By Bob Grotz, Delaware County Daily Times
October 03, 2009
Marple Newtown didn’t need any help but it got some anyway Friday in the form of two early fumbles it exchanged for quick touchdowns in what would become a runaway 42-3 victory over Haverford at A.G. Cornog Field.
Other than a few penalties, the Tigers (4-1, 3-1) made no mistakes and made the Fords (1-4, 0-4) pay for their errors.
In those rare instances the Tigers were facing third-and-long, quarterbackKevin Johnson seemed to complete every pass. Johnson connected on 8 of 9 attempts for 133 yards and two touchdowns. The game programs arrived right after his first 8-yard scoring pass to Carl Kasarsky made it 21-0. It was a bad night to have a tough night all around for the Fords.
“Offensively we played well,” Tigers coach Ray Gionta said. “All three of our backs ran well. Our quarterback kind of stirs our drink and really manages the offense well and came up big on third-down plays for us. Our line blocked well. I wish we could play them all like that.”
It’s the Tigers’ best start since 2006, which Gionta also remembers is the year they made the PIAA Class AAA playoffs. Of course, the season is young enough he wants to forget about that.
“We have a long way to go to think about playoffs,” Gionta said. “We’re not talking about playoffs at all. We’re just talking about winning football games. We’re just taking this one at a time and we’ll see what happens.”
It was the fourth straight loss for the Fords, who hoped to re-capture a little magic from football weekends past.
Ten years ago this weekend, Joe Jones ran for two touchdowns to lead the Fords to a 20-17 win over Marple Newtown.
Forty years ago this weekend, Steve Joachim threw four touchdown passes to lead the Fords to a 41-6 rout of Springfield.
Coach Joe Gallagher took solace in a moral victory of sorts as his squad, trailing 28-0 entering the third quarter, drove 57 yards to the 8-yard line before the Tigers halted them. Pat Hughes then kicked a 25-yard field goal.
“We came out in the second half and we went right down the field and scored three, and I’m very, very excited about that actually going into the next week,” Gallagher said. “We moved the ball at times but we had a real hard time stopping them obviously. And that was the name of the game, really. We had trouble stopping them, and when we did move the ball we killed ourselves with turnovers. No excuses. They’re just a better team at this point.”
When the Tigers hit 42 points with 6:22 remaining, it invoked the so-called mercy rule. The clock runs continuously except for timeouts when one team is ahead by 35 or more points.
“We’ve been on the other end of that,” Johnson said. “It feels really good to know what it feels like on the other side.”
With a huge game next week against Strath Haven, the Tigers need every bit of confidence they can create. Though the score was lopsided the Fords made them fight.
“We came prepared for a close football game,” Gionta said. “We know there’s no quit in these Haverford kids. They’re getting better. We’re getting better and that’s all we can ask for is to get a little bit better every week.”