NO. 11 POTTSGROVE 14, NO. 18 SPRING-FORD 7
Jeff Adams and Pottgrove had to avoid being overconfident after learning during warmups that Jarred Jones, Spring-Ford's explosive senior tailback, would not suit up.
"We just had to forget about that and do the things we normally do," Adams said. "Also, something like that can give the other team extra motivation. They wanted to win without him."
In Friday night's Pioneer Athletic Conference showdown, with Adams playing a leading role at tight end and middle linebacker, the visiting Falcons fought past the Jones-less Rams, 14-7, at Coach McNelly Stadium in Royersford.
As was the case when Jones was missing in Week 1, Spring-Ford coach Chad Brubaker would only say that the senior, who rushed for 522 yards and eight touchdowns in the squad's previous three games, was "unavailable" to play.
With 1 1/2 minutes to go, after the Rams had moved the ball to the Pottsgrove 23 on 13 plays, Adams recovered a fumble to clinch a hard-earned triumph.
"You have to give Spring-Ford credit," Adams said. "They were without Jarred Jones, but they kept plugging away. They were in it to the end. We had to come up with a big stop to get the win."
Pottsgrove, ranked No. 11 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, improved to 5-0 and 4-0 in PAC-10 action. Spring-Ford slipped to 3-2 and 2-1.
With the aid of his father, Jim, a former head coach at Northeast High in the Philadelphia Public League, Jeff Adams has a keen grasp of the game's fundamentals.
"With him coaching Northeast last year, he couldn't make it to many of my games," the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder said. "This season, having him here for all the games, is great."
The difference, with less than three minutes to go in the third quarter, was, on a "Right Boot 46" play call, Riley Michaels' 6-yard TD pass to speedy wideout Michael Fowler.
"[Fowler] was covered at first," Michaels said. "But I knew, if I kept rolling toward the sideline, that he would get some separation on his defender."
Halfback Marquis Barefield (16 carries for 96 yards) and fullback Sene Polamalu (18 for 68) ignited Pottsgrove's run-dominated attack. Michaels attempted only five passes.
In addition to Adams, the Falcons' defense was keyed by fellow linebackers Polamalu and Tyrone Parker, and linemen Nico[CQ] Demetrio and Anthony Pond. Parker and Demetrio each notched two sacks.
"I'm very proud of my kids," longtime Pottsgrove coach Rick Pennypacker said. "We had eight to nine guys going both ways, and they stuck in there the whole time."
For the Rams, who were penalized 18 times for 153 yards, senior Jake Leahy carried 17 times for 93 yards.
Pottsgrove 0 6 8 0-14
Spring-Ford 7 0 0 0-7
SF: Danny Matthews 38 pass from Brandon Leacraft (David Gulati kick)
P: Sene Polamalu 2 run (kick failed)
P: Michael Fowler 6 pass from Riley Michaels (Jalen Mayes run)