North Penn’s Strong Second Half Ends Perk Valley’s Playoff Run
Lansdale, Pa., North Penn took advantage of their dominant offensive line and the running of Luke Berry and Nyfease West in their 40-19 beat down of Perkiomen Valley last night and a berth in next week’s District 1, AAAA championship game.
Knight coach Dick Beck’s defensive philosophy has always been to get a “hat on a hat” for every offensive player his team lines up against. He knew he needed multiple hats to contain Perk Valley’s Rasaan Stewart, who came into the game as Southeastern Pa’s most dangerous dual threat quarterback and combined has rushed and thrown for over 3,000 yards this year.
Anyone perched at John Crawford stadium was treated to an explosion just 35 seconds into the game when Stewart ran for an 82 yard touchdown on a nifty read option fake and run up the middle on the game’s first play from scrimmage. Not to be outdone by Stewart’s run North Penn answered immediately on their first play when West ran for a 68 yard TD and a 7-6 lead.
Coach Scott Reed of the Vikings runs a very quick tempo, no huddle offense and the Knights were finding it difficult to contain the scheme that Stewart operated during the first half. Down 10-6 in the second quarter the QB connected with Ryan O’Donnell for a 41 yard reception culminating with Stewart’s 5 yard TD. The Vikings scored again on an eight play drive with Stewart making numerous Knights miss on a sensational 33 yard touchdown giving them a 19-13 advantage going into the locker room.
After starting out the season 0-3 (all non conference affairs vs. the best PCL teams) the Knights have reeled off nine consecutive wins by playing their brand of smash mouth, ball control football which has been a staple of Beck’s offensive philosophy during his 12 year tenure. With that the Knights began to take things into their own hands. In true Knight fashion they went 68 yards, on 11 plays in almost six minutes with West scoring from 12 out knotting the game at 19. After a three and out by Perk, the Knights scored again in six plays with Luke Berry grounding and pounding behind his offensive line for five of them and 50 yards and a TD.
Things went from bad to worse for Perk with 10 seconds left in the third quarter. Down 26-19, they faced a 4th and 8 at the Knight 32. As the North Penn defense keyed on Stewart, the Vikings called a halfback pass to Clay Domine who appeared open inside the 5 yard line. The ball was slightly underthrown and deflected by a Knight DB in what appeared to look like interference but not called. With the change in possession Beck dialed up a pass on the next play which QB Austin Shearer put over two defensive backs and into the hands of Nick Wright for a 68 yard touchdown and for all intents and purposes any chance for the Vikings to recover.
Everything seems to be coming together for this North Penn squad. They seem to be extremely comfortable with West’s speed and Berry’s power running. The strength of their offensive line (Jerred Siddal, Ryan Nowicki, Frank Tranzilli, Andrew Thommas and Nick Argento) totally wore down Perk Valley’s front seven in the second half.
The Knights will be aiming for their seventh District title since 2002 when they take on Neshaminy in next week’s final and a birth in the AAAA Eastern Pa. championship game. Perk Valley ends their season at 10-3 with their first two District, AAAA playoff victories in school history over undefeated 2 seed West Chester Rustin and CB West. The Viking fan base, which packed their side of the stadium gave their team a very well deserved ovation after the final whistle.
Notes: After struggling in his first three games, Shearer has literally taken this team on his back and has been on the same page with his receivers. He has become a much more fundamentally sound quarterback and leader, which this team has sorely needed. His TD pass to Wright traveled over 45 yards which broke the game open. After running 6 times for 160 yards and 3 TD’s in the first half, Stewart ran for only 17 yards on 9 carries in the second. He is currently being courted by several Division 1 programs as a free safety. Berry and West compliment each other in the Knight backfield. Sophomore, West was buried deep in the Knight depth chart at the beginning of the season. Combined the two compiled 373 yards of the 528 that the Knights generated. Clay Domine has the size, pattern running and hands to be a quality receiver at the next level.
Scoring by Quarter
PV- Stewart- 82 run- (fumbled snap on extra point) – 11:42
NP- West- 68 run- (Ammendola kick) – 11:23
NP- Ammendola 36 yard FG – 10:40
PV- Stewart- 5 run- (Genuardi- kick) – 9:23
PV- Stewart – 33 run – (kick blocked) – 1:30
NP – 9 yard FG – :02
NP – West – 12 run – (fumbled snap on extra point) – 6:35
NP – Berry – 2 run – (Ammendola kick) – 3:19
NP – Wright – 68 pass from Shearer – (Ammendola kick) – :02
NP – Berry – 1 run – (Ammendola kick) – 6:03
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