The Pottsgrove football team celebrates winning the PAC-10 championship Friday night after defeating Boyertown, 62-29. (Photo by John Strickler/The
The Pottsgrove football team celebrates winning the PAC-10 championship Friday night after defeating Boyertown, 62-29. (Photo by John Strickler/The Mercury)

LOWER POTTSGROVE — Tackling Pottsgrove's Marquis Barefield is about as easy as grabbing a fish or running across an ice rink.

Barefield, Pottsgrove's slippery senior tailback, gave visiting Boyertown a first-hand lesson of that during Friday night's Pioneer Athletic Conference regular season finale.

He juked, jived, cut, changed direction and navigated the Falcons' field the way Jimmie Johnson navigates NASCAR Sprint Cup tracks.

When it was all said and done, Barefield had racked up a career-high 294 yards and four touchdowns — all of which were 45 yards or more — to help Pottsgrove wrap up its second straight outright league championship with a 62-29 Senior Night victory over the Bears.

Pottsgrove’s Marquis Barefield (25) and Wyatt Porter (5) celebrate a touchdown against Boyertown Friday night as the Falcons won the PAC-10
Pottsgrove's Marquis Barefield (25) and Wyatt Porter (5) celebrate a touchdown against Boyertown Friday night as the Falcons won the PAC-10 championship. (Photo by John strickler/The Mercury)

Barefield's ground barrage overshadowed a monster performance by Boyertown senior feature back Cody Richmond, who carried the ball a mind-boggling 46 times for 268 yards (both career bests) and three touchdowns.

"It being Senior Night, it made us take it to a different level tonight,' Barefield said.

No one moreso than the 5-foot-8, 150-pound Barefield.

He started off his scintillating showing on the Falcons' second play, racing around the left edge and taking it 54 yards for a touchdown.

Pottsgrove (9-0 PAC-10, 10-0 overall) went up 14-0 later in the first quarter, when quarterback Riley Michaels hooked up with Mike Folwer for an 80-yard scoring strike — with Fowler zigging and zagging past multiple defenders in taking it to the house.

Then Barefield ripped off a 59-yard run to put the Falcons up 21-0 with 9:20 left in the first half.

Boyertown (5-4, 6-4), which moved the ball throughout the game, finally got on the board 18 seconds before intermission, when Eric Heller made a nifty one-handed grab to complete an 18-yard scoring toss from QB Grifin Pasik.

Pottsgrove wide receiver Michael Fowler catches a pass in the first half and runs for a touchdown as Boyertown’s Griffin Pasik pursues during
Pottsgrove wide receiver Michael Fowler catches a pass in the first half and runs for a touchdown as Boyertown's Griffin Pasik pursues during Friday's PAC-10 football game. (Photo by John Strickler/The Mercury)

But that was as close as things got, thanks to a 41-point second-half explosion by the Falcons, who won their 23rd straight PAC-10 regular season contest.

Fowler answered with his own one-handed stab to turn Michaels' third-down pass into a 52-yard catch-and-run TD four plays into the second half.

On the next play from scrimmage, 6-3, 251-pound defensive lineman Patrick Finn gobbled up a fumble by Pasik and rumbled 20 yards to the end zone to make it 33-6.

"We came together at practice this week and said, '˜Let's go out with a bang within the PAC-10,' and I think we did that tonight,' said Michaels. "We were preaching we didn't want to share it (the league title). We're not sharers at Pottsgrove; we wanted it for ourself. That was our motto.'

Boyertown running back Cody Richmond takes a carry against Pottsgrove Friday. (Photo by John Strickler/The Mercury)
Boyertown running back Cody Richmond takes a carry against Pottsgrove Friday. (Photo by John Strickler/The Mercury)

Barefield capped the carnage with a couple of highlight-reel third-quarter TD runs. First, he shed several tackles down the far sideline en route to a 56-yard jaunt. Then he broke through another massive hole opened up by the offensive line of Finn, Tom Sephakis, Max Wickward, Jeremy Cuadrado and Matt Faulkner (starting for the injured Anthony Pond) and outran the secondary for a 45-yarder that made it 48-21 with 2:05 left in the quarter.

"His vision on the field is phenomenal,' Michaels said. "I've never watched someone as good as him with his cutbacks. He's a scatback, but he has physical strength, too.'

"He makes people miss,' echoed Pottsgrove coach Rick Pennypacker. "He's quick. He's fast. I don't think he knows how good he can be. He gets behind them (the Falcons line), and then it's one juke and he's gone.

Pottsgrove quarterback Riley Michaels led the Falcons to the 62-29 win over Boyertown to capture the PAC-10 championship Friday night. (Photo by John
Pottsgrove quarterback Riley Michaels led the Falcons to the 62-29 win over Boyertown to capture the PAC-10 championship Friday night. (Photo by John Strickler/The Mercury)

"One of the most impressive things about Marquis is he can make a move and never lose his speed. You don't see that too often.'

You also don't see too many players leave it all on the field the way Richmond did for the Bears. Already the area's leader in rushing attempts heading into the contest, the 6-foot, 190-pound Richmond carried the ball no fewer than 27 times in the second half, when he picked up 206 of his yards and scored on runs of 8, 28 and 15 yards.

"I'm proud of our kids' effort,' Boyertown coach Mark Scisly said. "They played hard, but you can't give up the big plays like that. Big plays on defense killed us, and a couple of times on offense we didn't execute when we could have finished some drives early on.

Pottsgrove’s Anthony Pond (50) congratulates Patrick Finn after Finn recovered a fumble and ran it in for a touchdown against Boyertown Friday.
Pottsgrove's Anthony Pond (50) congratulates Patrick Finn after Finn recovered a fumble and ran it in for a touchdown against Boyertown Friday. (Photo by John Strickler/The Mercury)

"We finish the drives and don't give up so many big gains, and it's a closer game.'

Instead, however, it was the Falcons who finished up their PAC-10 season in style.

"This team has more togetherness than any team I've ever been on,' said Barefield, who also had an interception. "We're all one big team, playing as one.'

 

NOTES

Devon Fink ran for a 44-yard touchdown and Jalen Mayes tacked on a 15-yard TD run for the Falcons, who amassed 413 rushing yards and 545 total yards. ... Michaels finished 2-for-3 for 132 yards and two scores; Pasik threw for 100 yards for the Bears. ... Barefield, who has an area-best 22 overall touchdowns, increased his season rushing yarage total to 1,380. Richmond regained the area lead from Spring-Ford's Jarred Jones and is currently at 1,470.

Pottsgrove 62
Boyertown 29
Boyertown    0    6    15    8 — 29
Pottsgrove    14    7    27    14 — 62
P-Barefield 54 run (Klinger kick)
P-Fowler 80 pass from Michaels (Klinger kick)
P-Barefield 59 run (Klinger kick)
B-Heller 16 pass from Pasik (kick failed)
P-Fowler 52 pass from Michaels (kick failed)
P-Finn 20 fumble return (Klinger kick)
B-Richmond 8 run (Zilen pass from Pasik)
P-Barefield 56 run (Klinger kick)
B-Richmond 28 run (Giorgio kick)
P-Barefield 45 run (Klinger kick)
P-Mayes 15 run (Klinger kick)
P-Fink 44 run (Klinger kick)
B-Richmond 2 run (Pasik run)

Team Statistics
    Bt    Pg
First Downs    24    15
Rushing yards    319    413
Passing yards    100    132
Total yards    419    543
Passes C-A-I    9-28-1    2-3-0
Fumbles-Lost    2-1    2-1
Penalties-Yards    3-30    7-56
Punts-Avg.    4-34.8    3-32.3

Individual Statistics
Rushing
Boyertown: Richmond 46-268, 3 TDs; Heller 8-29, Pasik 7-9, Murphy 1-3.
Pottsgrove: Barefield 19-294, 4 TDs; Fink 1-44, 1 TD; Barr 5-35, Mayes 1-15, 1 TD, Michaels 7-9, Toomer 1-5, Polamalu 2-4, Mandia 1-4, Fowler 1-3

Passing
Boyertown: Pasik 9-27-100, 1 TD, Richmond 0-1-0, 1 INT.
Pottsgrove: Michaels 2-3-132, 2 TDs.

Receiving
Boyertown: Heller 3-33, 1 TD; Richmond 1-21, Brough 1-15, Talkington 1-12, Bill 1-12, Borzillo 1-6, Zilen 1-1.
Pottsgrove: Folwer 2-132, 2 TDs.

Interceptions: Pottsgrove-Barefield.
Sacks: Boyertown-Zilen 0.5, Pettine 0.5; Pottsgrove-Parker, Finn, Polamaluu.

Follow Darryl Grumling on Twitter at @MercSmokinD.