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Senior Knight

By 14 November, 2008August 23rd, 2012No Comments

By Greg Pecko,
November 14, 2008

Marple Newtown got big performances from their outgoing seniors, as the Tigers hung on by a fingertip for the 17-16 victory over the Academy Park Knights.
With the score being 17-10 in favor of the Tigers Friday with only a little over two minutes left on the clock the Tigers made a mistake that set up probably the most memorable win of the 2008 campaign.  Academy Park (7-5) forced a turnover and scored to pull within one with less than a minute left in the fourth quarter.

From there it would be up to the Tigers’ defense and special teams to make something special happen in order to end the season at five hundred.




The Knights ran several plays that ran the clock down to a minute and they would finally punch the ball into the end-zone on a quarterback draw with only fifty seconds remaining. At that point it appeared as if the season may have to be extend into an overtime contest.




Unless the Tigers’ special teams unit, which had already blocked a combine six field goal and extra point attempts, had other plans to end the night right on time. Under wet conditions the Knights lined-up an point after attempt and after a high snap the Tigers burst in on the right side of the line as Phil Graziano was able to tip the ball, which floated foward, but fell just short of the cross-bar.

For the Tigers’ this spelled victory as Dan Giordano went on to recover the onside kick and then came out in the victory formation to kneel the ball twice ending the season on high note a 6-6. The Tigers’ finished this season by winning five straight games and six of their final seven of the season.


The Tigers opened the scoring in the second quarter with a 33-yard field goal by Adam Fender.  Fender, who doubles as a soccer player, added 2 more critical extra points in the second half.
Academy Park answered with a touchdown and late field goal to take a 10-3 lead into halftime.  The Knights fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half, giving the Tigers the ball and momentum.  The Tiger offense put together a seven minute drive from midfield to tie the game at 10-10.
The defense stood tall and the offense put together another drive, as SeniorNick Stephens broke through the Knights defense with a physical run to put the Tigers ahead for good.



Friday night’s win was fueled by a strong ground game led by Senior running backs Phil Graziano and Nick Stephens on the offensive side of the football. Additionally, Stephens and Senior Dan Giordano rallied their defensive squad in the second half which helped bring the Tigers back from an early 10-3 deficit. 

For the 2008 Tigers football program the season came full-circle as they were able to recover from a rough start of the year with a young squad. As the season progressed a team that had 32 underclassmen including 21 sophomores was able to build confidence and chemistry, which led to a stellar end to the season.

The win marks the Tigers six out of their last seven games, including four in a row.  The Tigers will open the 2009 season on September 4th, against an opponent to be determined.
Congratulations and best of luck to the Marple Newtown class of 2009, including: Ron Alf, Joe Carini, Dan Giordano (tri-captain), Phil Graziano (tri-captain), Kyle Itri, Ben Lo, Jon McKeighan, Steve Reynolds (tri-captain), andNick Stephens.