TOWAMENCIN - Perkiomen Valley’s Cinderella football season came to a halt Friday night at Crawford Stadium.
The Vikings succumbed to North Penn, 40-19, in a District 1-AAAA semifinal contest.
But Perkiomen Valley did not go down easily and without a fight. The Vikings led 19-10 in the first half and the contest was deadlocked at 19 in the third period before the Knights took full control of the game.
North Penn (10-3), which won its 10th straight game after losing its first three frays to top opponents, advanced to the district championship game against Neshaminy, which defeated Abington in the other semifinal, next weekend at a site and time to be determined.
Perkiomen Valley, which started the postseason as the 15th seed before upsetting Rustin and Central Bucks West with big scores, saw its record-setting season end at 10-3. The Vikes made a lot of noise in the Pioneer Athletic Conference and even more noise during their playoff run.
Perkiomen Valley senior quarterback Rasaan Stewart raced 82 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage and turned in yet another magnificent performance to close out his illustrious scholastic career.
Stewart rushed for 178 yards and all three PV touchdowns on 15 carries. He also scored on runs of five and 33 yards. Stewart also went 10-for-20 in the passing department for 124 yards.
“We couldn’t stop the run,” said Stewart. “We fought hard. I just focused on winning the game and whatever happens. They are a great team. They run right at you and run right at you. They are aggressive and physical. It was a closer game than the score. But give them credit. They are a very good team. I was giving it all I got.”
North Penn sophomore Nyfease West scored on a 68-yard run the first time the Knights had the football. West and Luke Berry went on to pile up big numbers all evening as the Knights turned them loose behind their big and physical offensive linemen. West finished with 220 yards and two touchdowns and Berry added 159 yards and two TDs of his own.
Meanwhile, North Penn quarterback Austin Scherer completed eight of 12 aerials for 171 yards, including a 68-yard scoring toss to Nick Wright. Star junior kicker Matt Ammendola booted field goals of 36 and 20 yards.
“We set the stage for our program,” said Stewart. “We showed District 1 and the rest we’re a team coming up and to look out for us. We are very proud of coming from where we started. We’re thankful we got where we got to.
“The senior class was awesome. We don’t give up. We keep our heads up. That is my teammates and the coaches.”
Perkiomen Valley head coach Scott Reed was proud of his troops for what they accomplished before bowing to an outstanding team.
“They just went downhill,” said Reed. “They are physical. We knew we had to get stops. It is a credit to them. They didn’t make mistakes. You have to play mistake-free football against North Penn.”
Perkiomen Valley’s Ryan O’Donnell caught four passes for 67 yards. Clay Domine had two catches for 25 yards. Mark Bonomo ran for 31 yards and also had three grabs for 17 yards. Dakota Clanagan made one catch for 15 yards.
Defensively, Anthony Rotonda made a sack for the Vikes, and Sean Sedgwick recovered a fumble.
Reed talked about his Division I recruit, Stewart, and his career at PV, including that long TD burst at the outset of the district semifinal.
“He made his fakes,” said Reed. “He got the blocks and he made the play.
“He will go down in PAC-10 history as one of the best we’ve seen, and there have been some good ones. He left a great legacy. It’s been great and he has accomplished great things. I am excited to see what he will accomplish (in college).”