The Phantoms discovered it in the legs of junior Tom Beasley. Beasley returned a punt 44 yards for a touchdown and then set up the second score with a 40-yard punt return to trigger Phoenixville's 41-0 Pioneer Athletic Conference rout of the Vikings at Washington Field.
Phoenixville remained the only undefeated team in the PAC-10 at 5-0 (6-0 overall) while recording its first shutout of the season against the Vikings (2-4, 3-4). The first-place Phantoms visit second-place Lansdale Catholic next Friday evening.
"All I was thinking about was scoring," said Beasley, who also had one pass reception from quarterback Bill Shirk for 29 yards, ran the ball twice from his wideout position and played defensive back. "We had the fake hand-off (to sophomore Jordan Thomas). I took off and it was wide open."
Beasley sprinted down the home sideline for his touchdown with 5:05 remaining in the second period for the first score of the ballgame.
"The second opportunity came my way when he (Thomas) handed it off to me and I took off again," Beasley said. "It was a nice day to get that."
Beasley's second long punt return set up a 5-yard scoring run by fullback Travis Ford-Bey with 1:38 left in the first half. Joe Ciaverelli kicked the second of his five placements for a 14-0 halftime lead.
Ford-Bey ended the day as the game's top rusher with 73 yards on 20 carries to surpass the 2,000-yard plateau for his career. Jon Wanczyk added 53 yards and a 10-yard TD on seven tries. Freshman Anthony Nattle came off the bench for 42 yards on two carries, including a 31-yard bolt for a touchdown. Junior Drew Oxenreider added the fourth rushing touchdown on a 1-yard burst on the third play of the fourth quarter.
The other touchdown came on a 6-yard pass from Shirk to sophomore tight end Rob Lohr that made the score 21-0 in the third stanza.
Phantom sophomore Chaz Ferko intercepted two passes and Carl Ferretti had a third on a deflection in the opening period. Rob Fitzpatrick recovered a fumble and had one of five sacks of Perkiomen Valley quarterback Mitch Johnson.
The Phantoms limited the Vikings to 32 yards rushing and 60 yards passing for just 92 total yards while forcing the four turnovers. The Phantoms ended with 177 yards rushing and 35 passing for 212 total yards.
Beasley played football during his early years at Phoenixville Marian Youth Club (PMYC), which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
"I got hurt in sixth grade and couldn't play middle school," Beasley said. "I played my freshman year but my sophomore year I didn't come out. I don't know why. My brother got me to come out this year and good things are happening. It is good to be part of an undefeated team."
Phoenixville head coach Bill Furlong was happy for Beasley and the rest of his players.
"Beasley has done a nice job for us, but he hasn't touched the end zone," Furlong said. "He is an athlete and competitor and has made big plays all year. It was good to see him get into the end zone. Coach (Don) Jackson works with the punt return team.
"PV is a good team and does not quit. They came out and started well. We have been a better second half team all year. We had some key drives in close games in the second half."
The Phantoms were coming off a bye week.
"Our seniors are great kids, but our young guys are stepping up, too," Furlong said. "We don't play any more teams with losing records. We know that. We are well aware of it and are not taking anything for granted. We have to work hard and keep it up to stay on track."
NOTES ... Ford-Bey was in on two sacks, Brendan Pancott one, Ferko and Andrew Carr another and Christian Podbielski had one on the final play of the game. ... Perkiomen Valley's Josh Neumann ran 12 times for 23 yards and caught three passes for eight yards.