Football notebook: No rush to judgement for Boyertown



BOYERTOWN  - It may have been a middling opening week for Pioneer Athletic Conference football, but there was nothing mediocre about Boyertown’s systematic 52-8 dismantling of William Allen last Friday night.

The Bears, who shared the Pioneer Athletic Conference crown with Owen J. Roberts last season, rolled up a staggering 509 rushing yards to build a 45-8 halftime lead and bring on the running clock, making all those preseason predictions of PAC-10 gold look like more than hype.

Not so fast, says Boyertown coach Mark Scisly.

“We weren’t completely happy with our performance,” said Scisly, whose club surrendered a first-quarter touchdown that resulted in an early 8-8 standoff. “We started slow. There is still a lot of work for us to do. Our goal is to get better every week.”

Based on Friday, there is little room for improvement in terms of productivity from a massive offensive line that averages 280-plus pounds and features Rutgers recruit Chris Muller at guard. The Bears in the trenches – including tackles Tyler Boggs, Austin Jacobs and Travis Mitchell, guards Muller and Zach Paskel and center Karl Hainsey – opened up holes you could drive a semi through Friday.

The main benefactors of all that available real estate were running backs Jared Von Dohren (7 carries for 228 yards and TD runs of 62, 25 and 67), Max Marcus (120 yards) and Jon Neiman (71).

“It’s not just one guy,” said Scisly. “All of our backs run hard and we have experienced guys in Jon and Jared. We’ve been a running team the last three years – that’s our strength. We intend to go with our strength.”

Boyertown can flex its muscles on both sides of the football. Pete Slabonik had two of the Bears’ five sacks, helping overcome a slew of yellow flags that resulted in nine Boyertown penalties for 97 yards. Quarterback Griffin Pasik, one of five sophomores in the Bears’ starting lineup, did a sound job directing the offense. The Boyertown defense held Allen to minus 28 yards on the ground but allowed 108 passing yards.

Up next for Boyertown Friday night is Twin Valley, which absorbed a 35-0 shellacking at the hands of Garden Spot last weekend.

“The preseason predictions don’t add any pressure,” said Scisly. “It’s just talk. Our focus is to play one game at a time. We’re not worried about what Twin Valley does, we’re concerned about what we do.”

Contenders or pretenders?

The 5-5 week for the PAC-10 included impressive victories for top contenders Boyertown, Spring-Ford (63-12 over West Chester East) and Phoenixville (43-27 over Great Valley). Two of the other squads expected to challenge for the title – Pottsgrove (27-20 loss to Norristown), Upper Perkiomen (27-20 loss to Quakertown) – didn’t fare as well.

Also on the left side of the ledger was Pope John Paul II’s 32-21 conquest of Berks Catholic and Perkiomen Valley’s pulsating 27-26, triple-overtime victory over former PAC-10 foe Lansdale Catholic.

The Vikings may have come of age in the three extra sessions last Friday, scoring touchdowns on all three of their OT possessions that began at the 10-yard line.

There assuredly will be growing pains for the offense, which managed just two first downs and 119 yards of total offense. But sophomore quarterback Rasaan Stewart proved he can deliver with the game on the line. Stewart responded to a third-and-17 dilemma at the start of the third OT by connecting with Ryan Boyd for the score.  Jamie Biddle’s conversion kick provided the game-winning point.

PV, which will probably need to rely on the big play for its offense while Stewart adjusts to the speed of the varsity level, should stay in most games because of a dependable defense that held LC to 265 yards of total offense Friday.

Shots at redemption

Other PAC-10 teams on the losing slide of the slate in season openers last weekend were Pottstown (36-33 to Pius X Bangor), Methacton (35-7 to Plymouth Whitemarsh) and Owen J. Roberts (31-14 to Conestoga). Those three schools will have the opportunity to get back to .500 this weekend.

OJR, last season’s PAC-10 co-champions, travels to Reading Friday at 7 p.m., Methacton hosts Upper Merion Saturday (1 p.m.) and Pottstown entertains Penn Wood Saturday night at 7.