Perkiomen's Derek Fosbenner takes the handoff from Isaiah Smith as John Garrett and John Williams rush ahead, providing blocking, in last week's first home game against Red Lion Academy.
It took one week longer than expected, but when the Perkiomen football team finally got to take the field for their first home game of the season, the Panthers made it worth the wait for their fans as they posted a 20-0 shutout of visiting Red Lion Christian Academy.
Perkiomen wasted no time in giving the fans something to cheer about as the Panthers' first play from scrimmage resulted in a 70-yard touchdown pass. The pass, which was intended for sophomore Ja’ren Hampton, was deflected into the arms of John Garrett who raced into the end zone. The play gave the Panthers a 6-0 lead just seconds into the game.
The quick strike should have been a shot in the arm for the Panthers, but the "ho-hum" offense that followed for the remainder of the first half left Panthers head Coach Tom Calvario a bit disappointed. His squad didn’t appear to feed of the big play.
“Don’t get me wrong," said Calvario after the game. "I was thrilled that we were able to get on the board so quickly, but a team needs to take advantage of that, feed off it, use the momentum you just built and we didn’t do that. I felt like we took our foot off the pedal.”
Calvario may have expressed those concerns to his team at the half time intermission as Perkiomen would go one to score again on their first offensive possession of the third quarter.
After the Perkiomen defense forced the visitors to punt after a quick three and out, it took the Panthers only four plays to go 54 yards culminating on a 39-yard run by Senior John Williams. Williams' burst made the score 13-0 Panthers with 7:55 left to play in the quarter.
Williams’ touchdown could have put the game away for the Panthers, but several key Perkiomen mistakes allowed Red Lion to maintain possession of the ball for the remainder of the third quarter.
The visitors drive that started on the Red Lion 18-yard line reached the Perkiomen 39, but two key tackles for a loss by Panthers defensive end Mark Fisher would be key in bringing the Red Lion drive to a halt, forcing the visitors to punt the ball back to the Panthers with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game.
Perkiomen put together an 82 yard drive that ended when John Garrett scored his second TD of the game, this one coming on a 7-yard run. Roy Porres Suarez converted his second extra point of the day and Perkiomen put the final points of the game on the score board at 20-0.
The Perkiomen defense held the visitors to under 100 yards in total offense. John Garrett collected 160 yards in combined offense to go along with his two touchdowns. Williams led all rushers with 127 yards on 15 carries and a TD.
Perkiomen improves to 2-1 and will travel to face Academy of the New Church Saturday at 1 p.m. before returning home Saturday, Oct. 20 to face Archmere Academy at 1 p.m.