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Strath Haven beats Springfield 27-7, shares Central League Championship

Written by: on Saturday, November 6th, 2010. Follow Paul Dale Plattenburg on Twitter.


The game plan was simple for Strath Haven on Friday night. Keep Springfield’s high powered offense off the field as much as possible.

The game plan worked to perfection as the Panthers used a balanced ball control  game to defeat the Cougars 27-7 at George L. King Field Friday night in a Central League contest.

With the win, the Panthers (9-1 overall, 9-0 league) share the League Championship with Ridley, a 14-7 winner over Upper Darby. Strath Haven and Ridley did not play each other this season.

“We knew we had to keep them off the field,” said Panther Quarterback Bryan Downs. “They put up 50 points in four games, so we knew what they were capable of,” he added.

After holding Springfield (7-3 overall, 7-2 league) on their first two possessions, the Panthers took over both times and methodically drove down the field for touchdowns and a 14-0 halftime lead.

The first was an 80 yard, 14 play drive as Thurman Fortune scored on a 2 yard run with 4:49 to play in the first quarter. Alex Hisey kicked his first of three extra points and Strath Haven never looked back. Fortune finshed with 102 yards on 24 carries. Brent Collins finished with 80 yards and James Griffin added 64 yards.

The second drive was  93 yards and 15 plays as Downs scored his first of two touchdowns on an 18 yard keeper with 7:24 left before halftime. Downs also put the icing on the cake with a five yard run in the fourth quarter.

“Our defense just did a superb job against them tonight,” said Strath haven Coach Kevin Clancy.

Boy did it ever.

Matt Craig, the leading rusher in the Central League with 1,519 yards coming into the game was held to 64 yards on 12 carries, 51 coming on one play. Ryan Strain did surpass 1,000 yards passing for the season, completing 12-25 passing for187 yards and a nine yard touchdown pass to Jay McCarry but threw three very costly interceptions, two by Hisey, who returned one for a 40 yard touchdown and had a second called back due to a phantom block in the back. Hisey also chipped in the running attack for Strath Haven going for 63 yards.

Both teams have qualified for the District One AAA football playoffs. Strath Haven will most likely face Upper Perkiomen at home next Friday, while Springfield and Bishop Shanahan will play in another quarterfinal game. Should Shanahan defeat Downingtown West on Saturday, the game would be next Saturday at Shanahan. Should Shanahan lose, then most likely the game will be Friday night at Springfield.

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