RADNOR, PA – The postgame meetings with teammates and coaches had ended Friday night.
Marple Newtown’s Tigers were delighted with their 45-14 Central League victory over Radnor at Prevost Field, their second win in a row after a season-opening loss in Florida.
Senior center Michael Shelly, who helped Marple earn 242 yards on the ground and 171 through the air, got serious as the conversation turned away from football. Shelly, a cancer survivor who lost a brother earlier in the year, was asked his thoughts about the people in Houston and Florida who have faced incredible challenges caused by hurricanes in the last week.
“It’s tough to lose all that those people have lost,” Shelly said. “They are going through tough times, but they are strong people. And they’ve had so many people helping them out.
“Look at how much money (pro football player) J.J. Watt has raised. Those people will get through this because they have so much heart.”
Heart and determination are two sources of pride in the Marple Newtown football program head coach Chris Gicking likes to stress.
“We challenged our offensive and defensive lines this week,” Gicking said. “Radnor’s a good football team, and they had been scoring a lot of points. We just told our guys that it starts up front. We had to take charge of the line of scrimmage to win this football game.”
Marple Newtown (2-1, 2-0) scored on each of its five first-half possessions, including a 94-yard drive just before halftime that built the Tigers’ lead to 35-0 and had the second half played under the mercy clock.
Junior Marlon Weathers (15 carries, 166 yards) ran the ball into the end zone three times, and quarterback Anthony Paoletti scored on two of his three rushes in the opening two quarters.
Paoletti also was 8-for-12 passing for 114 yards before halftime, including a 32-yard completion to Dash Dulgerian that set up Weathers’s second TD.
“Our approach is different each week,” said Shelly, who works with Sal Tartaglia, Luke Zimmerman, Kevin Hahn and Sean Standen on the offensive line. “We’ve got a great running back and a great quarterback. Tonight, we did well with the run and stuck with it.
“It’s more than just the people up front. We really want to keep working together as a team.”
Weathers had a 20-yard run in the first scoring march, a 44-yarder that set up his 7-yard dash for six points three minutes later, and consecutive runs of 13 and 19 yards just before his 19-yard scoring sprint 1:38 before halftime.
“I had that nice run on the first (carry), and after that we just wanted to keep on going,” he said.
“Every game from here on out is (important). Everyone has to keep on doing their jobs.”
Luke Ciavardelli kicked a 21-yard field goal four minutes in the second half, and freshman quarterback Brian Joslin ran 65 yards for Marple Newtown’s only touchdown of the final two quarters.
Aaron Diamond had a pair of interceptions in the first half for the Tigers, and Kyle Tobin turned in a sack on Radnor quarterback Sean Mullarkey.
The host Raiders (2-1, 0-1) got a 12-yard scoring run late in the third quarter by Taylor Margolis and a 22-yard scoring pass from Mullarkey to Vernon Harper in the fourth.
“We’re happy with the win, but we know what we’re up against having to go to Ridley next week, especially after they’ve lost two in a row,” Gicking said. “We need a good week of practice.”