Coach Clancy Inspires Comeback
The Garnet Valley Jaguars and the Strath Haven Panthers have become a heated rivalry in the past three years. Ever since Garnet Valley joined the Central League they have given the Panthers trouble. Coming into tonight’s game both teams had identical records (5-1).
Garnet Valley’s senior running back Alex Warden returned to the lineup tonight after missing three games. Warden who is a big piece in the Jaguars offense was ready to go and you could tell early on. Warden scored a touchdown in the first quarter (3 yard touchdown run) and the second quarter (five yard touchdown run). The Jaguars went up early 13-0 over the Panthers but missed the extra point which was crucial after Warden’s first touchdown.
With senior running back Thurman Fortune out due to an injury James Griffin needed to step up for the Panthers. Griffin played at the defensive back position as well. Griffin also had a pair of touchdowns. His long touchdown runs consisted of 66 yards and 77. “Basically the line did a great job tonight. I just hit the holes I saw and openings. I had great down field blocking and after that it’s off to the races” said Griffin who rushed for a total of 150 yards.
The Panthers went on to score 15 unanswered points in the second half. After Brent Collins scored nearing the end of the third quarter and the extra point was good the Panthers took a surprising 21-20 lead which was the final score.
It was like watching a new team in the second half. What inspired the Panthers at halftime? Well that was their head coach, Kevin Clancy. The Panther’s head coach was in the hospital for a few days and the second he was released he rushed to the game for his players. Unexpectedly when the Panthers returned to the locker room their head coach was waiting for them. When I asked James Griffin what the coach told them at halftime Griffin said, “Our coach was in the hospital and when he came back at halftime it was like a whole new spirit in the building and everything got pumped up and our adrenaline started going and then we came out to play.”
Head coach of the Panthers Clancy said, “The kids played with a lot of heart tonight. They showed a good competitive effort on both sides. We are real proud of our kid. In the second half they came back and really battled hard.”
The Jaguars senior quarterback Jake Helmes missed tonight’s game due to an injury and playing his first ever varsity game was sophomore Ryan Corkery. “It was good; I had a lot of confidence in my team and my running backs. I was very confident with my team. We gave it all we could tonight.”
Head coach of Garnet Valley Mike Ricci said, “They made some great plays, we were close a couple times. We had a couple fourth downs that we missed by an inch or so and you have to make those to win the game.”
Garnet Valley’s next game will be their Homecoming game at 2:00pm on Saturday. The Panthers bring their six game winning streak to Upper Darby at 7:00pm. on Friday night.
Follow EasternPAFootball.com on Twitter @EPAFootball
Share This Post: