Marple Uses Fast Start and Run Game to Down Strath Haven
NEWTOWN SQUARE: Marple Newtown Tigers Head Coach Ray Gionta approach is simple: take one game at a time, but that’s not always an easy thing to do especially when your team is in the hunt for District 1 AAA playoff spot. That was exactly the predicament that Tigers found themselves in entering Friday Central League battle as the 8th seed against the 9th seeded Strath Haven Panthers the winner certainly would hold the upper hand in making the post season and when it was all set and done Friday night the Tigers walked from Harry R, Harvey Field with a 14-7 victory. Despite the victory, Gionta knows that it is hard to make post season especially when your one of eight teams that make it. “Going into playoffs I think there’s 6 teams that are undefeated, one slip up along the way and we won’t make it, so we aren’t thinking that far ahead” is what Gionta would say about the possibly of his team making the playoffs.
The Tigers wasted little time getting on the board as on the games opening kickoff Ryan White took the opening kickoff at his own 8 yard line found a seem in the Panthers coverage and was off to the races for a 92 yard touchdown. Adam Fender would add the extra point giving the Tigers the 7-0 lead before fans even had the chance to get into their seats.” The opening kickoff game was big play of the game.” Is what Panthers head coach Kevin Clancy would say about the opening kickoff.
On the ensuing drive the Panthers would drive 76 yards down to the Tigers 7 yard line before Tigers defense forced the Panthers to turn the ball over on downs. From that point on the Tigers took over the game. When asked about his defense Gionta would say ” Our defense played well we knew our play to well against the run, we knew they knew how to run the football.”
Following a Panther fumble that gave the Tigers the ball at the Panthers 22 the Tigers had a chance to add to their lead heading into the half but the strong legged Fender attempt at a 41 yard field goal would sail wide left.
After the Tigers forced the Panthers to punt of the opening drive of the second half. The Tigers behind great blocking from Pete Finnegan, Steve DeMaria, Brain Mabry, Kevan Strigle and Christian Whiteside and a balance rushing attack of Ryan Duffy, Mario Dioguardi and Chris Johnson the Tigers would drive 77 yards on 14 plays when Duffy capped the drive with a 2 yard touchdown plunge. “Good block by Ryan White kicked out the linebacker and I was able to get in.” Is what Duffy would say about his touchdown. Duffy would add “line’s been blocking hard all week its really about them if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t get anywhere.” Duffy would finish the game with 20 carries for 85 yards and an interception on defense.
The Panthers would cut the Tigers in half with 2:08 remaining in the game when Bryan Downs connected with Pat Fisher for a 28-yard touchdown. On the ensuing kickoff the Tigers would recover, the onsides kick ensuing the 14-7 victory.
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