With Perkiomen Valley's no-huddle attack all the rage these days, it's easy to forget about another Pioneer Athletic Conference football squad that has been using the hurry-up offense for several years.
And Friday night, that offense was a big reason why the Boyertown Bears were able to open the season in successful fashion with a 46-39 victory over Central Bucks East at Doylestown's War Memorial Field.
How impressive were the Bears? Here's a quick synopsis:'¢ Fullback Cody Richmond ran for 221 yards and three touchdowns.'¢ Quarterback Griffin Pasik ran for 87 yards and two scores, including a 68-yarder just 23 seconds into the second half that put Boyertown up to stay at 26-25 and kick-started a 27-point third quarter outburst.'¢ Eric Heller also scored twice en route to a 90-yard rushing effort as the Bears' ground attack piled up 419 yards.
Tack on the combined 83 passing yards of Pasik (6-for-9, 70 yards) and Tyler Talkington, and you have a 502-yard total offensive explosion that had to put a smile on the face of Bears coach Mark Scisly.
"We play as fast as we can, and I think we wore them down,' Scisly said. "It was pretty obvious we were the better-conditioned team.'
It was also obvious the Bears were motivated to come away with a victory, despite seeing their defense gouged for 478 yards.
Boyertown bounced back from an inauspicious start that saw C.B. East's Alex Gibson break several tackles on the way to a 65-yard TD run on the first play from scrimmage.
Then, after the Bears erased a 25-19 halftime deficit and took a 46-25 lead to the final period, they held off a furious charge by the Patriots, who got 328 passing yards and four TDs from Zach Nelsen and 153 receiving yards and two scores from Brandon Ilkiw.
With 37 seconds left and C.B. East having first-and-goal at the Boyertown 1, the Bears' defense forced a fumble that 6-foot-4, 290-pound Austin Jacobs recovered in the end zone to seal the deal.
"I thought our kids played with emotion and persevered through tough times,' Scisly said. "Things went wrong, but they kept fighting back. They stuck together and persevered. There were a lot of mistakes, but it was a great team effort to win the game.'
On defense, Tyler Zilen and Brad Dardas each collected one sack, Jacobs and Kyle Schutt both recovered a fumble and Justin Siejk had a team-best 4.5 tackles.
"We have to work on finishing teams, but you live and learn,' Scisly said. "Overall, it was a good experience. It was definitely a good way to start the season.'
Speaking of a good way to start the season, no area team was more impressive than Perkiomen Valley, which destroyed Plymouth-Whitemarsh 33-0 on the road Friday.
"Our offensive stats weren't mind-boggling, because we played on a short field most of the night,' Vikings coach Scott Reed said. "I thought our defense was really impressive.'
The most impressive performance came from safety Rasaan Stewart who racked up a monster 21-tackle game to go along with three touchdown passes on the other side of the ball.
"He was everywhere,' Reed said.
Nose guard, Tony Pachella, linebacker Danny Light and Liam Grande (two interceptions) also played big roles for a defense that forced five turnovers.
DISTRICT 1 DOINGS
The most hyped-up matchup in Week 1 also wound up being the most thrilling, with Pennridge outlasting Emmaus (coached by former Rams coach Randy Cuthbert) 33-27 in overtime. ... North Penn, an honorable mention selection in the Pennsylvania Football News Class AAAA poll, fell 34-7 to No. 4-ranked La Salle College High, out of District 12. ... No. 3 Coatesville, last year's District 1-AAAA champ and PIAA runner-up, opened with a 42-7 rout of York.
Matt Timochenko tossed two touchdown passes and the Wilson defense turned in a dominating performance to fuel a 38-7 route of Governor Mifflin in a high-profile battle of traditional Berks County powers. ... Upper St. Clair, ranked seventh in the PFN Class AAAA poll, toppled top-ranked Woodland Hills, 16-10. ... Bishop McDevitt, the top-ranked Class AAA squad, opened with a 35-14 victory over Harrisburg. ... Western Wayne's Jason Figueroa ran for 364 yards in a 25-20 victory over Susquehanna Community.
AROUND THE NATION
Jace Daniels of Kenai Central (Alaska) scored eight touchdowns (six rushing, fumble return and interception return) in a 78-6 victory over Homer Saturday. ... Florida commit Will Grier of Davidson Day (N.C.) threw seven touchdowns in Friday's blowout win over North Raleigh Christian Academy. ... Summerville (S.C.) coach John McKissick, who is in his 62nd season as a head coach and is the winningest active coach in the nation, picked up victory No. 602 in Thursday's 28-0 win over Cane Bay.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Rasaan Stewart, Perkiomen Valley
More known for his exploits as the Vikings' quarterback, the 6-foot-1, 176-pound senior racked up 21 tackles from his safety position to spearhead a dominant defensive effort that defined the Vikings' 33-0 victory over Plymouth-Whitemarsh Friday. Stewart also tossed three touchdown passes.
COACH OF THE WEEK
Mark Scisly, Boyertown
Guided the Bears to a wild 46-39 road victory over C.B. East Friday. Boyertown, which erased a 25-19 halftime deficit with a 27-point third quarter, piled up 419 rushing yards and 502 yards of total offense.
Follow Darryl Grumling on Twitter at @MercSmokinD