ROYERSFORD — Like bees to honey and sharks to blood in the water, the Spring-Ford defense had an abnormal attraction to the football Saturday afternoon.
The Rams forced no less than eight turnovers en route to a 30-7 Pioneer Athletic Conference victory over Methacton at Coach McNelly Stadium.
The Homecoming contest didn’t exactly get off to a positive start for the hosts, as Warriors slotback Akeem Walcott took a short pass in the right flat from quarterback Conner Derrickson and raced 80 yards on the first play from scrimmage.
From there, however, it was virtually all Rams.
Jarred Jones ran for 230 yards and two touchdowns, quarterback Zac DeMedio was solid in a relief role and Cody Davis had two interceptions as Spring-Ford improved to 4-1 in the PAC-10 and 5-2 overall.
“We were ballhawks up and down the field,” said Davis, a senior strong safety. “We just work really well together. We have good communication. Our linebackers make big plays, our front four makes quarterbacks make bad throws and our D-backs take advantage of it.”
Though Spring-Ford had great field position early, the Rams couldn’t cash in with touchdowns and had to settle for three David Gulati field goals — the final one a 36-yarder into a stiff wind that put the Rams up to stay at 9-7 less than two minutes into the second quarter.
Jones, who missed several plays after landing awkwardly on his neck in the first quarter, returned with a vengeance and eventually ripped off a 34-yard TD run 3:07 before the half.
Methacton (3-3, 3-4), which had shown a penchant for coming on strong in the second half in several previous games, was still very much in the game after Mike Cassidy rumbled 41 yards to the Rams 30 midway through the third quarter.
On the next play, however, the Warriors fumbled and Spring-Fords’ Alec Vagnozzi recovered it.
Jones immediately bolted through a gaping hole for a back-breaking 70-yard TD run that made it 23-7 with 5:52 left in the third.
DeMedio — who entered the game late in the second quarter after starter Brandon Leacraft took a helmet to the chin and didn’t return — hit Gary Hopkins for a 28-yard scoring connection on the first play of the fourth quarter to close out the scoring.
“I knew I have to always be ready in case something happens like that,” said DeMedio, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound senior, who finished 6-for-11 for 103 yards. “When you’re the next man up, you have to be ready for a situation like that.
“Offensively, the game plan was just to just run the ball more once we came out in the second half. Once we got that established, we saw some areas to throw the ball and took advantage of that.”
Joe Bush and Jared Shoemaker also collected interceptions, while Matt Daywalt, Robby Varner and Mike Fuhrmeister had the other fumble recoveries for the Rams.
“We had eight turnovers, but only scored 30 points,” Spring-Ford coach Chad Brubaker said. “If you’re a defensive coach, I’m sure you’re happy with that, but as a head coach, I’m disappointed we didn’t put them away earlier when we had opportunities.”
Cassidy ran for a team-high 88 yards for the Warriors — all of that coming in the second half — and also had a strong game on defense, where Methacton also got a sack from Bido Gouda.
“I can’t say enough about our defense today,” Methacton coach Paul Lepre said. “When you come away in that situation (four trips to the end zone) by giving up only nine points, there’s not much more you can ask for. Our defense stood tall and kept us right there with an opportunity. But when you have eight turnovers it makes it tough.”
Hopkins had a game-high four catches for 49 yards for Spring-Ford. ... Gulati, who had been 0-for-1 on field goal attempts heading into the game, finished 3-for-5. His other makes were 24 and 25 yards and his misses were from 34 and 36 yards. ... Helena Mullen were named Homecoming Queen, with Eric Kramer crowned Homecoming King.
Follow Darryl Grumling on Twitter at @MercSmokinD.
Methacton 7 0 0 0 — 7
Spring-Ford 9 7 7 7 — 30
M-Walcott 80 pass from Derrickson (LeSage kick)
SF-Gulati 25 FG
SF-Gulati 24 FG
SF-Gulati 36 FG
SF-Jones 34 run (Gulati kick)
SF-Jones 70 run (Gulati kick)
SF-Hopkins 28 pass from DeMedio (Gulati kick)
First Downs 11 18
Rushing yards 104 256
Passing yards 149 126
Total yards 253 382
Passes C-A-I 7-18-4 8-23-0
Fumbles-Lost 4-4 0-0
Penalties-Yards 6-55 7-63
Punts-Avg. 4-21.5 5-30.0
Methacton: Cassidy 8-88, Derrickson 16-25, Lowery 1-2, Torcini 2-2, Team 1-(-5), Walcott 2-(-8).
Spring-Ford: Jones 26-230, 2 TDs; Leahy 7-18, Vu 1-9, Leacraft 1-3, Welsh 1-(-1), DeMedio 4-(-3).
Methacton: Derrickson 7-18-149, 1 TD, 4 INTs.
Spring-Ford: DeMedio 6-11-103, 1 TD; Leacraft 2-12-23.
Methacton: Walcott 2-98, 1 TD; Cassidy 1-26, Lowery 2-24, Bodek 1-11.
Spring-Ford: Hopkins 4-49, 1 TD; Davis 1-28, Vagnozzi 1-24, Leahy 1-24, Matthew 1-1.
Interceptions: Spring-Ford-Davis 2, Bush, Shoemaker.
Sacks: Methacton-Gouda; Spring-Ford-Romano.