Spring-Ford hits gas, tops Norristown 50-14

ROYERSFORD >> The Norristown Eagles and Spring-Ford Rams opened their slate of Pioneer Athletic Conference games in frenzied fashion Friday night at McNelly Stadium. The Eagles gambled with an onside kick to begin the game which paid off in a recovery, but that was one of the only positives for the Eagles in a 50-14 loss to the Rams.

“I told our guys, we don’t have anything to lose. Let’s just go out and play football. We are a young bunch and they know I get a little crazy,” said Norristown head coach Jason Powell. “I told them we were going to go onside kick. It worked out in our favor but overall we have to execute.”

Any “all in” luck the young Eagles hoped to have ended there. On the following play, the Rams’ Matt Booth’s interception set up a 52-yard pass from TJ Pergine to Quinn McKenna. Selwyn Simpson finished the drive with a 2-yard run, the first of his three first half touchdowns.

Norristown struggled with erratic play and high snaps for most of the night. Perhaps, the most costly coming on a 4th and 11 from their own 12-yard line. The mishandled snap gave the Rams the ball on the Eagles’ one-yard line and Simpson capitalized with a short run.

Simpson suffered a left ankle injury in the opening week of the season. Despite limited touches and no second half action, he was pleased to be healthy.

“It was one of my best games,” said the senior back. “The holes were there. I was battling an ankle injury early in the season and I’m finally healthier and able to show it more. My O-line always finds me holes. Today was a little easier especially with my ankle feeling better. I could hit them harder and faster.”

Pergine continued to pick apart the Eagles’ secondary after his 52-yard opening bomb. He hit Stone Scarcelle with time expiring in the first quarter for a 28-yard touchdown to put the Rams ahead 15-0. In the second quarter, Pergine connected with Matt Gibson, who scampered 44 yards for the score.

The Rams led 43-6 at the half. With a running clock for the second half, they cruised to the 50-14 win.

“It was really sloppy in the beginning. What we talked about all week was not being sloppy and part of that was my fault. It’s not how we wanted to come out. We didn’t get settled. We kept our composure and got back to the things we do,” said Spring-Ford coach Chad Brubaker.

“We knew who their players were,” said Powell. “In the first quarter we had a short field and that’s when we came unglued. I’m happy the kids said hey let’s go play the second half and wipe the slate clean.”

During the week, Brubaker stressed the importance of making better in-game decisions and making fewer mental mistakes, especially at quarterback and on the offensive line.

“We struggled in the beginning of the game to pick up some of their blitzes but they settled down (o-lone). The coaches were able to diagnose what was going on and correct mistakes,” said Brubaker.

The offensive line paved the way for Simpson and Gibson in the first half.

“We have two backs and it kind of depends on how the game goes. Sometimes they alternate drives,” added Brubaker. “We don’t necessarily plan it but it’s how things turned out tonight.”

Justin Defrancesco took over backfield duties in the second half, touching the ball on nine of eleven of the Rams’ snaps. His game was highlighted by a 54-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

For Norristown, sophomore running back Kirk Wilson accounted for most of the Eagles positive yardage with his runs of 16 and 19 yards.

“He’s been working his tail off in the offseason. he’s one of the guys we think will be there especially when he grows,” said Powell. “Even though they are young, they have something they want to play for.”

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WFMZ's Big Ticket Report on Exeter Game

Spring-Ford smashes Exeter, 38-6

By Dan Dunkin
ROYERSFORD >> Spring-Ford put up 40 points against District 3 power Wilson last week and it wasn’t enough.
That was tough.
But so were the Rams Friday against previously unbeaten Exeter. They amassed 436 yards of total offense, made a bevy of big plays, and were stifling defensively, holding the Eagles to nearly 200 yards below their per-game rushing average. The result was a resounding, rebounding 38-6 victory at Coach McNelly Stadium.
Spring-Ford (3-1), which opens PAC play with Norristown next Friday, got several prolific individual performances. Junior quarterback TJ Pergine threw for 240 yards – 120 in each half – on 12-for-22 passing and two touchdowns. Stone Scarcelle caught 7 passes for 163 yards and had two plus-40 plays, one of them a 49-yard score. Matt Gibson rushed for 103 yards on 10 carries, including bursts of 31 and 50, and Dan Cassidy had an 80-yard interception return for a TD and a 25-yard scoring reception.
“We talked about it all week, coming back after the loss at Wilson,” Cassidy said. “We wanted to come back strong and play hard.”
“No matter what, we have to take it one game at a time,” Gibson said. “We had to forget what happened last week (a double-overtime loss) and focused on the week ahead of us.”
Exeter has an excellent running back in junior Nick Sarangoulis and a fine running quarterback in Brandon Unterkoefler. They had combined for 449 yards on the ground in the first two games, and the Eagles had averaged 325. But against the Rams the going was tough. Stringing out pitch plays and swarming the inside, the Rams held the Eagles to 136 rushing yards on 37 carries, less than 4 per attempt. Sarangoulis had 73 yards on 21 carries and Unterkoefler 45 on 11.
Through the air, Unterkoefler found it just as difficult, as Spring-Ford played excellent tight coverage and held him to a 6-of-19 night. Tight end Gabe Schappell, big and talented, did make three catches for 68 yards including a 19-yard beauty late in the game that set up the Eagles’ lone TD.
After both teams played stout defense and traded punts in the early going, Spring-Ford started to spring loose late in the first quarter. They went 80 yards in just three plays, with Gibson going left for 31 and Pergine finding Scarcelle on a deep route for the 49-yard score with 32.9 seconds left in the first quarter. Scarcelle broke a tackle and was gone to the end zone.
Following a drive that led to a field goal, Spring-Ford mounted more momentum on another 80-yard surge that took just 2:06. Gibson’s 50-yard romp set up his 5-yard TD and it was 17-0 with 2:08 left in the half.
“They kept blitzing off the edges so I had to be very patient,” Gibson said. “Our line was doing a very good job and the holes opened up.”
The game opened up for Spring-Ford further when, on the next Exeter possession, Cassidy read a throw perfectly, made the interception and blasted 80 yards down the left side with a nice convoy, with 31 seconds before halftime – 24-zip.
It was extra unfortunate for Exeter; the Eagles had finally moved the ball fairly well and gotten into the red zone.
“A 14-point swing,” lamented Exeter coach Matt Bauer. “You’ve got to tip your hat to Spring-Ford. Their kids made a lot of plays. We just didn’t execute.”
“The line pressured the quarterback and got him to scramble, so he was throwing across his body,” Cassidy said. “And I was able to get in position to pick it off. And the linemen who pressured him gave me some nice blocks.”
Defensively, Spring-Ford was led by Tanner Romano, Toby Poet, Lee Albert, Ryan Yanulevich and a host of others. On both sides of the ball, the Rams look ready to attack the PAC.
“We’re excited to get back in the conference and play some familiar teams,” Gibson said.

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No.: 7 Team: Varsity
First Name: Matt Position: RB/DB
Last Name: Gibson Classification: SR
No.: 10 Team: Varsity
First Name: Dan Position: WR/DB
Last Name: Cassidy Classification: SR
No.: 12 Team: Varsity
First Name: Stone Position: ATH/DB
Last Name: Scarcelle Classification: SR
No.: 16 Team: Varsity
First Name: Quinn Position: TE/DE
Last Name: McKenna Classification: SR
No.: 20 Team: Varsity
First Name: Adam Position: WR/DB
Last Name: Sharkey Classification: SR
No.: 26 Team: Varsity
First Name: Selwyn Position: ATH/DB
Last Name: Simpson Classification: SR
No.: 45 Team: Varsity
First Name: Ryan Position: RB/LB
Last Name: Yanulevich Classification: SR
No.: 54 Team: Varsity
First Name: Tanner Position: OL/DE
Last Name: Romano Classification: SR
No.: 55 Team: Varsity
First Name: Nick Position: OL/DL
Last Name: Salamone Classification: SR
No.: 68 Team: Varsity
First Name: Toby Position: OL/DL
Last Name: Poet Classification: SR
No.: 71 Team: Varsity
First Name: Casey Position: OL/DL
Last Name: Callahan Classification: SR
No.: 82 Team: Varsity
First Name: Lee Position: TE/LB
Last Name: Albert Classification: SR