Haverford School 47, Gtn. Academy 12
The Fords have watched others celebrate since 1971 and many of the interim seasons, truthfully, have been mildly poor to wickedly bad. Not anymore. Fifth-year coach Michael Murphy has been making little by little progress and now, here the Fords are, feeling good about themselves for legitimate reasons. The first quarter featured a very entertaining play. Thanks to a fumble recovery by soph LB Keith Corliss, GA gained possession on the Fords’ 40. Six plays later the ball was on the 13 when shared-time jr. QB Keith Braccia passed one over the middle. Sr. DB AJ Jones deflected it. Then sr. LB Wyatt Benson deflected it. Then jr. LB Joe McCallion caught it! Jr. RB Carl Walrath followed immediately with a 94-yard TD burst. Was GA disheartened? Apparently not. Soph Ryan Dolan answered by taking the kickoff for an 88-yard TD. The drama would soon disappear, however. Jr. Nick Craig uncorked a 30-yard run to help HS’ next possession cover 69 yards in six plays (with an interference call to jump-start things) and Walrath scored from the 2. Walrath collected 184 yards and two TDs on 20 carries and, like Malvern’s Bobby Hill, he shows the classic footwork of a lacrosse headliner. Because he is. Walrath also turned a tipped pass into a 73-yard interception return for a score. The Temple-bound Benson, Donovan McNabb’s new best friend (check out Monday’s paper; our company could REALLY use the 75 cents – smile), was his usual block-like-a-madman self and had a score on a 13-yard run. He also tallied on a 15-yard shovel pass from jr. QB Matt Lengel, showing tremendous effort to get to the end zone. Aside from defenders, Benson also had to dealt with cramping on his journey. Jr. WR Michael Washington added a 74-yard score on a pass from Lengel. Benson made four tackles behind the line. GA coach Luke Harris is alternating Braccia with sr. Austin Kevitch. The guys did combine for 12 completions in 26 attempts, but the yield was only 66 yards. There often was not enough time to hope for deep balls. One of the catches went to soph lineman Chuck Boddy, off a deflection. I’m not sure what happened on this play because linemen of course are not allowed to make catches. But Boddy wound up with the ball 2 yards beyond the line of scrimmage and the refs then walked off a 15-yard penalty, placing the ball 17 yards beyond the original line of scrimmage. So, Boddy gets the yardage, baby, and grunts everywhere are thrilled for him (smile). Jr. Lamont Jackson posted GA’s other score on a 12-yard run. The Patriots’ roster includes just eight seniors and 30 guys in all. I watched this mostly rainy one from the wrestling room, which overlooks the field at a very good angle. Assorted students hung out for various periods of time and it was great to see two former Ford basketball coaches, Don McBride and son Brian. Among the students were managers Andrew Landolfi (baseball player) and James Chakey, who take turns writing down plays/calls/results/etc. for the offensive and defensive assistants.