Warden Runs Over Haverford
Garnet Valley traveled to Haverford Saturday afternoon since Friday’s night game was postponed due to rain. Last week the Garnet Valley Jaguars won their season opener against Unionville 15-14 in a very close game that came down to the final minutes. Last week the Haverford Fords defeated Chichester by 30 points, 36-6. For both the Jaguars and Fords this game was their first league game (Central League) of the season.
With the nonstop rain the day before the field was not in the best condition and was still very soaked and muddy. The muddy field didn’t hold up the Jaguars. Receiving the ball first they started quickly moving down field using their running backs, senior Marcellus Irving and junior Alex Warden. Once the Jaguars got near the goal line, senior quarterback Mark McHugh handed the ball off to Irving for a nine yard touchdown run just minutes into the game to give the Jaguars an early 7-0 lead.
The Fords had trouble early on moving the ball down the field against the Jaguars’ defense. On the Fords’ second series on third and two on their own 29 yard line, quarterback sophomore Mike Clancy rolled out in shotgun to the left side and was tripped up for a sack, by senior linebacker Mike McGrath. On fourth and five the punt was blocked by senior Jonathan Smith for the Jaguars and the ball was recovered on the Fords’ fifteen yard line. The first quarter ended 7-0, Jaguars.
On the four yard line McHugh handed the ball off to Alex Warden for a touchdown. It was Warden’s first touchdown run of his career. After the extra point by senior kicker Dan Acchione the score was 14-0 Garnet Valley.
The Fords started to move the ball down field as Clancy started to connect with his receivers. Clancy started warming up and threw it down field to Keith Stewart for a 32 yard reception to the six yard line. After a few runs, finally senior running back Matthew Moriarty ran in the end zone for a three yard touchdown run and after the extra point was good. The Fords cut the Jaguars lead down to 7.
Again the Jaguars reached the red zone on their next series. In the red zone the Jaguars fumbled the ball. Fords’ defensive back Shane Newman recovered the fumble on their own 13 yard line. With just over thirty seconds to go and since the Fords stopped the Jaguars from scoring they decided to not run anymore plays and just knee the ball. The Fords went into halftime down by a touchdown with the Jaguars leading 14-7.
On the Fords’ second series in the third quarter they started at their own 39 yard line. After Clancy converted on three straight third downs, the Fords were just six yards away from scoring. After a three yard gain by Matthew Moriarty again the Fords went to the air with a six yard touchdown pass to Keith Stewart. The game was tied after the kick, 14-14. It was a sixty one yard scoring drive for the Fords.
Early in the fourth quarter the Fords had to punt the ball after not going for a first down, just one yard away. The Fords’ punt was blocked once again and the Jaguars watched the ball roll out of bounds on the 36 yard line. It was the Jaguars second blocked punt of the day. Head Coach of Garnet Valley Mike Ricci talked about the two big blocked punts and said, “The punt blocks were huge, anytime you get a chance to make a play on special teams and block a punt, that’s a real momentum shift, and I was happy to see that.”
The Jaguars took advantage of the blocked punt and after a long 20 yard run on fourth and one by Irving down to the 11 yard line, Alex Warden finished the job. Warden ran an 11 yard touchdown run for his second of the day. The extra point was blocked but the Jaguars still led, 20-14.
The Fords and Jaguars then went back to back, turning over the ball. Clancy threw an interception to Ryan Woods and Haverford recovered a fumble which gave them the ball back. The Fords just couldn’t get down field and had to punt back to the Jaguars after recovering the fumble and missed out on an opportunity to take the lead.
The Jaguars continued to go to Warden. On third and two from the 22 yard line, Warden gained 12 yards and a first down. Once again the Jaguars went to Warden for his third touchdown of the day. Warden third touchdown was a five yard run. The Jaguars lead was now 27-14. Alex Warden commented on his performance “I don’t think it was really me, it was more the offensive line that did the work, the holes were really big and I just had to run through them.” Warden also added “Last year I had a few reps when we were up by a lot, but I think Bonacquisti taught me a lot and he was a good mentor to me.” Last year Bonacquisti was one of Garnet Valley’s captains and ran for 14 touchdowns and over 1000 yards. Warden just so happens to wear former running back Jared Bonacquisti’s number 20.
With a thirteen point win by the Jaguars they head home where they will play for the first time this season on Thursday night against Conestoga. The Fords will travel to Ridley to play another tough opponent on Thursday night as well.
Follow EasternPAFootball.com on Twitter @EPAFootball
Share This Post: