By Steve Leinart, Delaware County Daily Times
October 29, 2010
On senior night, the Marple Newtown senior running back carried the ball a workman-like 41 times for 235 yards, including three touchdowns, to lead the Tigers past Harriton, 28-20, in a Central League contest at Marple Newtown on Friday night.
“I’m going to be really sore,” Duffy said. “I can’t even feel my (right) elbow right now, but it was worth the win.”
It was by far the most production Duffy had in a single game in his high-school career. Even he was surprised at his number of carries.
“I had 41 carries?” Duffy asked. “That’s probably double the most carries I’ve ever had and I’ve never had 200 yards. It’s all because of the (offensive) line and the coaches.”
After Marple Newtown lost its top two quarterbacks this season, the Tigers turned to their running game in an attempt to salvage the season.
It seems to be working. In all, the Tigers ran the ball 61 times for 300 yards against the Rams to notch their second win in a row.
It’s just that Marple Newtown head coach Ray Gionta didn’t exactly expect to utilize Duffy as many times as the he did.
“We didn’t realize he had that many carries,” Gionta said. “We were just calling plays we thought were there as far as what they were aligned in and it just turned out to be that way.”
Harriton took the opening kickoff and, thanks to a fake punt that kept the drive alive, went up 6-0 on a 32-yard touchdown run by running back Mike Allen (7 carries for 77 yards). The point-after kick sailed wide.
Marple Newtown responded with an 11-play, 55-yard drive, all of which were runs, to take the lead. The drive was capped by a one-yard touchdown plunge by running back Ryan White (8 carries, 32 yards) that made it 7-6.
In the second quarter, Harriton (1-8) regained the lead on a 26-yard touchdown scamper by running back Spencer Reid (10 carries for 60 yards).
But Marple Newtown (4-5) answered once again after five consecutive Duffy carries resulted in a 6-yard touchdown run that put the Tigers back on top for good.
The Tigers’ first two possessions of the second half both were 11-yard scoring drives capped by two-yard touchdown runs by Duffy.
Of those 22 plays, Duffy had his number called 13 times.
“I thought we did a good job moving the football all night,” Gionta said. “The offensive line did a great job also.”
Midway through the fourth quarter, Harriton quarterback Pat Moriarity (10-19 for 131 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT) got the Rams back within striking distance after he connected with Allen for a 31-yard touchdown pass. Moriarity then found tight end Ryan Kelly in the back corner of the end zone for the two-point conversion that pulled Harriton within 28-20.
The Rams, though, wouldn’t threaten again.
“We didn’t execute,” Harriton head coach Matt Barr said. “We’re not playing well. It’s as simple as that.
“To be honest with you, we’ve given up well over 300 (yards rushing) many times this year. That’s our Achilles heel. We can’t stop the run (and) we’re not strong enough. Our young guys need to get in the weight room and hopefully that will be something that is improved in the future.”
That, however, didn’t detract from Duffy’s night.
“I’m going to remember this the rest of my life,” Duffy said. “I gave it my all tonight. I’m going to remember this.”