A closer look at Spring-Ford vs. Perk Valley

Perkiomen Valley's Dakota Clanagan heads for the end zone before being ridden down by Plymouth Whitemarsh's Brian Afflick during a game last month. Led by a stout defense, the Vikings are off to a 2-0 start.
Perkiomen Valley's Dakota Clanagan heads for the end zone before being ridden down by Plymouth Whitemarsh's Brian Afflick during a game last month. Led by a stout defense, the Vikings are off to a 2-0 start. (ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff)
Posted: September 13, 2013

It has been a terrific start to the football season for Perkiomen Valley, with its two victories gained by a combined 70 points.

Spring-Ford struggled out of the 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 overall, 1-0 league) and Rams (1-1, 0-0) will meet at 7 p.m. Friday in Royersford.

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

The three 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's 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, 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, over Perk Valley. Stewart ran for 130 yards and threw for 155 in the losing cause.

"He was all over the field," Brubaker said of Stewart, a Division I-A 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 still is 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 make his second start Friday. Brubaker said he also planned 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 dangerous targets in wideouts Clay Domine and Dakota Clanagan. Fellow senior Mark Bonomo, a fullback, has carried 25 times for 178 yards.

Do-everything type. For Spring-Ford, senior 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 and Carter are quite a combo, the Rams' muddled situation at QB gives the experienced Stewart and the Vikings a slight edge.

Pick. Perkiomen Valley, 34-28.


Contact Rick O'Brien at robrien@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @ozoneinq. Read his blog, "The O'Zone," at www.inquirer.com/ozone

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