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, October 8, 2010

Boyertown has a chance to prove Pottsgrove upset was no fluke

This column first appeared in the Sept. 21, 2010 print edition of the Mercury.

It took a little while, almost the entire weekend actually, for Mark Scisly to fully comprehend what his Boyertown football team did last Friday night.

Yes, his Bears did beat Pottsgrove, and no matter how you bite into the end result or even attempt to digest it, the 34-28 win was an upset. Push aside whatever temptations there may be not to call it as such because of the usual preseason protocol, or August tradition of listing the contenders and pretenders.

Bottom line is that it really doesn’t matter how big you are, and it doesn’t really matter what those stopwatches may reveal about a team’s quickness or speed, either. When you knock off a two-time defending champion – a team that had beaten back 22 straight Pioneer Athletic Conference challengers – a team that has the bulk of its lineup back from a District 1 title run, and a team that has three (if not more) legitimate Division I-A starters, no matter who you are, it can and should be called an upset.

Scisly was well aware of all that, well aware the Bears — like everyone else this season — were or would be the underdogs when it came time to line up against the Falcons. And he’ll accept, at least for now, the win being an upset.

But what he didn’t realize until reviewing the film was how the Bears did it – by rallying not once, not twice, but three times to get back to even terms with the Falcons before scoring two unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter put them ahead for good.

“When I looked back, when I had time to reflect on it, probably the most impressive part (of the win) was how our kids kept fighting back, fighting back and fighting back,” Scisly explained. “They just never quit.”

Pottsgrove led 7-0, 14-7 and 21-14 before Jared Von Dohren raced 54 yards to get Boyertown back on even terms for a third time. Von Dohren, who missed almost the entire season a year ago with an injury, has been making up for lost time this season. Through three games, he’s touched the football just 23 times, but has 357 yards – which averages out to 15.5 yards a play – and taken four of his carries and two of his receptions into opponents’ end zones. Then, after Von Dohren’s dash, it was Tom Froehlich’s turn. Ironically, Froehlich missed the Bears’ first two games recovering from an injury, but looked like the healthy soul after capping off two of Boyertown’s next possessions with short touchdown runs.

The comeback, obviously, wasn’t just a two-man show. Quarterback Dylan Pasik – who in three games has a ridiculous 311.3 passing rating – made all the right calls. And those big guys up front, all of them, made the right moves and right blocks.

“I was so impressed with our offensive line,” Scisly said. “They played well. And our center (Tyler Bogert) did an outstanding job on (Pottsgrove nose guard T.J.) Demetrio, who is so tough. Our (linemen) were just getting in the way of people, hitting people.

“Pasik has made sure huge strides since last year. And the addition of Von Dohren to our offense … I knew he’d be a good player, but I didn’t realize how good of a player he’d be. And getting Froehlich back has been big. Overall, I was really pleased with our execution.”

Scisly should be considering the Bears put up 34 points on the Falcons, who hadn’t given up that many to anyone since their last loss to Lansdale Catholic back in 2007 and have surrendered 34 or more in just eight PAC-10 games the last 10 seasons.

But don’t overlook what the Bears did on the other side of the ball, either.

Yes, Kayvon Greene did step through their defense for 147 yards and four touchdowns, and Terrell Chestnut ran up 102 more before leaving with an injury. But when it came time to step up and stop the craziness — the track meet of sorts that kept the scoreboard lights flickering — the Bears did … or at least long enough for their teammates to set up Froehlich’s two go-ahead scores.

“We had a hard time stopping the dive, but it’s tough stopping all three aspects of (Pottsgrove’s) option offense,” Scisly said. “Pottsgrove attacked our defense where they thought our weaknesses were, and that’s a credit to them and their coaching staff. We were giving up a little bit at a time, but we basically sat in our base defense and moved some people around a little bit.”

Boyertown’s defensive front didn’t give up much. Nose guard Dalton Schaeffer had yet another strong showing and tackle Chris Muller was in on 11 tackles. Linebackers Tyler Shaw (12 tackles), Jeff Ellwanger (eight) and Zach Heffner were all over the field, and strong safety Tyler Mauger (11) came up with stop after stop.

“Our kids played tough defense the whole night,” Scisly said.

Tough enough to inherit what Pottsgrove had for a long, long time – that target on their collective back.

“It was a tough week because our kids were looking forward to the game for a long time and preparing for it for a long time,” Scisly explained. “But that’s the way it’s been for us ever since I came into the league (in 2008). My first year, we got upset by Pottstown. Last year, we got upset by Spring-Ford. There are no easy weeks in this league, so every week you have to be prepared.

“We’re just taking it one week at a time. (Beating Pottsgrove) was big, but we don’t feel there’s any bulls-eye on our back yet. We just won one game so far.”


Boyertown is 3-0 for the first time in 19 years, or since 1991 when the quick start led to a 9-2 season. … One person hard to overlook on the Bears’ offensive line is 6-foot-9, 215-pound tight end Jake McKee, a first-year player. “It’s hard to believe Jake never ever played football before,” Scisly said. … Friday night’s loss denied Pottsgrove head coach Rick Pennypacker his 125th league win, which would’ve tied leader Jim Algeo of Lansdale Catholic. … Scisly’s weekend got even better after hearing about one of his former assistants, Mike Holderman, the offensive coordinator on the Bears’ 2008 staff. Holderman is now the head coach at Kennett High School up in New Hampshire, and last Friday night led his team to a 20-9 victory over Plymouth, ending the nation’s longest active winning streak at 57 straight.


Spring-Ford shared last week’s football headline with Boyertown after a win over Owen J. Roberts – the team that had just two losses (both to Pottsgrove) the last two PAC-10 seasons and the team that most figured to be the No. 1 PAC-10 challenger (to Pottsgrove) again this season.

With all due respect to the Rams’ offense, it was defense – and a lot of it – that led to the win. Pressure from the outside cut into the width of the field for OJR’s Ryan Brumfield, and plenty of Rams were around to stuff his cutbacks (which have been well-documented throughout his assault on the school, league and area record books).

Chase Stewart, better known for his ability to carry the football, was Spring-Ford’s defensive spy for the night, shadowing Brumfield wherever he lined up. And until the OJR standout’s last two carries of the evening, it worked. Brumfield didn’t get to the 100-yard mark until those final two carries and saw his streak of seven straight games of 200 yards or more end. If that’s not enough to acknowledge the defensive effort, how about this – Brumfield was limited to just one touchdown for the first time in 12 games, or when OJR snuck by Spring-Ford this time a year ago.


Daniel Boone is 3-0 again and ready to open its Inter-County League Section One schedule this Friday at Twin Valley. The concern about a new quarterback? Forget it, head coach Dave Bodolus’ son, Tommy, is 46 of 79 for 669 yards and 12 touchdowns.


Chestnut – the PAC-10 and Mercury Area Player of the Year the past two seasons – went down with a shoulder injury last Friday night. Pennypacker said was going to be re-evaluated on Monday. Two-way tackle Chris Nester, also injured Friday night and taken to a hospital for precautionary measures, has reportedly been cleared to resume playing. … Owen J. Roberts junior quarterback Blake Bradshaw suffered a fractured wrist late in the fourth quarter Friday night at Spring-Ford and may need surgery. Head coach Tom Barr said Bradshaw is out for the season.


The Hill School opened its 124th season on a winning note with the 35-30 thriller over Germantown Academy. The Rams don’t open defense of their Mid-Atlantic Prep League title for a few weeks. Their MAPL rivals are a combined 3-3 thus far – Blair is 0-1 following a 41-14 loss to Worcester; Hun is 1-0 after a 21-20 squeaker over Episcopal (Hill’s opponent this week); Lawrenceville is 1-0 after a 21-14 win over Haverford School; Mercersburg is 1-1 after splitting two games with Spingarn and Landon down in the nation’s capitol; and Peddie is 0-1 after losing 37-14 to Pennington.

Perkiomen School traveled all the way to Tower Hill down in Delaware to give new head coach Tom Calvario his first win, a come-from-behind 12-7 victory over the Hillers.


Methacton has won two in a row under new coach Paul Lepre. It’s the first time the Warriors have won back-to-back games since running off three straight in 2008. … Phoenixville played its area-high 1,060th game last Friday night, which ended in a shutout of Pope John Paul II. … Weekly honors? Forget it, or make it a multiple choice. Flip a coin for Coach of the Week honors, which Scisly, Spring-Ford’s Chad Brubaker, or Calvario all deserve. Player of the Week honors should go to the entire Boyertown football team, or at least the Spring-Ford defense. … Quote of the Week? He didn’t say anything yet, but ask Pope John Paul II head coach Mike Santillo his thoughts on trying to build a new program after opening with Pottsgrove, getting blanked at Phoenixville, and knowing he now has to prepare for the team that just knocked off Pottsgrove?



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home