By Josh Kipple, Eye of the Tigers
September 16, 2010
With a touchdown coming late in the 4th quarter, the Marple Newtown Tigers were able to beat the Penncrest Lions 21-14 Thursday night earning their first home win and first win in Central League play.
It was a rainy and windy night at Harry Harvey Stadium, which meant the Tigers would have an advantage with their arsenal of fierce running backs. It also meant the football would be slick and difficult to hold onto for most of the evening. The Penncrest Lions did not pay special attention to the condition of the ball and, on their first offensive drive, learned a valuable lesson when the Marple Newtown defense forced QB Beau Difiore to fumble the ball. Cimirrow Moat scooped up the ball and ran it 44 yards the other way for a touchdown, giving the Tigers an early lead and momentum boost. Difiore would get his revenge by scoring on back-to-back Penncrest drives to put the Lions ahead 14-7.
The Tigers would not be outdone as they put together a strong drive involving three big plays by three different backs before the end of the half. Ryan Duffymoved the ball on a 27-yard run from around midfield to put the Tigers into the red zone. Cimirrow Moat converted a 4th down attempt by rushing 6 yards to give the Tigers a first down inside the Lions 10-yard line. Ryan White finished off the drive with a touchdown, running from 7 yards out and tying the game 14-14.
The Marple Newtown defense held their ground in the second half. They were able to shut down the Penncrest offense, keeping the Tigers in the game by not allowing the Lions to score any more points during the remainder of the contest. The Tigers offensive line was the star of the night. The boys up front opened big lanes for the backs to run through, threw punishing blocks, and protected quarterback Jamie Ridinger very well, making sure he was not sacked all night. With the help of the O-line, Ryan Duffy was able to score his first touchdown of the year, and the most important one of the night. He took the ball into the end zone with only 2 minutes left in the game. Anthony Nicolardi successfully kicked his third extra point of the night, which put the Tigers up 21-14 and put the pressure on Lions to score a quick touchdown to tie the game. The Tigers defense made sure that did not happen by forcing another huge fumble on just the second Penncrest play after the Duffy touchdown. Mario Dioguardi took one for the team and fell on the ball, sealing the victory for Marple Newtown.
Ryan Duffy was the big earner of the night, finishing with 115 yards on the ground. He now leads the team with 184 total rushing yards. Brian Kelly andChristian Whiteside have now passed the 20-tackle mark and are very close to having 30 each. Kelly has 28 while Whiteside has 25 on the season.
The Tigers (2-1, 1-1) will look to keep the streak going at home and in the Central League as they face the Upper Darby Royals (1-2,1-1) Friday at Harry Harvey Stadium.