By Laura Wiseley, Delaware County Daily Times
September 03, 2010
The Tigers relied heavily on their rushing game in their 26-0 season-opening win over Sun Valley Friday night, with running backs Mario Dioguardi andCimirrow Moat combining for three touchdowns and 230 yards. Running back Ryan White added a fourth touchdown and 25 yards.
“Our offense came out shaky in the beginning, but in the second quarter, we really stepped our game up,” said Dioguardi, who racked up 97 of his 119 yards in the second half.
Dioguardi also anchored the Tigers’ defense, which held the Vanguards to just 110 total yards of offense.
“Our defense played well,” Marple Newtown coach Ray Gionta said. “Mario had an outstanding game, both offensively and defensively. He’s started for us for three years now, and he’s become the guy just who steps up and does his thing.”
Gionta had noted prior to the start of the season that the team was most concerned with its depth, but praised two-way players Billy Weaverling,Brian Kelly, T.J. Fite and Pete Finegan for their play on offense and defense Friday night.
“Right now, we don’t have a ton of guys — we’ve got 18, 19 kids making up the core of our team,” he said. “We need to make sure we’re working with the guys behind them to get them coached up a bit.”
The Tigers opened the game with a 79-yard opening drive, capped off by a 3-yard touchdown by Moat. The Vanguards’ defense kept Marple Newtown from scoring again until the second half, when White ran in for a 10-yard touchdown in the third quarter, followed by 38- and 28-yard rushing touchdowns by Dioguardi in the fourth.
The Vanguards’ offense was sparked by running back Ryan Riddle, who ran for 48 yards. Leon Hunter added another 33.
Gionta was also impressed by the play of quarterback Jamie Ridinger, who made his varsity debut Friday after leading the Tigers’ JV squad to a 5-0-2 record last fall.
“For his first game, he did pretty well,” Gionta said. “He won the game. He’s getting better and better week to week.”
Next week, the Tigers will face Springfield, which lost to Interboro 7-6 Friday night. Gionta said he’s looking forward to the challenge.
“This year, the whole league is better than it’s been in the past, but they’re the one team we’ve really had to reckon with,” Gionta said. “They come to play, but so do we.”