Blogs > The Best of Don Seeley's Columns

Former Mercury sports editor Don Seeley passed away in June 2013 from a heart attack. For more than a decade Seeley wrote about local sports. Featured here are his columns that were previously printed in The Mercury.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A football fright night

This column was originally published in the Oct. 28 edition of The Mercury.

For those without one of those magnetized calendars sticking on their refrigerator or flip-up types sitting right smack in front of them on their desk at home or work, Friday is Halloween.

Fright Night, if you will (minus the full moon).

Don’t expect to see any football coaches or their teams dressed up in anything but their traditional fall weekend attire — helmets, pads, and so on. And don’t expect to see or hear about any different routines leading up to the weekend either, even if a few of the ol’ fellas are a bit superstitious or get a little creeped out at this time of the year.

Trick-or-treat isn’t exactly part of the game plan … but you sure could say those words apply to just about every game this weekend, three of them in particular. Pottstown, Boyertown and Exeter would like nothing more than to trick Pottsgrove, Owen J. Roberts and Daniel Boone, who are looking for nothing more than a treat — a win, that is.

Pottstown, which has become the Pioneer Athletic Conference’s Team of October — thanks to a few notable surprises in the past, last year’s upset of then-unbeaten Lansdale Catholic, and last week’s win over heavily-favored Boyertown — visits Pottsgrove. The Trojans got embarrassed 41-0 a year ago, lost their lead and a 21-13 thriller two years ago, and got thumped by that same 41-0 score three years ago. So, yes, beyond the wanting-to-beat-the-neighbors, the Trojans should be a little motivated, to say the least. On the other hand, so should the Falcons. After splitting their first two non-league games, they’ve run the table with seven consecutive wins and now need just one more to clinch no worse than a tie for another title.

Boyertown entertains Owen J. Roberts. Bears’ head coach Mark Scisly, the baby on the PAC-10 coaches’ birthday card list, and the rest of the younger set may not realize this has been one of the most entertaining (and unpredictable) series for more than 40 years. The Bears need a win to have a shot at a .500 or better season, which would be quite a turnaround from last year’s 1-11 nightmare. The Wildcats, buddy-buddy with the Trojans this week for the obvious reason, need a win to stay within reach of Pottsgrove (or alongside the Falcons if their Pals from Pottstown pull off the upset) and, just as important, a win to officially clinch their first appearance in the postseason.

And up in Berks County, Daniel Boone hosts Exeter — two teams who don’t exactly share any love for one another. The Blazers have to regroup after last week’s setback cost them a share of the I-C Division One title, and need a win to keep their slim hopes of staying home for the first round of playoffs game next week. Exeter? The Eagles are winless, just as they were a year ago when they nearly pulled off the Upset of the Year against the playoff-bound Blazers. So you can bet your newly-purchased Spencer’s spooky outfit the Eagles sure have ending another 0-for-10 season on their collective minds.

Good thing Mischief Night is Thursday, eh?


Player of the Week honors go to Owen J. Roberts’ Ryan Brumfield and Methacton’s Tim Smith. Brumfield carried 33 times for a career-high 303 yards and two touchdowns and added a few big plays from the defensive secondary in the Wildcats’ 27-26 thriller over Perkiomen Valley. Smith carried 13 times for a career-high 234 yard and three touchdowns and was his usual intimidating self on defense in a 41-18 victory over St. Pius X.

Coach of the Week honors go to Pottstown’s Bret Myers, who guided the Trojans to another October Special — the surprising 28-20 win over Boyertown.


The Hill School dropped its first Mid-Atlantic Prep League game last week at Blair Academy. The Rams (2-1, 3-4) need to finish with two wins against Hun (this Friday) and Lawrenceville (the following Saturday) to stay a game back of Blair. The Bucs have just one MAPL outing left, in two weeks against winless Peddie School.

Perkiomen School (4-2) needs a win this week at St. Andrew’s School to assure itself of a winning season. The Indians survived the mud and four turnovers by limiting Elkton Christian to just one first down and 35 yards of offense while creating five turnovers in last Saturday night’s 14-0 shutout.


Perkiomen Valley senior quarterback Zach Zulli broke the area’s career record for passing yards and is closing in on two more marks after last weekend’s efforts in the Vikings’ loss to Owen J. Roberts. Zulli also broke four PAC-10 records, and could add his name to four more before he’s done in his final two games.

Zulli, who picked up invaluable experience as a sophomore when starter Mitch Johnson was injured midway through the season, eclipsed Daniel Boone graduate Chris Bokosky’s career passing yards mark last weekend and now has 5,419 yards. Zulli needs just four more completions and four more touchdown passes to break Bokosky’s marks, too.

In the PAC-10 record book, Zulli already owns the marks for career completions (258), yards (4,4045), and touchdowns (47), and moved up to No. 1 for total offense (2,182) in a season. He needs five completions and 57 yards to break the league’s season records in those two categories. He is also completing 60.1 percent of his attempts this season, and if he maintains that pace will erase Lansdale Catholic’s Mike deMarteleire’s season record of 59.4 percent set back in 1997.

Pottsgrove sophomore Terrell Chestnut (958) and Boyertown senior David Crognale (846) are closing in on becoming the area’s first quarterbacks to run for more than 1,000 yards in a season. Crognale is also the only area quarterback to run for more than 2,000 career yards. He has exactly 2,300 yards going into Friday night’s game with OJR.

Daniel Boone’s hot-hot combo — quarterback Jon Monteiro and wideout Zach Keeley — have chiseled down the erasers, too. Monteiro is now the Berks County record-holder for completions in a game and season, yards in a game and season, and is tied for touchdown passes in a season. The sophomore also owns area records for completions (29) and yards (475) in a game, and yards (2,331) and touchdowns (25) in a season … and he has at least two more games remaining this fall. Keeley, the school’s all-time leader in career receptions who last week passed Mark Justice as the Blazers’ all-time leader in receiving yards, needs 30 yards to break St. Pius X graduate Mike Todd’s area season record for receiving yards (991 in 1998) and 38 to become the first to go over 1,000 yards in a season.

OJR’s Ryan Brumfield last Saturday became just the second Wildcat to run for more than 300 yards in a PAC-10 game. Brumfield’s 303 yards came up shy of OJR graduate David Frame’s two outings of 308 and 311 yards, though.

With two league games remaining, Brumfield is exactly 200 yards shy of Frame’s school record for yards in a PAC-10 season (1,548) and 328 yards shy of Matt Lucas’ school record for yards in a season (1,718). With 2,490 yards and two seasons remaining, the sophomore is well on pace to erase Owen J. Roberts’ career rushing mark — 3,633 yards, held by current head coach Tom Barr.


Pottsgrove needs to get on the scoreboard Friday night to tie its PAC-10 record for most consecutive league games without being shut out. The Falcons’ mark (57 straight) was set between 1988 and 1994. Spring-Ford, which used Jared Houck’s field goal to avoid getting blanked by the Falcons last Friday night, hasn’t been shut out in 53 games, which ties their previous-best mark set between 1991 and 1997 — also the second-longest streak behind Pottsgrove’s.


Upper Perkiomen (4-5) visits Perkiomen Valley on Friday night needing a win to get back to .500 with one, or possibly two games remaining. The Indians have not had a losing season since head coach Keith Leamer took over the program in 2003, or since going 3-9 in 2000. … Barring any major upsets, the local card for Friday, Nov. 7 will be changed completely with one or both teams in the five scheduled games already in line for the postseason playoffs. Boyertown, Spring-Ford and Upper Perkiomen have the option of finding other opponents and, according to sources, will attempt to do so. Phoenixville, which has gotten outstandings seasons from Abdul Kelly and Anthony Nattle – arguably the “ quietest best“ two-way players in the area, has a bye next week.


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