Owen J. Roberts running back Khalil Spriggs scampers for four yards before being brought down by Conestoga's Edward Jean during the second quarter of the Wildcats' 26-13 loss on Friday night. (Sam Stewart/ The Mercury)
While the area football preseason was all about promise, after a nightmarish Week 1, the focus shifted to problem-solving. And when the Week 2 action kicks off Friday and Saturday, the local squads that made the necessary adjustments in practice this week will come to the forefront. The 29th Pioneer Athletic Conference league season gets underway with three games Friday and another — the traditional Battle for the Battle Axe between neighboring rivals Perkiomen and Methacton — Saturday. The PV-Methacton game has been moved to an 11 a.m. start due to the forecast of impending rain. Also, area squads Daniel Boone and Owen J. Roberts hook up Friday night in what looks to be an evenly-matched non-leaguer and Perkiomen School opens its campaign Friday afternoon against Carson Long.
Upper Perkiomen head coach Tom Hontz. (John Strickler The Mercury)
As far as Friday's PAC-10 action, one first-year coach (Boyertown's George Parkinson or Upper Perkiomen's Tom Hontz) will pick up his first win when the Bears visit the Indians. Both Boyertown and Upper Perkiomen suffered one-sided shutout losses last week — the Bears falling 28-0 to Exeter and the Tribe absorbing a 38-0 beating at the hands of Quakertown — and are eager to right their respective ships. Spring-Ford, meanwhile, will open its league season against Phoenixville at Coach McNelly Stadium in a contest that was previously held on Thanksgiving. Friday's other PAC-10 tilt takes place at Pottsgrove's newly-named Pennypacker Field, where the two-time defending league champion Falcons, smarting from last week's 41-7 loss to Ben Franklin (their worst in 12 years), will look to extend their record 23-game league winning streak against Pope John Paul II.
Daniel Boone and Owen J. Roberts are each coming off efforts in which they hung tough into the second half before falling, respectively, to Cocalico (32-14) and Conestoga (26-13), and it will be a much-needed win for whoever can take the matchup of Route 345 neighbors. Saturday, Perkiomen Valley will try to extend a six-game winning streak against Methacton. The Vikings showed plenty of promise in rallying from a 22-point halftime deficit in a 29-27 loss to Council Rock North, getting eye-catching debuts from sophomore quarterback Stephen Sturm and sophomore running back David Williams.
Boyertown's new head coach George Parkinson. Photo by John Strickler The Mercury
The Warriors, who fell 41-18 to highly-regarded Bayard Rustin, counter with an attack led by dual threat quarterback Conner Derrickson, running back Louis Cotteta and slotback/safety Akeem Walcott. In Saturday's other local game, Pottstown plays host to Chichester in a non-leaguer. SCISLY-ING START While all 11 area teams dropped their openers last weekend, former Boyertown coach Mark Scisly was making some history in his debut as the Northampton head coach. Scisly guided the Konkrete Kids to a 40-6 victory over William Allen Friday that snapped a 19-game losing streak. GOING GREEN Lancaster-Lebanon League squad Penn Manor came away with a 27-20 triumph over Cedar Cliff of the Mid-Penn Conference as part of the Global Ireland Football Tournament in Dublin last Friday. Quarterback Tanner Erisman threw for 213 yards and three scores for the Comets, who earned the distinction of being the first L-L program to play a game outside the country. ON A CRUSADE Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg) star senior running back Andre Robinson ran for three touchdowns in a 56-0 rout of Steel-High. With 75 career TDs, Robinson moved into second place on the Crusaders' career list (one ahead of Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy) and nine behind the record of Jameel Poteat (now a senior at the University of Pittsburgh). ALL THAT JAZZ The Mount Carmel Area School District will honor late football coach Joe "Jazz' Diminick prior to Friday's game against Selinsgrove by naming the field at the renowned Silver Bowl after him. Diminick coached the Red Tornadoes from 1962-92, compiling a 267-81-7 record in 31 seasons. His 290 wins overall were the most in Pennsylvania at that time. Diminick guided Mount Carmel to five Eastern Conference Southern Division championships, three overall Eastern Conference championships (1969, 1972, 1973) and won 10 or more games 13 times. He had three unbeaten 12-0 seasons. Follow Darryl Grumling on Twitter at @MercSmokinD.