The Phantoms, who are 4-0 in the Pioneer Athletic Conference and in sole possession of first place, have a bye this weekend. Head coach Bill Furlong said the bye week comes at a good time in the schedule for the Phantoms, who will rest and heal some injuries, bumps and bruises heading into a difficult stretch run.

Last week the Phantoms thumped Owen J. Roberts, 38-7, in their first home game of the year. Phoenixville and Pottsgrove have earned honorable mention recognition in the state high school rankings by the Patriot News of Harrisburg.

Phoenixville will resume its slate at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, with a homecoming game against Perkiomen Valley at Washington Field.

"The kids have picked each other up," Furlong said. "We have made big plays to make up for mistakes."

The Phantoms have blended experienced personnel with strong play by underclassmen, including a number of sophomores in key roles.

"I am so happy for the seniors," Furlong said. "They have worked hard and wanted this every game to have this type of season. They have earned it and so far they have handled it well.

"We are playing a lot of young guys, too, but the leadership of the seniors has been big, too. It has really been rewarding, too. We have a little depth with the underclassmen, a good mix."

Through five games, the Phantoms have scored 152 points (30.4 average per game) and allowed just 68 markers (13.6 ppg). They have rushed for 927 yards (185.4 ypg) and passed for 822 yards (164.4) for an average of 349.8 yards of total offense per outing.

Defensively, the Phantoms have permitted 458 yards rushing (91.6 ypg) and 539 yards passing (107.8) for 997 total yards (199.4 ypg).

Senior quarterback Bill Shirk has completed 47 of 76 passes for 822 yards and six touchdowns with just two interceptions. He has also rushed for 88 yards on 37 carries with one score.

Senior fullback Travis Ford-Bey has rushed for 496 yards and six TDs on 87 attempts for a 5.7-yard average. Senior halfback Jon Wanczyk has gained 210 yards with five TDs on 53 tries for a 4.0-yard rush per clip. Wanczyk has also been valuable as a pass receiver with nine receptions for 179 yards for a 19.8-yard average.

Senior tight end Alex Kraynak has 11 catches for 139 yards (12.6 avg.) with one TD. Junior wide receiver Tom Beasley has eight grabs for 163 yards (20.4 avg.) Sophomore tight end/defensive end Rob Lohr has caught six aerials for 79 yards (13.2 avg.) with one TD and two conversions. Senior wideout Carl Ferretti has five receptions for 132 yards (26.4 avg.) with two TDs.

Senior wideout/running back/defensive back Chase DiFebbo had six catches for 118 yards and two TDs in the non-league season opener against Great Valley before breaking his collarbone while making his second interception of the game in the end zone against St. Pius X in the league opener at Coach Mich Stadium. DiFebbo is expected back for the Perkiomen Valley contest.

Junior Wanzell Flemming has kicked two field goals and five extra points, and junior Joe Ciaverelli has one field goal and six extra points.

Furlong was asked about forecasting a perfect 5-0 record at the break.

"I wouldn't have believed it at that point," Furlong said. "I believed we could do it, but it takes a lot of things to come together. The kids have played for each other. They have stepped up when we had injuries and made mistakes."

NOTES ... Spring-Ford, which is also off to a good start at 3-1 (3-2) and in a tie for second place with Lansdale Catholic, also has a bye this weekend. ... In games tonight, Owen J. Roberts (0-3, 1-3) hosts Boyertown (2-1, 2-2) at 7 p.m., and St. Pius X (0-3, 0-4) shoots for its first victory of the season at also-winless Pottstown (0-3, 0-5) at Grigg Memorial Field. ... In the Southern Chester County League, Great Valley (3-2) visited Unionville in a rare Thursday night game.

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