Patrick Cutchember leads way for improving Quaker Valley football team

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Sunday, October 17, 2021 | 11:01 AM


Not only was it his best effort this season, it was the top individual performance of his football career.

Senior RB/WR/DB Patrick Cutchember led Quaker Valley to a 30-7 conference win Oct. 8 against Hopewell with a dazzling 200-yard, three-touchdown rushing performance.

“We have one of the best playmakers in the conference. Give Patrick a crease, and he will find it,” said Ron Balog, QV’s fourth-year coach. “Patrick can cut on a dime and has that innate sense that great running backs have. His size for the position is great, and he has a good burst of speed. He is a bear to take down.”

The Quakers improved to 1-1 in the Class 3A Northern Six Conference and 2-5 overall.

After seven games, Cutchember, the defending 189-pound WPIAL wrestling champion, led QV in rushing with 483 yards and five TDs on 100 carries, receiving (13 catches, 171 yards) and defensively.

Cutchember scored on runs of 44, 1 and 74 yards against Hopewell and averaged 13.3 yards per rushing attempt. He naturally credited the QV lineman for his Herculean showing.

QV’s offensive line consists of senior tackle Tommaso Floro, junior tackle Abe Djedid, sophomore guard Ethan Pesci, senior guard Ami McCracken and sophomore center Zach Djedid.

“It was really fun to be able to be so successful,” Cutchember said. “The line did a great job opening the holes, and I was able to get into the open field and make plays. I was shocked to find out I had 200 yards. I felt I had closer to 150, but it was exciting to hear I had 200.

“Ethan, Abe and Tommaso did a really good job blocking and killed it on defense, as well.”

Cutchember is a standout in football, wrestling and lacrosse. He plans to continue his athletic career and study political science in college.

Cutchember, a four-year starter, likes the Quakers’ chances down the season’s home stretch.

“We’ve been getting better,” he said, “and we have players returning from injuries, so we should be at our full potential.”

Two other leading receivers for QV are senior WR/LB Nate Dicks and junior WR/LB Jakub Pickett, who was averaging a team-high 15.4 yards per reception.

Senior quarterback Connery Bulger, nephew of former St. Louis Rams quarterback Marc Bulger, passed for 402 yards and five touchdowns through seven games.

Defensively, Cutchember’s name popped up again as the team leader thanks to his 51 tackles — seven for loss — two sacks, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions at midseason. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound multisport athlete also was credited with a safety.

Other leading tacklers on the team include Pickett, Dicks, freshmen linebackers Jack Diemert and Dominic Cox-Giles, along with Floro, Abe Djedid and Pesce.

“This team has continued to improve every week, even if the score doesn’t make that obvious,” Balog said. “Our effort and attitude have been great. We played really well up front on both sides of the ball against Hopewell. We capitalized on our opportunities and finished drives. The OL and DL units have worked their tails off under coach (Jason) Cappa.

“Our goals are to get better with every rep and snap in practice and in games. This group has done a great job of being resilient and fighting through adversity. They are very fun to coach.”

Balog said the Quakers have been aided by an influx of talented youngsters.

“There have been plenty of surprises,” Balog said.

“The freshmen, in general, have done a great job. It is a very athletic class and has good skill and beef. Jack Diemert has been a starter since Day 1 at outside linebacker. His motor is always on and his effort is fantastic. He knows how to play the game at the varsity level which is impressive for a freshman. Dominic Cox-Giles is another plum in that freshman class.”

Quaker Valley has its eye squarely on the prize, a WPIAL playoff berth, after their winless 2020 season marred by the covid-19 pandemic.

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