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Garnet Valley Jaguars Open Season Strong

Written by: on Saturday, August 30th, 2008. Follow Billy Scully on Twitter.


       Coming into this game, junior Mark McHugh started at quarterback for the first time in his high school career. “I was nervous for the first play but after that I felt good.” said McHugh.

       The Garnet Valley Jaguars kicked off the season against the Harriton Rams after finishing as Eastern PA champions a season ago. Just two minutes into the game Chris Palaio rushed into the end zone from four yards out to give the Jaguars the lead, and they never looked back. After Harriton struggled to get a first down, the Jaguars’ offense came right back and Jared Bonacquisti rushed from three yards out to score and extended the lead.

       With seven minutes left in the first quarter senior Ryan Canzanese ran an interception back into the end zone for 20 yards, to give the Jaguars a lead by 21 points. Then quarterback Mark McHugh settled in and rushed for a 20 yard scoring drive nearing the end of the quarter, putting the Jaguars up by a score of 28-0. McHugh threw four passes and completed two of the passes to Tim Keyser for a total of 50 yards. Head Coach Mike Ricci of the Jaguars said “Any time you get a first year starter at quarterback to get some game experience and to gain some confidence is always good. Mark did a good job tonight, he came out and executed our offense. He’s been working hard and the guys have a lot of confidence in him, and I am glad for him that he was able to come out and do what he did.”

       In the second quarter running back Chris Palaio scored his second of the day on a long 57 yard touchdown run. Harriton gave the ball right back to the Jaguars and Tim Keyser rushed in from four yards out which made the score 42-0.

       After Keyser scored with six minutes to go in the first half, the Jaguars first string was taken out, which gave the young guys a lot of playing time. Finally in the fourth quarter Harriton punched a score in thanks to Troy Iskarpatyoti as he rushed in from seven yards out.

       The Jaguars’ kicker Dan Achione made all six extra points. Coach Ricci said “He’s been working hard all summer, improving his kicking and he had the opportunity tonight, and he did very well.”  The final in this opener was 42-6 Garnet Valley.

       Next week the Jaguars will travel to Penncrest. A team which also won their opener against Strath Haven, 14-0. Coach Ricci said “Penncrest is a team that is on the rise. They have been playing well in their scrimmages, they played well against Strath Haven and they are a team that is going to be a force in the Central League. We need to be prepared to play well against them.”

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One Response to “Garnet Valley Jaguars Open Season Strong”

  1. Hook&lateral says:

    The Jags are for real. However, Harriton in the Central League is a mistake, and they will struggle mightily to get just one win, which could come at the expense of their sister school in the Lower Merion district, Lower Merion High.
    So, the story is that the two new Central Teams make the additions a wash. One force to be reckoned with,(Garnet), and one outrostered, outskilled, and seriously outgunned tier two team cancel each other out.