Football: Pottstown continues meteoric ascent, shocks Boyertown

By DAVE KURTZ

pac-10sports.com

POTTSTOWN – Pottstown’s rise into the upper stratosphere of PAC-10 football hit another high plateau Friday night.

Riding a turbo-charged offense with the capabilities of a SR-71 Blackbird – the world’s fastest jet – the Trojans continued their meteoric ascent Friday night with a stunning 34-27 victory over defending PAC-10 co-champion Boyertown in the league opener for both schools at Grigg Memorial Field.

Cranking out 445 total yards on the wings of eight plays that exceeded 20 yards, Pottstown turned a Bears fumble into a 10-yard scoring burst by Corey Baker for the game-winning score with 4:54 left.

Baker, who amassed 115 rushing yards and 60 more on three receptions, added the conversion run for the final margin.

“We played four quarters and didn’t stop,” said Pottstown junior quarterback Sage Reinhart, who hit 10 of 20 passes for 162 yards and three touchdowns. “It was all heart. We know what we want, and that’s to be an elite team in the PAC-10.”

For one night, anyway, the Trojans are right there – to be sure.

Pottstown came out of the blocks in a hurry, covering 67 yards on three big plays – Reinhart’s 15-yard hookup with Darrell Bookard, an electrifying 29-yard scramble by the diminutive quarterback and a 23-yard touchdown pass from Reinhart to Karif Hakim. It was 7-0 with 1:08 gone, and the Trojans were off and running.

After forcing a pair of three-and-outs by the Bears, Pottstown scored again on its third possession when Reinhart found Baker for 47 yards and another touchdown to swell the bulge to 13-0.

“We wanted to come out strong, and that first touchdown gave us confidence,” said Reinhart. “It’s something about our team, we’ve got a spark.”

Trailing by two touchdowns, Boyertown found a spark of its own when Max Marcus scored from nine yards out at the end of five-play, 29-yard drive that was set up by a poor Pottstown punt.

Undaunted, the Trojans had an immediate answer, scoring on the very next play from scrimmage, Malik Brinkley ripping off a 73-yard sprint  down the right sideline for a 20-7 lead with 7:59 left in the second quarter.

“We expect good things from our kids,” said Pottstown coach Brett Myers after the Trojans improved to 2-1 overall. “Somebody asked me about us having track speed, but this is football. We’ve got football players that can run.”

When it comes to elite runners, the Bears (2-1) have their own deep arsenal, headlined by Jon Neiman. Neiman, who finished with 174 yards to key a ground attack that produced 281 yards, returned the ensuing kickoff 45 yards to foreshadow Max Marcus’ 19-yard TD run off left tackle, cutting the deficit to 20-14 before the intermission.

“In all three games we’ve played, we started slow,” said Boyertown coach Mark Scisly. “Then in the second half, we came out like a ball of fire.”

The flame was fanned by a no-huddle offense that helped produce a 10-play, 66-yard march that culminated when Neiman reached the end zone from four yards out. All of a sudden the Bears had a 21-20 lead with 9:00 remaining in the third quarter.

“We were the underdog, but we weren’t going to give up,” said Pottstown senior linebacker/offensive lineman Cory Hueber. “The second half started a little slow, but we settled down and played Trojan football. We fought all four quarters.”

Pottstown continued the fight and regained the lead at 26-21 when Misohn Coppock caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from Reinhart, but the Bears came right back with a four-play, 72-yard foray, capped by Matt Moccia’s 22-yard TD run with 9:27 remaining.

That set the stage for the momentum-swinging turnover, a Boyertown fumble at its own 10-yard line that was alertly covered by Mason Weber. Baker (115 rushing, 60 receiving yards) took it to the house on the next play and the Trojans were taxiing down the runway for takeoff.

“We beat the defending champions, but it’s a new season,” said Myers. “This is only step 3 of 12.”

One small step for the Trojans, one giant leap for their expanding reputation.

“They have a lot of talent and speed and they had  a great game plan,” Scisly said of Pottstown. “I can’t say enough about their quarterback.

“We knew Pottstown was good.”

Now, everyone else better take notice.