Friday, October 6th, was our annual Homecoming Football Game, where our Upper Merion Vikings took on an undefeated Pope John Paul Panthers team. The game followed other awesome festivities earlier in the week, like Powderpuff, SADD Volleyball Night, Activities Night, Penny Wars, and The Homecoming Bonfire. It also had an incredible turnout, with tons of fans coming out to see UM Football and the bonfire on Friday night, along with the other festivities.

The game started off with a solid opening drive by the Vikings, with great runs from RBs Dave Brown and Tyrese Leach. Their attempt eventually would fall short at PJP’s 15 yd line, where the Vikings’ defense would show considerable adversity, with great plays from DL Dontae Slocum and RB Marc Clayton, and a near-interception from OLB Kevin Jainlett. Feeding off that were some strong runs from QB Anthony Swenda, picking up multiple 1st downs on another vicious drive from the team. Though the Vikings responded with great plays early, the Panthers gained momentum and picked up serious yardage. Despite respectable effort on both offensive and defensive ends from UM, the 1st half ended with PJP leading 35-0.

Beginning at halftime was the show “Phantom of the Opera”, done by the Upper Merion Marching Vikings, directed by Mr. Washam with Drum Majors Shreya Srinivasan and Lily Isajiw. They performed songs from the incredibly popular theatrical production: Phantom of the Opera. Song included “Masquerade”, “Music of the Night” and “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Tonight”. Along with the band, there were great performances by The Pit (led by Caitlin Cifaldi), and The Color Guard (led by Jenna Kravitz, Jessica Poley, and Julia Masco). Following the Band’s performance was the announcement of the 2017 Homecoming Queen. In stunning fashion, Kelly Burns was crowned Homecoming Queen.

The Vikings came out in the 2nd half with a strong defensive prowess and took big steps to neutralize PJP’s high powered offense, and didn’t give up a single TD in the half. OLBs Mike Zelli and Kevin Jainlett made huge plays down the stretch, along with DLs Dontae Slocum and Lamar Hughes making plays from the line. UM also stepped it up on offense, with RB Dave Brown continuing to make great runs despite PJP’s effort to hone in on him and RB Tyrese Leach. QB Anthony Swenda also made some great looks, and consistently hit HB Preston Hampton and WR Jeremiah Ford with sharp passes. Late in the 4th, DE Stephen Nealman came up with a strip, that gave the Vikings possession. The recovered fumble by DB Jeremiah Ford gave the Vikings life, but it was too late. The Pope John Paul Panthers came out on top, with a final score of 35-0 in a hard fought game for the Upper Merion Vikings.

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