Rutecki powers Marple Newtown
By Greg Alzamora, Delaware County Times
September 22, 2006
Rutecki led a punishing ground attack for Marple Newtown, as the Tigers pounded out 189 yards on the ground. Rutecki was a force all night, ending with 121 yards rushing.
“This was a good win,” Marple quarterback Jon Liberty said. “We came out ready to play. We just knew we had to match their intensity. The running game opened everything up for us. We just kept chipping away and chipping away. The offensive line played great, they just opened up holes for Rutecki.”
Liberty made his only completion of the first half count in a big way, finding tight end Pat Aigeldinger free down the center of the field for a 68-yard touchdown pass. Liberty threw sparingly, finishing the game just 3-for-7.
The Tigers padded their lead on their next possession, this time only needing four plays to score, capped by a 12-yard run from tailback John Gallagher.
The Marple win sets up a September showdown with Strath Haven next Friday night at Marple Newtown. Both teams are 2-1 in the Central League.
“We played well tonight,” said Tigers head coach Ray Gionta. “We knew they would come out fired up for their first game under the lights. They’re a young football team, but we came ready to play. We took control right from the start and our defense was really dominating tonight.”
Springfield’s best scoring chance in the first half came after an interception by the Cougars’ Lee Petroski. It set up a first down at the Marple 24-yard line with 3:37 remaining in the half. Unable to move the ball andfacing a fourth and nine, Sean Saylor’s pass was intercepted by Marple’s Steve Giordano, ending their deepest penetration of the game.
“We couldn’t move the ball offensively tonight,” Springfield head coach Chris Bell said. “Marple has a real solid defense, but we obviously struggled.”
Marple continued to pile on the points in the second half, with touchdown runs from Liberty and running back Steve Giordano. The defense got into the act with a third-quarter safety from defensive end Shane Breslin. They managed to hold the Cougars to just four first downs and 59 yards of total offense.
“We pride ourselves on defense here,” Rutecki said. “It felt good to come out and establish the tempo, to take it to them early. The blocking was great, it opened up a lot of holes. I just wanted to make it my goal to not to be taken down by one guy tonight. We wanted to come out and show last week was no fluke. We’re building on our performance and we’ll be going back to work tomorrow. “