Football: Boyertown faces stiff test from Pottstown

By DAVE KURTZ

Pac-10sports.com

POTTSTOWN – Mark Scisly has tunnel vision.

The short-sighted view has been beneficial for the Boyertown football coach, keeping his talented club from looking too far ahead in a season filled with high expectations and lofty goals.

“Our theory over the last two years is take it one game at a time,” said Scisly, whose Bears will have their hands full with upstart Pottstown Friday night in their Pioneer Athletic Conference season opener at Grigg Memorial Field (7 p.m.). “We’re not worried about anybody else. We focus on ourselves and what we do best.”

What Boyertown does best is pound the football with assembly-line efficiency. The Bears ground out an average of 371 yards per game in nonleague destructions of William Allen and Twin Valley.

“We’ve shown the ability to run the football over the last couple of seasons,” said Scisly, whose squad shared the PAC-10 title in 2010 with Owen J. Roberts. “We have a big offensive line – which is one of our strengths – and three guys who can run the ball (Jon Neiman, Max Marcus, Jarred Von Dohren).

“Last week we threw the ball effectively, too. Our sophomore quarterback (Griffin Pasik) is coming along. We figure by the end of the season, he’ll be playing more like a junior or senior.”

Pasik hit 8 of 11 passes for 79 yards in the 42-6 romp over Twin Valley, spreading the ball around to seven different receivers. That’s the kind of ball distribution usually delivered by a veteran QB, not someone in their second career start.

In terms of development and maturation, Pottstown coach Brett Myers has seen the same kind of progress. The Trojans are a dangerous team with quick-strike capability – led by veterans Corey Baker (pac-10sports.com Offensive Player of the Week), two-way lineman Dante Auman, two-way back Misohn Coppock and running back/linebacker Malik Brinkley.

“They have been around a lot and have a lot of experience,” said Myers of his veteran cast. “They’ve handled the ups and downs very well.”

Things are definitely on the upswing for Pottstown, which rebounded from a tough opening loss to highly-regarded Pius X of Bangor (36-33) by posting a 48-0 romp over defending Del Val League champion Penn Wood last Saturday.

“Boyertown is a big, physical team and their guys are active,” said Myers. “They’re the reigning PAC-10 champions for a reason.”

Still, there will no retreat, no surrender from the Trojans.

“We have kids that are mentally tough, a great group of senior leaders,” Myers said. “They looked at the first loss as a learning experience. There’s a positive outlook on the field. They want to achieve.”

Myers has developed that attitude by focusing on the task at hand. As it turns out, the Pottstown coach also has tunnel vision.

“We don’t look at the whole season,” said Myers. “We just try to do the best we can each week, concentrate on getting better and enjoying the journey.”

The journey starts here for both teams, and Scisly is certainly not looking past the Trojans.

“We’ve scouted a lot of teams this season,” the Boyertown coach said, “and they’re one of the best teams we’ve seen.”