Perkiomen Valley's record-setting offense has been all the rage around the Pioneer Athletic Conference football scene over the past year-plus.
Truth be told, it's hard for fans to not be seduced by the gridiron glamour of the Vikings' stable of playmakers at the skill positions.
That said, what had Perkiomen Valley coach Scott Reed the most impressed after Week 1's eye-opening 33-0 rout of Plymouth-Whitemarsh was the performance of the guys on the other side of the ball.
The undersized and underrated PV defense wreaked havoc all over the field against a larger opponent.
There was a monster 21-tackle effort by safety Rasaan Stewart.
There was linebacker Danny Light racking up 17 tackles of his own to go along with one sack and a fumble recovery.
There was cornerback Liam Grande collecting two interceptions as the unit forced five turnovers.
There was the trio of Tony Pachella, Anthony Rotunda and Austin Gansz picking up one sack apiece. And Rotunda and Kurran Holland hauling in one interception apiece.
It all added up to a whitewash of a Colonials squad that had gone 9-2 last year and reached the District 1-AAAA playoffs.
"I was very pleased with how our kids ran to the football,' Reed said. "Watching that film, you could see 11 hats in the picture a lot of times. We've always stressed to them to be around the football, and good things will happen.'
The Vikings' blue-collar defense will be on display again tonight, when Perkiomen Valley (1-0) plays host to Methacton (0-1) in the traditional Battle for the Battle Ax rivalry, which also serves as the PAC-10 opener for both squads.
Though the Warriors fell 14-6 to Bayard Rustin in last week's opener, their defense was also a bright spot despite it being on the field an inordinate amount of time.
Methacton coach Paul Lepre knows that has to change for his squad to have a chance to take down the Vikings.
"We have to do a better job of hanging on the ball ourselves,' Lepre said. "We had too many three-and-outs last week. We can't keep giving the ball right back to PV and have them run that no-huddle.'
Stewart threw for three touchdowns last week; running back Mark Bonomo (53) and Stewart (52) combined for 105 of PV's 192 rushing yards; and Dakota Clanagan had four receptions for 69 yards and two scores.
"Obviously they have a lot of offensive threats, starting with Rasaan,' Lepre said. "Their fullback (Bonomo) is a hard runner, and with him leading their slot guys on the edge, it's tough not to give up some yardage. The key is to not give up the big play; we need to have them keep chipping away so we have a better chance of forcing a turnover.'
Methacton's offense — which managed just eight rushing yards and 105 yards of total offense against Rustin — faces a tough challenge against the Vikings' ' D.'
Pachella, Luke DiElsi and a combination of Seth Jonassen and Tom Jaworski are up front in PV's 3-5 scheme, with Light in the middle of the linebacking corps — flanked by inside backers Gansz and Pat Delaney and Rotunda and Clanagan on the edges.
Holland and Grande man the cornerback positions, with Stewart playing center field and making a beeline to the ballcarrier with drone strike-like precision.
"They're just a bunch of hard-nosed kids who want to play hard and really do,' Reed said of his defense. "They're going to make mistakes just like everybody, but those mistakes will come by being aggressive. If they do their jobs and play their assignments, they can have a nice year.'
"Their defense is formidable,' Lepre said. "They have a lot of kids that play high-energy football, play in and play out. If you don't get bodies on bodies against them and move the football, they'll force you into a three-and-out. We have to give our backs opportunities and our quarterback time throw.'
In his first start at QB for Methacton last week, Kyle Lowery went 9-for-17 for 97 yards and one touchdown — a 4-yard toss to fullback Mike Cassidy. Dillon Alderfer had four catches for 57 yards and also delivered some big hits at safety, while Lepre lauded the defensive efforts of linebacker Nick Torcini, nose guard Tracey Green and safety Bido Gouda.
Since the series resumed five years ago when Methacton joined the PAC-10, Perkiomen Valley has won each meeting (by a combined margin of 124-27).
"We've been outscored pretty badly, but a lot of credit goes to their defense,' Lepre said. "We're hoping to change that. I like the underdog position.'
Reed, meanwhile, hopes the Vikings can continue the momentum of their scintillating start.
"The biggest key for us is just playing our game and executing,' he said. "We can't have any letdowns. We told them there are only 10 opportunities this year, and nine are left. We can't take any of these games for granted; we want to work hard for these 10 moments. To let down is not an option.'
BEARS HONOR LAMBERT, MUNCH
Tonight is Hall of Fame Night at Boyertown, where the Bears will induct Bruce Lambert (Class of 1965) and Jody Munch (Class of ' 80).
Lambert, one of only two sophomores on the Bears' 1963 Ches-Mont championship team, earned All Ches-Mont and All-Berks honors his junior year at fullback and was named All Ches-Mont and All-Berks as a senior at both fullback and defensive tackle.
Munch, a three-year starter at linebacker, played on both sides of the ball his final two seasons. As a sophomore, he was named second-team All-Berks as a member of the Bears' 1977 Ches-Mont championship squad. As a senior, he was named second-team all-state and was named Berks and Ches-Mont Defensive Player of the Year while earning an invitation to the Big 33 Game. Munch has also been inducted into Boyertown's Wrestling Hall of Fame.
TROJANS DUO REMEMBERED
The Pottstown Trojans are honoring the memory of two of its fallen outstanding former team members — Coach Bill Rogers and Commander Job W. Price — by wearing decals on their helmets this year. Rogers, who passed away in January, coached football for 55 years and also coached wrestling and track. Price (Class of 1989), the commander of Navy Seal Team 4, was killed in action last December while supporting stability operations in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.
DISTRICT 1 DOINGS
Downingtown West visits Neshaminy, which is ranked No. 7 in the state in Class AAAA by the Pennsylvania Football News, tonight. ... Pottsgrove, coming off a 41-13 victory over Souderton in Week 1, moved up to No. 9 in the PFN Class AAA rankings. ... With 100 rushing yards in last week's 33-27 overtime victory over Emmaus, Pennridge running back Mike Class went over the 4,000-yard career mark (he now has 4.029).
AROUND THE STATE
Cocalico's 49-14 win over Daniel Boone last week was the 250th in the Eagles program since the start of the 1976 season. ... District 12's St. Joseph's Prep, which defeated Dallas Jesuit 48-27 in its opener, takes over the top spot in the PFN Class AAAA poll. ... Selinsgrove will go for win No. 500 in program history tonight at Trinity.
Follow Darryl Grumling on Twitter at @MercSmokinD.