Friday, September 14, 2012

Milestone Win for Pottsgrove

Pottsgrove joins select group of area football programs

By Don Seeley

LOWER POTTSGROVE – There wasn’t anything all that special about Pottsgrove’s game against Pope John Paul II last Friday night except for it being both teams’ Pioneer Athletic Conference openers.
But when it was over, there certainly was.
For the first time since the second game of the 1968 season, Pottsgrove’s program owns an overall winning record (329-328-20).
Quite an achievement, or milestone, when considering only four other area schools – The Hill School, Owen J. Roberts and Phoenixville, as well as the former Royersford High School – can brag about having more wins than losses in the history of their respective programs.
Pottsgrove, which kicked off its first season in 1957, was able to stay above the all-even line early on thanks to 8-1 and 8-1-1 runs, respectively, in 1963 and 1964 while playing in the Inter-County League. After the conclusion of the 1967 season, the mark was still 47-45-8. But two games into the following season, which ended at 0-9-1, Pottsgrove fell under .500 and didn’t make it back until last week’s 53-14 win over Pope John Paul.
Nothing has helped the Falcons’ surge back more than four unbeaten regular-season runs since 2000, and their current string of nine consecutive winning seasons – all under current head coach Rick Pennypacker.
As impressive as that may be, their consecutive winning seasons mark is still short of the area record of 17 in a row – which Hill achieved from 1929 through 1945. The next longest streaks are 13, set by the former Spring City High School from 1939 through 1951; and 12, by Phoenixville from 1912-23.
Pottsgrove moved out of the Inter-County League following the 1964 season and joined the Ches-Mont League. In 1986, the school teamed up with four other Ches-Mont rivals (Phoenixville, Pottstown, Spring-Ford and St. Pius X), two Bux-Mont League teams (Perkiomen Valley and Upper Perkiomen), and Lansdale Catholic to form the Pioneer Athletic Conference.
Among Pottsgrove’s other miscellaneous achievements are holding the area records for most points scored in a season (497 in 2009 and 2010) and the average points scored in all games played (19.5).

Showtime (again): North Penn faces its third straight state-ranked opponent this weekend when the Knights entertain No. 10 St. Joseph’s Prep (2-0). … No. 8 ranked Downingtown East will be tested by unranked but good Pennsbury (1-1). … A couple of unbeaten matchups feature Henderson at Plymouth-Whitemarsh and Sun Valley at Academy Park.

Out-and-out brawls: Class AA’s No. 3 ranked Wyomissing visits unbeaten AAA rival Muhlenberg tonight. … Class AAAA’s No. 1 ranked La Salle entertains AAA’s No. 6 Cardinal O’Hara. … District 10-AAAA power Eric McDowell (1-1), ranked No. 9, hosts defending state champion and now Class AAA’s No. 7 Lancaster Catholic from District 3. … And probably the best one of them all – a District 4 battle between Mount Carmel (No. 5 in Class AA) traveling to Southern Columbia (No. 2 in Class A).
Rank and file: The state’s other three No. 1 ranked teams, all unbeaten through two games, all face winless opponents this week, so don’t expect any shocking upsets. Class AAA’s Cathedral Prep is out at Lake Catholic in Mentor, Ohio (0-3); Class AA’s Aliquippa hosts Riverside (0-2); and Class A’s Clairton shouldn’t have a problem extending it’s national-high winning streak to 50 in a row against visiting California (0-2).
No streaking: Holy Redeemer ended the state’s longest active losing streak last week with a win over Holy Cross in District 2, but now faces state-ranked Old Forge tonight.
Milestone: Cumberland Valley head coach Tim Rimpfel picked up his 300th career win last week when the Eagles ripped Red Lion, 44-10.
Encore: Lancaster Catholic’s Roman Clay, who opened with 442 yards and six touchdowns, added another 249 yards and four scores to his totals during last week’s 27-20 win over Governor Mifflin. Clay is averaging 15.7 yards a carry and ran for 50 yards or more for six of his 10 scores – which account for all of LC’s touchdowns through two games.
Quote of the Week: After Warren embarrassed Clarion-Limestone, 83-12, in a game called halfway through the fourth quarter (because of the score and an incoming storm), Warren head coach Brad Wright had this to say (as ridiculous as it sounds): “We have to look at the tape,” Wright told the Times Observer. “We had some dropped balls (and) some missed assignments on defense that need to be taken care of.” … Those 83 points, by the way, only rank fourth in Warren’s 97-year history of football.

Moving on: Right behind Clairton’s national-high winning streak of 49 is Hornell (N.Y.), which owns 41 straight. Waunakee (Wisc.) is next with 39 in a row, and Truckee (Calif) with 38 straight.
Outrageous numbers: Beech (Tenn.) junior Jalen Hurd has run for 1,230 yards in three games to lead the nation, but second-place Justin Crager of East (Ohio) is averaging .345.3 in three games (for 1,036 overall). … Nelson County (Kty.) quarterback Dylan Beasley – who threw for 652 yards and eight touchdowns last week – has thrown for 1,738 in four games. Folsom (Calif.) sophomore standout Jake Browning – who unloaded for 689 yards and 10 touchdowns in last week’s win – is averaging 461 a game (1,383 in three outings).

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