By Josh Kipple, Eye of the Tigers
October 01, 2010
The Marple Newtown Tigers came out firing, struck early and often, but eventually lost a hard-fought battle in the closing minutes of the contest against the Garnet Valley Jaguars by the final score of 35-28 Friday night.
Tigers running back Cimirrow Moat stunned the Garnet Valley fans in the first minute of the game when he ran over the Jaguar defense and rushed 59 yards for a touchdown on just the third play from scrimmage. Garnet Valley responded by scoring on their next two offensive drives. First, Jaguar running back Thomas Obi-Tabot ran one into the end zone from the 2-yard line, and then he caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jake Helmes to bring the score to 14-6 at the end of the 1st quarter. Moat returned the ensuing kick all the way to the Garnet Valley 36-yard line on a great special teams play. Later in that same drive, Tigers quarterback Jamie Ridinger completed his first touchdown pass of the season with an 8-yard pass to Mario Dioguardi, and brought Marple Newtown within one point of the Jaguars. Garnet Valley answered right back with two consecutive scores, following the same pattern as before with one touchdown coming on the ground and one coming through the air. First, Helmes ran the ball into the end zone himself from 63 yards out, and then he threw a 76-yard pass that Andrew DiPietro took in for a score. The Tigers were looking to go into halftime with some momentum, and found it when Ryan White ran the ball 69 yards all the way for a score on a huge play that brought the team within one score of the Jaguars before halftime.
The Marple Newtown defense played strongly in the 3rd quarter and stopped Garnet Valley from getting on the scoreboard. Feeding off of the momentum, the Tigers were able to take the ball all the way down the field into Jaguar territory. In a high-pressure situation, Ridinger came through in the clutch and completed an amazing 19-yard touchdown pass to White on 4th down. Coach Ray Gionta decided to go for a 2-point conversion to tie the game. The Tigers were successful after Ridinger completed a pass to Dioguardi, making it a whole new ball game with only a few minutes to play in the 4th quarter. Unfortunately, Obi-Tabot ran in another touchdown on the next offensive series with only two and a half minutes left in the game to put Garnet Valley ahead. The Marple Newtown offense got the ball back and took it all the way down to the opposition’s 25-yard line. However, the Tigers were not able to convert on 4th down, and the Jaguars held on to prevail.
Ridinger finished his best passing performance of the season with 93 passing yards on 4 completions. White had 55 yards receiving and 92 yards rushing on the night. Ryan Duffy now leads the team in rushing offense with 337 total yards on the ground. Aside from consistently booting monster punts on special teams, Billy Weaverling also now leads the defense in sacks, with 2, and tackles for loss, with 5.
The Tigers (2-3, 1-3) will continue their road trip and take on another team that is undefeated in the Central League when they play the Strath Haven Panthers (4-1, 4-0) this Friday.