Written by: Michael Cabry on Monday, May 23rd, 2022
The 10th Annual Pioneer Athletic Conference Football Coaches Association Senior Bowl was contested at Spring-Ford High’s Coach McNelly Stadium, with team Independence defeating team Freedom 27-7. The PAC 10 game is usual in that the All Star Seniors are divided among the teams as individuals, not by team, thus pitting teammates against each other in some cases. The team Independence was coached by Pottsgrove Head Coach Bill Hawthorne and his staff, team Freedom was led by Spring-Ford Head Coach Chad Brubaker and his staff. With limited time to practice the game also featured limited special teams. Team Freedom opened up with the ball on their own 20 yardline, Spring-Ford QB Ryan Freed led his squad deep into the red zone, on a second and long, he was strip sacked and the team Independence took over. PFN All State QB Ethan Kohler from Perkiomen Valley was first up for the Independence offense, that’s when the game’s format got interesting. The night before the game the, the PV team Freedom players delved into a little trash talking, assuring Kohler they would intercept one of his passes. After a first down PV’s standout defensive back Jeremy Brewer stepped in front of an Independence receiver to pick off Kohler’s pass. The PV players on team Freedom erupted, surely reminding Kohler of their promises from the night before.
The remainder of the first quarter was a defensive struggle, with team Independence gathering no momentum, while team Freedom drove the ball between the 20s, but then their offense would stall. Coach Hawthorne then dialed up a little trickeration, calling a play that burned him in the past. Two years ago as a sophomore last minute fill in, Phoenixville’s halfback Owen Koch uncorked a halfback pass for a touchdown against Hawthorne’s Pottsgrove team. Hawthorne called the halfback pass, as Koch took the pitch and rambled to his right the Freedom defense attacked the run leaving Vinny Scarnato all alone down the sideline, Koch launched the pass to Scarnato who gathered it in, gilding to the end zone for the games first score. On the ensuing Freedom possession Pottsgrove QB Ryan Sisko threw a perfect spiral to Avery Grimm for what looked like a 61 yard equalizer, but as the Freedom fast celebration began it ended quickly when the yellow hanky was spotted at the 40 yardline. The first half would end with the Independence team up 7-0.
The scoring in the third quarter would come fast and furious, beginning with PJPII QB DJ Clarke threading the needle to Spring-Ford’s Cole Turner on a 30 yard TD pass. On team Freedom’s next possession PJPII linebacker Steele Depetrillo read the QB’s eyes, then sliced in front of the Freedom receiver, intercepting the pass and rumbling 42 yards to pay dirt, Independence kicker Carson Johnson added his third extra point, making the score 21-0. On the next Independence possession Sisko led them quickly down the field, capping the drive by rolling out to his left and floating a dime to PV receiver Dawson Debebe for a 25 yard score, cutting the lead to 21-7. Being down by 14 the Freedom team maintained possession after their TD, but could not mount a sustained drive. Clarke then threw his second touchdown for team Freedom, hitting Pottsgrove’s Tyler Kaufman for a 59 yard scoring strike to up the Freedom lead to 27-7.
The fourth quarter was much like the first half with the defenses taking over, neither team was able to put together a scoring drive. As the final seconds ticked off team Independence celebrated their 27-7 victory.
Prior to the game the PAC10 Coaches Association held an underclassmen combine, which including individual and team competitions. Giving these underclassmen a chance to get some time in front of college recruiters. At halftime there was an underclassmen relay race, which was won by Pottsgrove’s underclassman.
“For full gallery over the next few days – go to PAC10 SENIOR BOWL 05.23.2022 – Kim Supko (smugmug.com)
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