Pottsgrove won its second straight Pioneer Athletic Conference championship, Spring-Ford continued its program prominence and Perkiomen Valley put on a dazzling postseason display.
The PAC-10's proverbial "Big 3' deservedly dominated the headlines of the area high school football scene, but there were also plenty of other magical moments and memories that made this season one to remember.
Here's a final look back at a fantastic fall:
Behind a dominant defense led by Jeff Adams, Tyrone Parker, Sene Polamalu and Mike Fowler and an opportunistic offense keyed by Marquis Barefield, Riley Michaels, Polamalu and Fowler, Pottsgrove went 9-0 in PAC-10 play, highlighted by a 14-7 victory over Spring-Ford in Week 5 and a 23-12 win over Perkiomen Valley in Week 9. The Falcons (11-1 overall) ran their league regular season winning streak to 23 games and advanced to the District 1-AAA semifinals before falling 27-26 to eventual champ Academy Park.
Perkiomen Valley (10-2) saw its hopes of a PAC-10 title dashed by losses to Spring-Ford (14-7 in Week 3) and Pottsgrove (23-12 in Week 9), but the Vikings more than made up for it with their first two District 1-AAAA playoff victories in school history. With senior quarterback Rasaan Stewart leading the way and Mark Bonomo, Dakota Clanagan and Clay Domine heading up a potent group of skill people, the No. 15 seed Vikings took down No. 2 seed Bayard Rustin 26-6 in the first round before routing No.
Coming off its best season in school history, Spring-Ford had to battle a seemingly season-long slew of injuries as well as a revolving door at quarterback. But the Rams — with feature back Jarred Jones carrying a lot of the offensive load and the line duo of Mason Romano and Robby Varner spearheading the defensive effort — still had a fruitful 10-3 campaign (8-1 in league play), highlighted by a 43-21 District 1-AAAA first-round win over Downingtown West. The Rams' 32 wins from 2011-13 are the best three-year stretch in program history.
Methacton (7-4) notched its third straight winning season and most succesful campaign since 2000 by finishing the season with six wins over its final seven games after a 1-3 start. Coach Paul Lepre's crew got a strong two-way performance from fullback/linebacker Mike Cassidy and a big spark on offense from the quartet of quarterback Conner Derrickson, slotback Akeem Walcott and the receiver duo of Dillon Alderfer and Kyle Lowery in scoring at least 48 points on five different occasions.
BEARS' OFFENSIVE ROMP
While Perkiomen Valley's no-huddle, hurry-up offense got most of the attention, Boyertown used a similar style to rack up record-setting numbers.
Behind workhorse back Cody Richmond, senior quarterback Griffin Pasik, running back Eric Heller and receiver Nick Brough, the Bears ran 647 plays in their nine league games — shattering the mark of 562 set by Perkiomen Valley last year. The Bears' 3,713 total yards fell shy of PV's record 3,840 of last season. Boyertown averaged an area-best 415 total yards per game.
The Pottsgrove/Spring-Ford/Perkiomen Valley trilogy provided plenty of thrilling moments in shaping the league championship picture.
First, Spring-Ford and PV squared off in Week 3, with the Rams coming away with a 14-7 victory thanks to two sacks from Alec Vagnozzi and a game-sealing fumble recovery by Matt Daywalt.
Then in Week 5, Pottsgrove overcame Spring-Ford 14-7 in a knock-down, drag-out brawl that featured 13 tackles and three sacks from Tyrone Parker and a game-saving fumble recovery by Jeff Adams with 1:25 left.
Finally, Pottsgrove turned away Perkiomen Valley 23-12 in a hard-hitting Week 9 showdown that saw an unforgettable power outage just after the opening kickoff and saw the Falcons get a career-best 154 rushing yards and one touchdown from Sene Polamalu and 110 yards and one TD from Marquis Barefield.
Perkiomen Valley senior quarterback Rasaan (Rock) Stewart delivered a season's worth of highlight-reel plays on the way to throwing for an area-best 2,068 yards and 26 touchdowns while rushing for a team-best 1,204 yards and 17 touchdowns. The 6-foot-1, 182-pound Stewart finished his PV career with 4,438 career passing yards, 2,954 rushing yards and 96 total touchdowns.
There were no fewer than eight 1,000-yard rushers in the area this season, with Spring-Ford's Jarred Jones topping the list in both rushing yards (1,861) and touchdowns (29).
Boyertown's Cody Richmond amassed 302 carries (including a school- and Berks County single-game record 46 against Pottsgrove) and 1,625 yards, while Pottsgrove's Marquis Barefield (1,578), Owen J. Roberts' Wyatt Scott (1,365), Perkiomen Valley's Rasaan Stewart (1,204), Daniel Boone's Kyle Myers (1,172), Upper Perkomen's Aidan Schaffer (1,051) and Perkiomen Valley's Mark Bonomo (1,047) also hit the 1,000-yard barrier.
Schaffer, by the way, rushed for a school-record 392 yards and six touchdowns on 44 carries in a 37-14 win over Pope John Paul II in Week 4.
GIFT OF GRAB
Hill School's Grant Smith had one of the most prolific receiving seasons in area history, with area-bests of 66 catches and 1,078 yards. Smith hauled in 13 receptions for 197 yards and a TD in Week 2 against Episcopal Academy and caught 13 passes for 207 yards in Week 6 against Blair Academy.
Upper Perkiomen senior wideout Travis Kline, meanwhile, led the PAC-10 with 46 receptions and 855 receiving yards, while Perkiomen Valley's dynamite outside duo of Clay Domine and Dakota Clanagan combined for 83 catches, 1,341 yards and 23 TDs.
Pottsgrove's Mike Fowler caught 16 passes, with nine going for TDs.
Hill School quarterback Matt Foltz threw for 1,864 yards in eight games — including a 351-yard effort in Week 3 against Springside Chestnut Hill — and averaged 233 yards per game through the air. ... Perkiomen Valley's Rasaan Stewart threw for 750 yards and 10 touchdowns in a three-game span from Weeks 10 through 12, culminating in a 268-yard, four-TD outburst against C.B. West. ... Boyertown's Griffin Pasik threw for 231 yards and four touchdowns in a 62-7 win over Phoenixville in Week 7. ... Pottsgrove's Riley Michaels completed 21 passes all season, with 12 going for touchdowns.
Perkiomen Valley allowed an area-low 10.0 points per game and pitched four shutouts. ... Spring-Ford's Mason Romano led the area with eight sacks, with Pottsgrove's Marquis Barefield and Methacton's Akeem Walcott sharing the interception title with five apiece. ... Pope John Paul II's 24-0 win over Pottstown in Week 3 was the Golden Panthers' first shutout in school history.
JUST FOR KICKS
Spring-Ford's David Gualti booted home an area-best six field goals, including three in a 30-7 Week 7 win over Methacton. ... Pottsgrove's Jon Klinger nailed a go-ahead 39-yard field goal in a 23-12 Week 9 win over Perkiomen Valley, while PV's Matt Genuardi hit a 38-yarder in a 44-7 Week 2 win over Methacton. ... Phoenixville's Alex Wertman became the first female in the PAC-10 to convert a field goal with a 22-yarder in a 21-10 Week 12 loss to Quakertown.
COACHING ' EM UP
Pottsgrove coach Rick Pennypacker picked up his 200th career victory and helped the Falcons bring home their fourth PAC-10 title in the past six years and record ninth overall. ... Perkiomen Valley's Scott Reed guided the Vikings to 10 wins, matching the school single-season mark of the 1998 PV squad. ... Spring-Ford coach Chad Brubaker directed the Rams to their third straight double-digit victory total. Brubaker has a 41-11 record in four years at the Rams' helm.
Follow Darryl Grumling on Twitter at @MercSmokinD.