By HARRY CHAYKUN
NEWTOWN SQUARE — Marple Newtown hosted the community’s youth football players as the Tigers took on Lower Merion in a Central League contest at Harry Harvey Field Friday night.
It wasn’t that long ago that one of the young players wandering around the stadium on a similar night was Adrian Sapnas.”I played for the Junior Tigers,’ Sapnas said. “One year I was a tight end, and I didn’t get to run the ball that much.’These days, Sapnas lines up in the varsity backfield and has his name called often. Against the visiting Aces, he had 11 carries, picked up 126 yards and scored three touchdowns and a two-point conversion as Marple Newtown (3-2, 3-1) rolled to a 45-18 victory.”I just tell the linemen that if they do their job, I’ll find something,’ Sapnas said.He delivered on that promise on his first carry, finding little room through the assigned hole before bouncing off one tackle attempt and changing directions in making his 20-yard scoring run look easy.
Quarterback Marcus Weathers was 11-for-15 passing, including a 10-yard TD toss to Abel Hoff (5 catches, 49 yards) and added a short scoring run late in the first half seven plays after Kyle Kelly stopped Lower Merion quarterback Nasir Jonik for a safety.The Aces got the ball when Sapnas lost it a step before getting to the end zone, but Kelly, a 6-3, 230-pound junior who plays both ways on the Marple line, didn’t waste any time in scoring the first two of his eight points.Sapnas scored on his second carry of the second half, and four minutes later sprinted 45 yards for six points on his third touch of the third quarter before retiring for the night.Offensive guard Dom Talluto was one of the blockers who helped the Tigers pick up 210 yards on the ground.”The line had a good game,’ Talluto, who began his youth football career with the Folsom Falcons in Ridley Township, said. “But we’ve got great backs and a really good quarterback.”They were the ones who more than pulled their weight tonight.’Kelly closed out the scoring for Marple Newtown with a 3-yard run with a fumble before Marquis Gee went 91 yards with a kickoff and Brandon Jones raced 66 yards from scrimmage for Lower Merion’s last two touchdowns.”Team, team, team,’ Kelly said of his score. “Somebody knocked the ball loose and I was there to pick it up and run it in. Our defensive coordinator (Harry Gicking) is always talking about ‘ scoop and score’ on plays like that.”I had a touchdown my freshman year against Strath Haven, but it was a little different. That game I got in there and took the ball from the quarterback.’Marple Newtown’s rookie head coach Chris Gicking will take Friday’s win, but he wasn’t happy about the 11 penalties that cost his team 95 yards.”Any win is a good win,’ Gicking said. “But there are little things we’re going to have to do a whole lot better if we’re going to beat a tough team like Radnor next week.’