BUCKTOWN — Ask Boyertown head coach Mark Scisly what he thought about Friday night's PAC-10 victory over Owen J. Roberts and he can give you one word ' — sloppy.
Despite fumbling the ball five times, committing six penalties for 40 yards, and turning the ball over three times, Boyertown rode the legs of running back Cody Richmond as it eked out a 21-13 victory at Wildcat Stadium.
"We had the ball five times (in the first half); we turned it over three times,' Scisly said. "We're killing ourselves with penalties. And even fumbles we didn't lose, it was just a sloppy game. We need to protect the football.'
The turnover bug bit early for the Bears. Seeing their defense hold the Wildcats to an eight-play, six-yard drive that chewed off nearly five minutes of clock, Boyertown tried some trickeration in the form of a halfback pass on its first offensive play of the game. Unfortunately for the Bears, Tyler Talkington's pass fluttered too short for his intended receiver allowing OJR's Brad Kinckner to camp under it for the easy pick.
The Wildcats (0-5), coming off a demoralizing 49-0 loss to Perkiomen Valley the previous week, got the ball in the end zone quickly. After a Mitch Bradford 28-yard strike to receiver Kyle Hinrichs brought the Wildcats to the Boyertown 10-yard line, Brad Kinckner took a second down sweep to the right pylon, giving OJR a 7-0 lead with 5:47 left in the first quarter.
Things didn't get better for the Bears.
On the first play of their next possession quarterback Griffin Pasik fumbled the exchange and watched as Wildcats' Tyler Reitnour dove on the loose ball at the Boyertown 24-yard line.
With excellent field possession to work with for the second time in the quarter, the Wildcats gave the ball to their workhorse, Wyatt Scott, and let him work his magic. Scott did the dirty work, bouncing off tackles on four straight carries before finally stretching across the goal line on a three-yard plunge. A missed PAT gave the Wildcats a 13-0 lead with 4:04 left in the quarter.
"We were definitely pumped up,' Scott said. "We forced two turnovers and put them in the end zone.'
Facing a 13-0 deficit midway through the first quarter, the Bears finally started to show some life. Boyertown took its next two possessions down the field on equally impressive drives, one a seven-play 65-yard drive that lasted a mere 1:34, the other an eight-play-77 yard drive, culminating in a Pasik 24-yard keeper to give the Bears a 14-13 lead.
At that point, the stalemate commenced.
Turnovers plagued both teams as OJR turned the ball over twice in a five-minute span, while Boyertown added to the sloppy play with an interception in the waning moments of the first half.
"We've got to eliminate the mistakes,' Scisly said. "We were sloppy, real sloppy and we can't be that way.'
The second half saw much of the same from both teams; a few penalties, three turnover on downs and a lot of running from backs Scott and Cody Richmond.
The Wildcats controlled the clock in the second half as they held on to the ball for over 14 minutes. Switching to the Wildcat formation for some of their second-half plays, the Wildcats believed that the slower Boyertown line could get stumped with a direct snap to Scott.
"We knew they had a slower line so it opened up the line quicker,' Scott said.
Scott racked up 65 yards in the two long drives. Their longest possession, a 9:23 drive that spanned 17 plays on 62 yards, was halted by a tremendous defensive showing as Bradford was stuffed on a fourth down attempt at Boyertown's 13-yard line. The bend-but-don't-break approach had Scisly on edge, but admired their fourth-down stand.
"Our defense gave up two early touchdowns and then we bent but didn't break,' he said. "I thought we bent a little too much, but I'll take it.'
Boyertown's offense shut the door from there. Driving down the field on perhaps its best drive of the game, the Bears relied on Richmond to chew up clock and chew up yards.
"I really thought we could run the ball. Cody has been our guy all year, he's done a great job,' Scisly said. "He got a ton of yards.'
Richmond, following an 88-yard performance in the first half, ran on seven of the team's eight plays on the eight-play, 87-yard drive. He rattled off runs of 18, 16, 12 and 9 before sealing the game's fate with a three-yard touchdown run with 8:18 left in the game.
With a 21-13 deficit, the Wildcats tried their best to sustain another drive, but they saw themselves turn it over on downs with three minutes left. A key defensive stop by the Wildcats forced the Bears to punt with 30 seconds remaining, but the clock proved to be the enemy as quarterback Nicholas Thomas and OJR could only get past the 45-yard line before time expired.
"It sucks, especially at home,' Scott said of the loss. "Everyone played their hearts out though so I'm proud of them.'
For Boyertown, Scisly and company will look to shore up its turnover troubles as it faces Pottstown next week.
"If we want to be even in the game next week we can't do what we did today,' Scisly said. "Pottstown has tremendous athletes. If we don't tackle, if we don't play better defensively and don't play better on offense, you know it's going to be a long night for us.'
Scott finished the day with 148 yards on 38 carries while also catching two passes for 33 yards for the Wildcats. Pasik concluded the day 5-of-13 for 90 yard while running for 59 yards on 13 attempts. Nick Brough had a game-high two receptions for 35 yards.
Follow Sam Stewart on Twitter @Samuel_Stewart7
Owen J. Roberts
Boyertown 7 7 0 7 — 21
Owen J. Roberts 13 0 0 0 — 13
OJR-Kinckner 10 run (Dinnocenti kick)
OJR- Scott 3 run (KICK NO GOOD)
BT-Pasik 6 run (Giorgio kick)
BT-Pasik 24 run (Giorgio kick)
BT-Richmond 3 run (Giorgio kick)
First Downs 23 15
Rushing yards 261 184
Passing yards 82 58
Total yards 343 242
Passes C-A-I 5-13-2 3-7-0
Fumbles-Lost 5-1 4-1
Penalties-Yards 6-40 4-30
Punts-Avg. 2-26.5 3-34.3
Boyertown: Richmond, 29-177 1 TD; Pasik, 13-59 2TDs; Bucks, 2-18; Heller, 3-7.
Owen J. Roberts: Scott, 38-148 1TD; Kinckner, 8-41 1TD; Reitnour, 1-2; Bradford, 5--7.
Boyertown: Pasik, 5-13-90 INT; Talkington, 0-1-0 INT.
Owen J. Roberts: Thomas, 2-3-33; Bradford 1-4-28.
Boyertown: Brough, 2-35; Borzillo, 1-29; Heller, 1-18; Richmond 1-8.
Owen J. Roberts: Scott, 2-33; Hinrichs 1-28.
Interceptions: Owen J. Roberts- Bradford, Kinckner.
Sacks: Boyertown- Perry; Owen J. Roberts- Stewart, Kinckner