PHOENIXVILLE — Phoenixville took charge early during its Friday night football game against Upper Perkiomen at Washington Field.
The Phantoms scored in four plays on their first possession and then recovered a fumble to notch a second first-period touchdown for a quick 13-point lead that eventually resulted in a 21-0 Pioneer Athletic Conference victory for Phoenixville over Upper Perkiomen on Senior Night as well as Play for A Cure Night.
Ten Phoenixville seniors were part of an all-around solid effort that included a shutout by the defense. The Phantoms produced three turnovers and two sacks while limiting the Indians to just 84 yards of total offense in the victory.
Justin McDougal started the scoring with a 37-yard scamper in the first quarter with Alex Wertman adding the extra point kick for a 7-0 lead at the 10:14 mark of the opening period.
Later, Phantom quarterback Donnie Jackson found Damien Davido and Mackensie Thomas on touchdown passes covering 20 and 17 yards as all the scoring was done in the first three periods. Matt Palubinsky ran for a two-point conversion following the third score.
Ian Brown intercepted a pass for the Phantoms (4-3, 4-5), who are in position to qualify for the District 1-AAA playoffs. Paul Hossler had one sack and a tackle for loss, and Palubinsky and Matt Raniszewski combined on a second sack.
Offensively, the Phantoms accumulated 323 yards of total offense against the Tribe (1-7, 1-8). Phoenixville gained 209 yards rushing with 10 different ballcarriers and strong blocking by the offensive linemen. The hosts also moved the ball through the air, finishing with 114 stripes.
It all amounted to a festive night for Phoenixville, which celebrated its third annual Play for the Cure Night to support the fight against cancer that now includes a former Phantom football player, Carl Ferretti, a member of the Phantoms' 2005 PAC-10 championship team who was on hand Friday night and also served as an honorary team captain.
"We have really improved a lot the last three games,' said Hossler, a two-way senior lineman who also got a chance to carry the pigskin. "We were able to show it by putting a zero on the scoreboard.'
Hossler credited Melvin Obando, Tim Alati and Dave Rosati for helping him provide pressure along the defensive line.
"It's a good win,' said Hossler. "Now we have to focus on Methacton next week (Saturday afternoon on road) to get a better seeding in the playoffs,' said Hossler.
"It was a good all-around effort,' said Phoenixville coach Bill Furlong. "Our defense played really, really good.'
Furlong was especially pleased with his defense since Upper Perkiomen boasts two of the top individual skill players in the circuit in running back Aidan Schaffer and wide receiver Travis Kline. Schaffer, who ran out of the Wildcat formation during much of the early portion of the contest, finished with 69 yards rushing on 21 carries to surpass the 1,000-yard mark for the season. He entered the night needing 65 yards to reach the plateau. Phoenixville also held the Tribe passing game to 25 total yards.
"The running back and the receiver they have are two of the best around,' said Furlong. "Our guys did a nice job.'
Phoenixville was able to grab the early lead and then keep the chains moving with its running game to chew up time on the clock.
That was a facet Upper Perkiomen coach Steve Moyer was wary of, but the Indians still could not prevent from occurring. Phoenixville ended the evening with 18 first downs, including 11 rushing, to just five for the visitors. McDougal topped the runners with 78 yards on 14 attempts while Palubinsky tacked on 56 yards with eight carries.
Moyer felt his team did not function well enough at either end of the field.
"They (Phantoms) did a nice job stopping it (Wildcat),' said Moyer. "The biggest thing was on our first possession when we fumbled early and they scored. We had to stay with them early. They are tough. Even when they didn't score, they were chewing up the clock. On defense we didn't come up with stops. They (Phantoms) did a good job.'
Upper Perkiomen 0
Upper Perkiomen 0 0 0 0 — 0
Phoenixville 13 0 8 0 — 21
Px-McDougal 37 run (Wertman kick)
Px-Davido 20 pass from Jackson (kick failed)
Px-Thomas 17 pass from Jackson (Palubinsky run)
First Downs 5 18
Rushing yards 59 209
Passing yards 25 114
Total yards 84 323
Passes C-A-I 3-9-1 9-12-2
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 2-1
Penalties-Yards 3-15 0-0
Punts-Avg. 2-40.5 1-19.0
Upper Perkiomen: Schaffer, 21-69; Felix, 2-10; Breyer, 3-(-20).
Phoenixville: McDougal, 14-78, 1 TD; Palubinsky, 8-56; Ciaverelli, 4-26; Raniszewski, 5-16; Jackson, 5-11; Davido, 2-7; Brock, 1-6; Pufko, 1-4; Mea, 1-3; Hossler, 1-0.
Upper Perkiomen: Breyer, 3-9-25, 1 INT.
Phoenixville: Jackson, 9-12-114, 2 TDs, 2 INTs.
Upper Perkiomen: Brumm, 1-11; Pirri, 1-10; Godshall, 1-4.
Phoenixville: Brock, 3-38; Thomas, 2-27, 1 TD; Davido, 1-20, 1 TD; McDougal, 1-17; Hammaker, 1-9; Palubinsky, 1-3.
Interceptions: Upper Perkiomen-Felix, Pirri. Phoenixville-Brown.
Sacks: Upper Perkiomen-Crossley. Phoenixville-Hossler, Palubinsky 0.5, Raniszewski 0.5