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Panthers Win Season Finale
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2017-11-08

            Matt Tucker, a late transfer to Perkiomen School this fall, missed the team's season-opener. However, the Hammonton, N.J. native quickly worked himself into

a significant contributor.

            Last week, the senior played a pivotal role in a 29-7 season-ending victory over St. Andrew's School. Tucker caught five passes for 95 yards and received five carries. 

            "Matt is a hell of a player," Perkiomen School head coach Tom Calvario said.

His classmates, who were recognized prior to the game, played a significant role in the win. Quarterback Nick Guadarrama ran for a touchdown, threw for a score and returned an interception to the end zone.

            Ryan O'Donnell, a Pennsburg resident, completed 2 of 2 passes for 54 yards and a touchdown while getting three additional offensive touches. Bryce Noel, a Sicklersville, N.J. resident, caught four passes for a team-high 117 yards and a touchdown.

            Tucker, who spent the last three seasons as a Wing-T quarterback at St. Joseph Regional High School, in his home state, was ineligible to play in his home state after transferring to a public school to start his senior year.

            Determined to return to the gridiron for his senior season, Tucker received a text from Noel in early September. Six days later, Tucker arrived on the Pennsburg campus and played in Perkiomen School's final seven games.  "I'm very happy that I came here," he said. "It's the best decision of my life. I have a bond with all these guys. I expect to stay in touch with them for the rest of my life."

            The sextet of seniors, which included Sean McPherson, Seamus Finnegan and Green Lane resident Chandler Gavin, helped the Panthers (5-3) build an early 15-0 lead and secure a winning record.

            They were awarded a safety after an errant St. Andrew's long snap on fourth down went over its punter's head and into the end zone.

            Guadarrama went to work to extend the lead. His 15-yard touchdown run capped a nine-play, 65-yard drive. Three plays into the Cardinals' ensuing drive, he intercepted a pass and returned it 36 yards for a score with 1:12 remaining in the first quarter.

            Theodore Jaffe's 6-yard TD run early in the third quarter pulled St. Andrew's within 15-7.

"We let the team hang around a little too long," Tucker said. "Our defense really stepped up down the stretch."

             However, the Panthers responded with touchdowns on their next two possessions.

            Guadarrama and David Smith hooked up on a 32-yard TD pass. The play highlighted a seven-play, 53-yard drive midway through the quarter. O'Donnell's 53-yard scoring pass to Noel, with 2:31 left in the quarter, capped the scoring.

            Calvario lauded the unselfishness and ability of the Panthers' skill position players. "They are pretty damn good," the coach said. "They don't care about who gets the ball so long as they score a touchdown. It's all about winning."


 

 

 

 

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