Owens’ return TD sparks Perkiomen Valley to 31-7 victory over Daniel Boone


Perkiomen Valley’s Aidan Owens returns an interception against Upper Perk earlier this season. (Owen McCue – MNG File)

GRATERFORD >> He couldn’t have scripted a more memorable farewell act for his home-stadium career at Perkiomen Valley.

Aidan Owens, one of the legion of seniors playing their final game at Thomas J. Keenan Stadium Friday, played a key part in his team’s victory over Daniel Boone. His contribution to the Vikings’ 31-7 verdict over the Blazers was unique, but not altogether rare for the team’s special-teams star.

With PV holding a tenuous 7-0 lead toward the closing minute of the first half, Boone attempted a 43-yard field goal to get on the scoreboard. The play never came to fruition, though, as the kick was blocked and Owens, scooping up the ball, roared down the home-team sideline for a 75-yard return touchdown that broke the game open for PV.

And it wasn’t the first time Owens made a play like that … not this season, as he noted.

“Against Methacton, I had a ‘scoop and score,’” he recalled. “I was at the right place at the right time.”

Bolstered by Owens’ heads-up play, Perkiomen Valley (5-2) went on to ring up 31 unanswered points on its Berks League guests. His opportunity was set up by fellow classmate Jason Licwinko making the block on the attempt by Boone’s Nate Millard and supported by another teammate blocking out two pursuing Blazers.

“You definitely don’t see that much,” he said. “It was awesome out there.”

The Vikes got another big outing from Ethan Kohler (10-for-13, 153 yards), their junior quarterback throwing for a pair of touchdowns and running for a third. Other prominent underclassmen, sophomores Michael Poruban and Rasheem Grayson (two catches, 47 yards), were on the receiving end of Kohler’s respective 21- and 18-yard TD tosses in the third and fourth quarters.

But other PV seniors had prominent presences. Placekicker Braydon Basile had a 26-yard field goal along with four conversion kicks, and Jason Posner had two receptions for a team-leading 57 yards.

Nico Holder, Thomas Carroll and T.J. Larson contributed sacks to a Viking defense that kept Boone (2-5) scoreless until quarterback Carter Speyerer and wideout Krystian Hornberger collaborated on a 50-yard scoring pass with 1:15 left to play.

“I’m pleased with how we played as a team, both on offense and defense,” PV head coach Rob Heist said. “Daniel Boone is a tough team. They fought until the end.

“The future looks bright for them.”

In contrast to the Vikes’ senior-laden lineup, Boone’s underclassmen-dominated roster was headed by several juniors factoring in its statistical performance.

Speyerer completed 10 passes for 153 yards, six of them to Alex Vassallo for 44 yards. A.J. Hofer was the team’s rushing leader with 63 yards on 19 carries; and Hornberger, a senior, covered 104 yards on three catches.

Defensively, Colin Leahy and James Woodcock had sacks. Boone’s recovery of a PV fumble set up its lone touchdown down the stretch.

“It was tough to recover from,” Blazer head coach Rob Flowers said of the blocked field goal turned into a PV touchdown. “We fought earlier. We just have to keep getting better.”

Victories in their contingency games are offering the Vikes a measure of consolation for falling short of qualifying for District 1’s shrunken Class 6A playoff field.

“At the end of the regular season, we were right there,” Heist noted. “But Pope John Paul II took it to us (last weekend), and that was the end of the dream.”

“We definitely could have made the playoffs,” Owens added. “We had a couple bad days.”

The Vikings’ schedule will take them to Quakertown next weekend. Boone will also be on the road for its 2020 finale at Conestoga Valley.

“These contingency games are like our playoffs,” Heist said. “Our Super Bowl will be next weekend. Quakertown is a good, physical team.”

NOTES >> Grayson was the game’s rushing leader, covering 80 yards on nine carries. Flowers on Boone’s woes in the wake of its season-opening wins over Twin Valley and Muhlenberg: “We had a rough stretch. That’s the process this year. Good teams get better. The potential is there.” … PV athletic director Larry Glanski was recognized for his 34-year tenure in the district, which will come to an end with his retirement next week. It was also noted Glanski had never missed a home game in his time as AD. He marked his home-stadium finale by carting the Viking statue at the east end of the facility into winter storage.

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