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Graziano Runs Wild

By 3 October, 2008August 23rd, 2012No Comments

By Adam Balk, Delaware County Times
October 03, 2008

Phil Graziano was determined before the opening kickoff at Radnor High School that his Marple Newtown football team would not go six weeks into the 2008 season without a victory. In front of a homecoming crowd at Prevost Field the senior running back delivered a performance for the ages rushing the ball 32 times for a career-high 221 yards and three touchdowns in the Tigers’ 24-7 win over the Red Raiders.
“I’ve not had a game like this since eighth grade,” said Graziano, who registered touchdown, runs of 2, 41 and 8 yards. “It’s hard to think of the numbers when you are out giving each play 100 percent. The offensive line played their hearts out and I thank them.”
Two of the touchdowns were set up by the defensive player of the game,Ryan White. The sophomore cornerback picked off two passes, forced a fumble, and had a fumble recovery.
On Radnor’s first play from scrimmage midway through the opening quarter White was lined up one-on-one with 6-4 wide receiver John Coleman. Quarterback Tyler Anderson threw a fade pass toward the sideline and White out leaped Coleman for an acrobatic pick that swung the momentum to the visitors.
Six plays later, Graziano bulldozed his way into the end zone from 2 yards out giving Marple a 7-0 lead.
Junior kicker Adam Fender nailed a 30-yard field goal with no time remaining in the first half lifting the Tigers to a 10-0 advantage heading into the break.
After a scoreless third period, White intercepted Anderson for the second time on Radnor’s first drive in the fourth quarter. Ten of the next eleven plays for the Tigers were handoffs to Graziano, who capped the game sealing drive with an 8-yard scamper.
“I was in the right place at the right time, matched up with big receivers I wanted to stay on them and grab the ball at the highest point,” said White.
Tigers head coach Ray Gionta was pleased with his team’s effort following a month long struggle to get into the win column.
“It feels great getting a win,” Gionta said. “I was impressed with the way our kids hang in, we’ve had guys banged up and have played many young players so we’ve been through a lot and for the kids to be persistent and to hang tough, that says a lot.”
Radnor avoided the shutout when Anderson rambled 26 yards for the games final touchdown with a minute remaining in the contest. Second-year head coach Tom Ryan expressed his feelings towards the Marple Newtown team as well as the rest of the league.
“This game just shows how tough the Central League is,” Ryan said. “Coach Gionta and his staff does a great job, got his kids prepared and we just did not make the plays needed to stay in the game.”