PENNSBURG — An abundance of turnovers and more than 300 yards on the ground sent the Perkiomen School's seniors out on a high note with a 35-12 victory over St. Andrew's School Friday in the team's season finale.
"The seniors had us all pumped up,' said Perkiomen School running back Tom Aaron, a junior. "We weren't going to lose this one.'
Aaron rushed for 152 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries on many gutsy runs up the middle.
His yardage on the ground accounted for just less than half the team total of 319 rushing yards while running backs Isaiah Smith and Grant Briddell as well as quarterback Patrick Scotto each scored a touchdown with their feet.
"Today I had the greatest blocking I've ever had so far this year, no doubt,' Aaron said. "Great blocking from (Josh Cruz) and the whole line being great.'
"It all starts up front,' said Perkiomen School coach Tom Calvario. "I don't care who you would have put in that backfield today, the offensive line dominated their defensive line. And that's really what it amounted to ... I don't care if we would have had a ninth grader running today, the holes were big enough. But (Aaron) is a hell of a runner.'
"Tom Aaron ran the ball really well,' said Cruz, another running back and defensive back. "I led block and we just kept that momentum going on on defense.'
Cruz intercepted two Ryan Bellissimo passes and Derek Fosbenner picked off a third.
"Isaiah (Smith) was a big help on the left side so I could control the right side,' Cruz said of his plays.
Calvario called winning the turnover battle "huge.'
"This is the first time in four years we've been able to shut them down,' Calvario said.
According to Calvario, it was the first time in four years that Perkiomen was able to win against St. Andrew's.
Senior Tony Coleman played on both sides of the line but was especially noticeable on defense, getting one solo sack and leading the charge on a second sack.
"He blocks, he puts his nose in; we put him on defense, he puts his nose in. And you saw what happened,' Calvario said. "He stays so low. It's almost like he bear-crawls through guys' knees.'
In addition to the interceptions by Cruz and Fosbenner, Dan Ferraioli recovered an onside kick early in the game when the score was still just 14-6.
St. Andrew's coach Tom Fritz said he felt his team played better as the game got along but "turning the ball over has been our problem all season.'
"Our defense is just non-stop. We always hit the ball,' Aaron said. "It's a surprise when the other team gets a touchdown.'
Fritz said starting two freshmen on the offensive line for the first time due to injuries didn't help the case.
Scotto only threw the ball four times Friday, but his two completions belonged to Ja'Ren Hampton and became touchdowns.
"Honestly, I was just playing my hardest,' Hampton said. "It was the last game for the seniors. Not only did I want to make it a good game for myself but my seniors (and) especially my quarterback. Me and him have been working out all summer and he really gave me confidence in my game a whole lot more.'
Hampton caught a pass on the left side of the offense and came across the field for a 44-yard score late in the first half, making several St. Andrew's players miss along the way.
"I didn't expect to get the ball but as soon as I turned around the ball was right there, right in front of my visor, and I did what I had to do and rewarded the quarterback,' Hampton said.
Hampton finished with 63 yards receiving to go along with his two touchdown catches.
Garrison Hines was the big receiver for St. Andrew's, also reeling in a pair of catches for touchdowns.
"We try to find ways to give him the ball, as a receiver or a running back,' Fritz said.
Hines amassed 77 yards through the air and 25 on the ground on five touches.
He also caught Scotto's only interception deep in his own end of the field.
"(Hines) had his best game on defense today, I thought. Unfortunately he had to make a lot of tackles in the secondary because of the way they ran the ball against us,' Fritz said.
St. Andrew's has one game remaining on the schedule, against Tatnall School, also in Delaware.
"If we can eliminate mistakes and tackle better, we think we have at least a good chance to win that and salvage the season for the seniors,' Fritz said.
Calvario, in the meantime, was overjoyed for his seniors and the message such a game could send to the underclassmen for next year.
"I'm just happy that we could end this season on an up-note,' Calvario said. "I'm happy that we could win this last game.'
Follow Frank Otto on Twitter @fottojourno.
Perkiomen School 35
St. Andrew's 12
St. Andrew's 6 0 0 6 - 12
Perkiomen School 14 14 7 0 - 35
PS-Scotto 3 run (Olsen kick)
SA-Hines 34 pass from Bellissimo (kick failed)
PS-Aaron 9 run (Olsen kick)
PS-Briddell 5 run (Olsen kick)
PS-Hampton 44 pass from Scotto (Olsen kick)
PS-Smith 7 run (Olsen kick)
SA-Hines 43 pass from Bellissimo (run failed)
First Downs 9 21
Rushing yards 42 319
Passing yards 95 63
Total yards 137 382
Passes C-A-I 4-14-3 2-4-1
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-0
Penalties-Yards 3-20 8-70
Punts-Avg. 2-45.5 1-27
St. Andrew's: Hines, 5-25; Holley, 3-13; Simpson, 2-13; Merriweather, 5-8; T. Thomas, 4-8; Bellissimo, 2-(-14).
Perkiomen School: Aaron, 23-152, 1 TD; Smith, 9-50, 1 TD; Fosbenner, 6-36; Briddell, 3-25, 1 TD; Scotto, 7-21, 1 TD; Cruz, 4-16; Hampton, 5-12; Minder, 1-5; Buckwalter, 1-2.
St. Andrew's: Bellissimo, 4-14-95, 2 TDs, 3 INTs
Perkiomen School: Scotto, 2-4-63, 1 TD, 1 INT.
St. Andrew's: Hines 2-77, 2 TDs; E. Thomas, 1-10; Simpson, 1-8.
Perkiomen School: Hampton, 2-63, 1 TD.
Interceptions: St. Andrew's-Simpson. Perkiomen School-Cruz, 2, Fosbenner.
Sacks: St. Andrew's-Veluchamy. Perkiomen School-Coleman 1.5, Contreras 0.5.