Late return shows thrill and agony of District 1 playoff system – PA Prep Live
It was time to say goodbye.
Down 13-0 and unable to generate much offense all night, Pottsgrove found himself in dire straits midway through the fourth quarter of Friday’s crossover game at Spring-Ford. A loss, they knew, would mean the end of the 2021 season, and for the senior class, the highlight of their high school career.
But after converting a short punt into their first score of the night, the Falcons covered 74 yards in just over two minutes and touched the clay when quarterback Ryan Sisko hit Tyler Kaufman with a pass. from 23 yards with only 17 seconds left. Landon Shivak’s extra point gave Pottsgrove (7-2, 5-1 PAC) an unlikely 14-13 win, and indeed saved their season, which continues Friday night against Upper Moreland at the Falcons’ Pennypacker Field after going won the No. 2 seed and a home game in the District 1 Class 4A playoffs.
Mercury Football Leaders 2021
Senior quarterback Ryan Sisko had a 3-for-3 pass over the decisive drive for 56 yards, including Kaufman’s strike. The performance demonstrated the moxie and leadership that Falcons coach Bill Hawthorne expects from his boss.
“We were having a hard time moving the ball,” Hawthorne said. “But Ryan’s decision making made the difference. He rushed for the first few tries, got out of bounds, saved our downtime – to say Ryan is an intoxicating football player is a total understatement.
Sisko didn’t even see the end of the tie-breaker, withstanding a hit from a Rams defenseman. But Kaufman was able to tell him everything during the post-game celebration.
“I know I love him in a (one-on-one) game every day,” Sisko said. “I threw him, got up and I’m looking and he’s in the end zone celebrating. It was crazy.
It was only the beginning of the madness. Results in the region combined to not only move Pottsgrove into the four-team playoff field, but allow them to host a first-round game as a No.2 seed next week. But they had to take someone’s place to do it, and that team was only a few miles away at the time.
Pope John Paul II (7-3, 5-1 PAC) had just ended a nightmarish offensive evening in a 30-0 loss to Perkiomen Valley in the PAC Championship game. The performance – drastically affected by the rain and wind that engulfed the area on Friday night – was not at all representative of the Golden Panthers’ abilities, although the defense of the Vikings champions had a lot to do with it as well.
Nonetheless, a 7-3 record and a 136 power ranking – a mark that would have given PJP easy access to the playoffs in one of the two most important standings – would leave the Golden Panthers short of qualifying in the peloton. of four 4A teams, losing to a Chichester team who finished with two fewer wins (5-3) but enjoyed wins over schools in higher rankings.
“They’re a great football team, and they 100% deserve to be a playoff team,” Hawthorne said of the Golden Panthers team that beat their Falcons for the Frontier Division title. barely a week ago. “It’s such a shame to see them out of the playoffs; they certainly deserve to be there.
Whether it’s on the field or in the record books, it’s hard to argue that PJP is the best District 1 team not to make the playoffs. They won’t be giving out any awards for that accolade, but looking at teams that have made it through to the playoffs (in other classifications) with records as low as 3-7, it certainly raises the question of whether he could. have a better way.
For Hawthorne and the Falcons, however, it’s next week and Upper Moreland. After coming so close to seeing their season come to an end, the Falcons plan to make the most of the opportunity and every Friday night they left as a team.
“We have mistakes to correct, we are focused on ourselves,” said Hawthorne. “But this senior class exemplifies Pottsgrove football – they bring it everyday, and I couldn’t be prouder or happier for them.”
Around the area
In the aforementioned PAC championship game, Perkiomen Valley caused four turnovers by limiting PJP’s offense to 67 yards in a 30-0 win to claim the school’s fourth PAC title in six years. QB Ethan Kohler and RB Andrew Beck each rushed over 100 yards as the Vikings were able to assert their will on the ground throughout the second half, even with the threat of Kohler’s arm neutralized by the weather report.
Perk Valley kicks off their playoffs Friday night at Thomas J. Keenan Stadium when the No. 6 seeds host 11th-seeded Central Bucks East in a District 1-6A playoff game.
Despite the disappointing loss to Pottsgrove, Spring-Ford will join the Vikings in the Class 6A peloton. The Rams 6-4 (4-2 PAC) will travel to Downingtown East for a rematch of a first-round game three years ago at Coach McNelly Stadium. The Cougars took that one, 39-12.
The third and final home team in the 6A squad will be Owen J. Roberts, who hopes to bounce back from Friday’s 6-2 loss to Phoenixville. The Wildcats (6-4, 3-3 PAC) will go third in the perennial powerhouse of Coatesville.
As for their Friday night opponents, the Phantoms (5-4, 4-2 PAC) enter the playoffs on a four-game winning streak, good enough for the No.10 seed in Class 5A. They will face the Central League’s Marple Newtown in Newtown Square on Friday.
Boyertown edged Upper Merion, 20-19, in another nail rodent on Friday. The victorious Bears (4-6, 2-4 PAC) will see their season continue this week in the Eastern Conference Championship with Fleetwood, while Upper Merion (4-6, 2-4 PAC) took 15th place in class 5A. , which means a trip to Wallingford and Strath Haven, No. 2 seed in the Central League.
Methacton concluded the 2021 campaign with a shutout victory over Upper Perkiomen, 24-0. Dan Brandi won three touchdowns in his last game for the Warriors (5-5, 2-4 PAC) and his classmate Brian Dickey set the team’s receiving record in a single season. Upper Perk ends the season at 2-8 (1-5 PAC).
Norristown gained some momentum in 2022, ending the season on a two-game winning streak following a 29-0 win over Pottstown.
Despite a tumultuous end to the regular season which saw their last two contests canceled for COVID protocols, Daniel Boone (5-3) won 12th place in the 14-team field in District 3 Class 5A and will travel to Waynesboro this next Friday.
This week’s program
6A: # 11 Central Bucks East to # 6 Perkiomen Valley
# 13 Spring-Ford at # 4 Downingtown East
# 14 Owen J. Roberts at # 3 Coatesville
5A: # 10 Phoenixville to # 7 Marple Newtown
# 15 Upper Merion at # 2 Strath Haven
4A: # 3 Upper Moreland to # 2 Pottsgrove
Eastern Conference Championship
Boyertown to Fleetwood