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.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Boyertown not looking past Spring-Ford to date with OJR

This column was originally published in the Oct. 22 edition of The Mercury.

Five weeks ago, moments after Boyertown upset Pottsgrove, a whole lot of football fans thought it was time to get the Pioneer Athletic Conference championship trophy engraved, boxed up and delivered to Boyertown. Last week, moments after Owen J. Roberts put up 49 points on Pottsgrove in a surprising romp, it seemed as though a lot of those same football fans wanted to put a hold on that shipment.

At least for another two weeks, or until late Friday evening, Oct. 29, to be specific.

That’s when the Bears and Wildcats meet over in Bucktown … the game, most say, which will determine if Boyertown wins or shares the PAC-10 title.

Mind you, all that may sound great to the Bears, but right now it’s all falling on deaf ears.

If the Bears don’t get the best of Spring-Ford tonight, the outcome of next week’s showdown (and the remaining two league games)

just may determine if Boyertown wins or shares – or possibly even loses – the PAC-10 title.

“We’re not thinking about Owen J., or anyone other than Spring-Ford at this point,” Boyertown head coach Mark Scisly said earlier this week. “No one is looking ahead, not when we already know that Spring-Ford beat Owen J.

“Our kids know the importance of this game. Believe me, this is a huge test for us.”

For the record, Boyertown is the lone remaining unbeaten in the PAC-10 (5-0, 7-0 overall) and can claim the program’s second league championship trophy with a win tonight, next week at Owen J. Roberts and in those final two tests at home – the first against Methacton and the other on Thanksgiving against Upper Perkiomen. But looking ahead, beyond the task at hand, if you will, could prove quite costly.

“From Day One our whole focus has been on one game at a time,” Scisly said..

If anyone would check the back of the t-shirts the Bears wear out and about – or the dog tags that dangle under them – they’d see, in writing, exactly that … what Scisly has been drilling into his football team since Day One.

So, yes, the Bears’ focus is squarely on the Rams (3-2, 5-2), who may be just a wee bit better than their record indicates.

“(Spring-Ford) plays well, plays hard,” Scisly said. “They have a lot of very good football players. Defensively they fly to the football. They’re very dangerous.”

What concerns Scisly the most is the Rams’ defense. They have slowed down if not shut down four opponents’ running games, and surrendered very little against the pass. Twins Max and Bjorn Ullmann have a combined 9.5 sacks coming off the ends, Dan Albanese has been a pest of late inside the Ullmans, and linebackers Matt Krueger (3.5 sacks) and James Hoff are having all-league seasons. The secondary, which has come up with most of the team’s area-leading 16 interceptions, is anchored by Matt Glowacki, Andrew Keys and Stephen Joyce, who have 11 picks between them.

If that isn’t enough, the Rams’ special teams may be among the best in the area. Their return teams – combined with the defense – have accounted for six touchdowns and set up countless other scores.

“Spring-Ford is similar to us in that they have a lot of one-way starters,” Scisly said. “When they’re out there, on offense or defense, they’re usually fresh.”

Chad Brubaker, the Rams’ first year coach, would like to keep everyone fresh, too. But that will require holding onto the football on offense and defusing Boyertown’s explosive offense.

The Bears are averaging just under 38 points a game with as balanced an offense as there is in the PAC-10. They can go to any one of four backs – Jared Von Dohren (453 yards, 7 TDs), Jon Neiman (423 yards, 5 TDs), Tom Froehlich (308 yards, 4 TDs) or, of late, Tyler Mauger. And then there’s quarterback Dylan Pasik, who can run well himself but is considerably more dangerous throwing it – completing a ridiculous 67 percent of his passes for 1,086 yards and 15 touchdowns. He hasn’t thrown an interception this season, either.

Getting to and wrapping up that group hasn’t been easy, either. Boyertown isn’t just big but quite mobile as well.

“Boyertown is huge up front,” Brubaker said. “We cannot match their size. They have a ton of weapons, too. We cannot relax for a play or we’ll be in trouble.”

The Rams may find more trouble if they take a play or two off on offense, too. Their run game has been inconsistent. The line, with Chase Stewart – who played his sophomore year at Boyertown – and fullback Andrew Thomas running behind it, is producing an average of just 147 yards a game. Sophomore quarterback Hank Coyne has thrown for 963 yards and shown considerable maturity of late. He threw six interceptions in his first three games, but has just two the last month. And he’s thrown for eight of his 13 touchdowns the last three weeks, including four last Friday night.

“We have to be aware of (Boyertown’s) blitz package and make adjustments on the run,” Brubaker said. “Our skill players need to continue to move the chains and sustains drives.”

Boyertown hasn’t permitted many long drives, or time-consuming drives. Despite allowing an area-low 13.3 points a game, the defense has been overshadowed somewhat by its own offense.

Up front Travis Mitchell and Chris Muller have been quite disruptive; Tyler Shaw, Troy Heuer and Zach Heffner are as active and proficient as any linebackers in the league; and Mauger – the Bears’ strong safety who gets help in the secondary from Brooke David and David Siepietowski – may be among the leading candidates for Defensive Player of the Year honors in the PAC-10.

“Execution and consistency is critical for us to have a chance in this game,” Brubaker said.

Executing, and executing consistently, is what has led the Bears to a school-record seven straight season-opening wins so far. That and their approach each and every week, of course.

“One game at a time,” Scisly said. “All we’re concerned about and focused on right now is Spring-Ford.”

* * *

MIXING IT UP: The District 1-AAA playoff points standings could undergo another major shuffle this weekend. No. Upper Moreland (6-1) is at Upper Dublin (6-1); No. 2 Strath Haven (6-1), which has quietly crept back into the postseason picture it once dominated for so long, visits Upper Darby (5-2); and Academy Park (6-1) can ill-afford to take anything for granted at Glen Mills (3-4). No. 4 Pottsgrove entertains Methacton, while No. 5 Springfield-Delco (5-2) visits dangerous Conestoga (4-3). No. 6 Bishop Shanahan (4-3) should end its three-game skid against visiting West Chester East (1-6). Phoenixville and Upper Perkiomen are tied for the No. 7 spot and square off in Red Hill tonight, one of which is hoping to keep No. 9 Oxford where it is in the in a bid to make the eight-team playoff field.



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