By Laura Wisely, Delaware County Daily Times
Before Friday night, Cimirrow Moat listed his favorite hangouts as a few local restaurants and the movie theater.
Now he can add the end zone to that list.
The senior running back spent a good deal of Marple Newtown’s home opener against Sun Valley either in the end zone or on his way there, running for touchdowns of 51, 80 and 23 yards to pace the Tigers. Parker Maas added a 78-yard run, while Tom Antista and Jamie Ridinger also scored for Marple.
“We came out excited,” Moat said after the game. “We wanted to play. The older guys, the younger guys – everyone wanted to get out there fast.”
It took a while for the Tigers to strike – Moat’s first touchdown came with just a minute and a half remaining in the first quarter – but the points came fast and furious afterward. Marple lead by 21 at the half, and the bench tacked on another 21 points in the final two quarters.
“We were really excited to see the younger guys get out there,” Moat said. “You realize, ‘Wow, he can really play,’ or ‘He’s pretty good.’ That really gets our confidence high.”
The game was certainly a confidence builder for the Tigers, who finished 4-6 last season. Coach Ray Gionta said before the season even began that the team was focused on taking things one game at a time. Friday night’s game, he said, reiterated that mantra.
“We’re happy with the way the kids played,” he said. “We found a few things we definitely need to work on, but we had a great camp, they played well, they worked hard and they continue to get better.”
Praising Moat’s game, Gionta warned that the Tigers’ running back won’t be a secret weapon in his arsenal for long.
“He had a good game, and we expect him to have good games,” he said. “He’ll get more carries and more experience. But it’s going to get tougher from here. People know he’s here, and they’ll be looking to defend against him.”
That includes next week’s opponent, Penncrest.
“This is the first time we’ve played against Sun Valley’s (new) coaching staff, and they’ve done a nice job with the kids, but we’ve never coached against each other,” Gionta said. “(Penncrest coach) Rick Stroup knows me as well as anyone else does, and he’ll be ready for us.”
Of course, the Tigers plan to be ready for Penncrest, too. They’ll be counting on big contributions from Moat, as well as QB Ridinger, who passed for 10 yards and ran for a one-yard TD, and the rest of their deep corps of players.
“We’re waiting on some of the other kids, the kids who aren’t going to be ready for the next couple of weeks,” Gionta said. “They’re coming along. They’re really going to help us as well.”
Until then, though, Moat said he’s sticking to the game plan.
“One week at a time,” he said. “We’re not thinking too far ahead, but we’re going to come out excited every week. One week at a time.”