Player of the Week
Wyatt Benson had a strong game at FB for the Fords. He carried 11 times for 66 yards and 1 TD. While adding 1 catch for 19 yards. He also performed well on Special Teams.
Player of the Week - Honorable Mentions
Offense - Dan Judge (QB)
Defense - Shomari Watts (NT)
Special Teams - Billy Annesley (PK)
H.S. Football: Carroll survives on the ground
HAVERFORD - Archbishop Carroll coach Dan Bielli knew this week would be different. He knew deep down that The Haverford School wasn't going to be as easy to beat as his first two opponents - Overbrook and Upper Merion. He warned his team. He told his players the Fords were going to be a step up from their previous competition. He hoped it sunk in. He hoped his Patriots wouldn't just ignore it as coach-speak and think their opponent was going to be a walkover like the Fords have been in years past. And when he walked into the locker room at halftime, with the score tied, he thought that he needed to remind them again. It took a while for it to sink in, but it eventually did.
The Patriots finally got the offense moving, started running the football with authority, came from behind twice and held on for dear life in the final seconds to knock off the vastly improved Fords, 20-16. "Before I saw them play their first two games I had no idea they were that talented," said Bielli. "They are significantly better than they've been in the past, and they pushed us as hard as they could. Fortunately we were able to come away with a win."
The Haverford School looked sharp on offense, paced by quarterback Dan Judge, who was personally responsible for 199 yards of the Fords? 278 yards of offense. Judge scored on a 1-yard dive on fourth-and-inches to tie the score at 7 late in the first half. Later, after a 47 yard scamper of his was negated by a holding penalty, he threw a perfect 36-yard pass down the right sideline to Joseph McCarthy to set up a 24-yard touchdown run by Wyatt Benson to give his team a 13-7 lead. However, the Fords were flagged for celebrating their score a bit too much, forcing coach Mike Murphy to go for a two-point conversion rather than kick an extra point. The conversion failed.
After Catagnus scored to make it 20-16, Haverford was able to get great field position on a strong return by Terrance Fitzsimmons coupled with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Patriots, starting the final drive from Carroll's 42-yard-line. Judge was able to get the Fords to the Patriots' 6-yard line, but a third-down pass into the end zone tipped off the fingertips of Chris Ambrogi and the fourth-down effort was knocked away at the last second by Patriots cornerback Jon Haefner, securing the win.
By Anthony J. SanFilippo
Patriots win a close game against a tough Fords team.
Not many critics gave the Fords a chance going into The Haverford School's non-league contest against Archbishop Carroll. Perhaps it was the fact that Carroll had beaten its first two opponents by a combined 57 points or that Haverford had a disappointing 1-10 record last year. Instead, what fans observed was a tight game throughout, and as a bonus it featured a dramatic ending in Carroll's 20-16 win over Haverford. Patriots coach Dan Bielli knew this game would be different than the previous two that his team had played. "We saw the tape of their game against Radnor and could see that this team was extremely talented," he said.
After a Carroll second quarter touchdown drive that featured a 37-yard pass from quarterback Luke Wischnowski to John Haefner and a five-yard touchdown run by running back Nick Catagnus, the Patriots were stifled by the Haverford defense. Carroll started its following three drives at their own 5, 19, and 27 yard-lines and were held to 89 yards of total offense in the first half.
Luckily for the Patriots, their defense matched the play of Haverford's in the first half. Haverford quarterback Dan Judge was sacked four times in the first two quarters and the Fords were limited to 55 total yards at the half.
However, the Fords did gain momentum going into halftime by driving 40 yards and punching the ball into the end zone when Judge ran a quarterback sneak to tie the game at 7-7.
Haverford's Andrew Hubley then blocked a punt just before the half, which gave the Fords a palpable spark heading into the third quarter. "I told my team at halftime that Haverford had a lot of confidence and they definitely had the momentum going into the third quarter," said Bielli.
The Fords were able to parlay that momentum into their opening drive of the second half, an 80-yard scoring drive, which was capped off by a 24-yard touchdown run by sophomore fullback Wyatt Benson, putting Haverford ahead, 13-6. Following the touchdown, the Fords were penalized 15 yards for excessive celebration, forcing Haverford coach Mike Murphy to go for a two-point conversion, which the team was unable to convert. The Patriots were able to answer Haverford's scoring drive with a 12 play, 63-yard touchdown drive of their own.
Bielli utilized his Wing-T playbook and ran the ball on every play of the drive. Sophomore fullback Bryant Moritz concluded the drive by taking a handoff and rumbling through tacklers for a 3-yard score. Caroll's extra point sailed wide left, keeping the score tied at 13-13.
The seesaw scoring continued on Haverford's next drive, when Judge, who finished the game 7-of-14 for119 yards, and rushed for 80 yards on 17 carries, led the Fords on another scoring drive. Judge hit junior Chris Ambrogi on a 23-yard strike, which was a key play that took the Fords to the Patriots' 20-yard line. Haverford then took the ball down to the 1-yard line, where Carroll was able to hold them on a goal-line stand. On fourth down they decided to kick an 18-yard field goal with Billy Annesley, putting Haverford up 16-13. Late in the fourth quarter, Carroll was once again able to answer Haverford, this time with a 65-yard scoring drive. Catagnus rushed for 21 yards on three carries during the drive and took a reverse play in for a 4-yard score. The senior running back dragged a Haverford tackler over the goal line for the touch-down on a tremendous effort. "I knew we needed the points so I gave it everything I had to get the ball in the end zone," said Catagnus, who finished the game rushing 11 times for 77 yards and two touchdowns.
Haverford's Terrance Fitzsimmons returned the ensuing kickoff to the Fords' own 43-yard line and a Carroll unsportsmanlike conduct penalty tacked on an extra 15 yards, giving the team excellent field position for a game-winning drive. With less than a minute left, Judge led the Fords down to Carroll's 6-yard line, where his third down pass was thrown just over the outstretched arms of Ambrogi. On fourth down, Judge was flushed out of the pocket by two Carroll defenders, where he rolled left and threw an incomplete pass to a diving Annesley in the corner of the end zone. Carroll took over position and ran out the clock to seal the win.
The obvious disappointment of Murphy following the game conveyed the changing mindset when it comes to Haverford School football. "In years past, people would be happy to play a team like Carroll that tough," said Murphy. "I like the effort, but we have to come out of here with a win."
Bielli felt fortunate to get out of Haverford with a win after such a closely fought contest. "This is a very good team that we played here today," Bielli said. "Its great to come away with a win at their place. We made some adjustments at halftime and were able to move the ball and were fortunate to come away with the win."
Archbishop Carroll (3-0) open their Catholic-League Blue season with a game at Archbishop Wood this week and The Haverford School (1-2) host non-league opponent Saint Pius X.
By Joseph Summers