-yard kickoff return, Spring-Ford triumphed, 42-28. Stewart ran for 130 yards and threw for 155 in a losing cause.

"He was all over the field," Brubaker said of Stewart, a Division I recruit as a defensive back. " He carried the ball a ton, threw the ball a ton. He was exhausted, but kept going."

Unsettled. Spring-Ford is still trying to find a permanent replacement at QB for Hank Coyne, who passed for 1,908 yards and 26 TDs last season and is now at Juniata.

Freshman Stone Scarcelle is expected to start Friday. Brubaker said he also plans to use one or more of three other QBs: senior Zac DeMedio and juniors Matt Daywalt and Brandon Leacraft.

Said Brubaker: "I’d prefer for there to be a clear-cut winner at that position, but it hasn’t happened yet."

Threats. The Vikings have a pair of dangerous targets in wideouts in wideouts Clay Domine and Dakota Clanagan. Fellow senior Mark Bonomo, a fullback, has carried 25 times for 178 yards.

Do-everything type. For the Rams, Tate Carter can be used on offense as a receiver, halfback, fullback, or Wildcat-formation QB.

Stout bunch. Perkiomen Valley’s defense, which has yet to allow a score, is led by tackle Anthony Pachella, linebackers Danny Light and Anthony Rotonda, and backs Kurran Holland and Liam Grande.

Analysis. While Jones’ return is a big boost for the Rams, their uncertainty at the QB spot gives the experienced Stewart and the Vikings the edge in a close one.

Pick. Perkiomen Valley, 34-28.

Rick O'Brien Inquirer Columnist
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About this blog
Rick O’Brien has been at The Inquirer since 1993, primarily covering high school sports in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Reach Rick at robrien@phillynews.com.

Rick O'Brien Inquirer Columnist
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