Penncrest Wins A Shootout
The Penncrest Lions and the Garnet Valley Jaguars met once before tonight’s game. In week four of the regular season the Jaguars traveled to Penncrest. In that game it was a game winning touchdown that helped the Jaguars beat the Lions on their home field. After that loss the Lions went on a tear, winning five out of their last six games in the regular season. Senior fullback for the Lions Jerry Boyer said “I consider this a revenge game.”
On Friday the 13th the Jaguars and Lions met again, only this time it was a first round Playoff game. It wasn’t 65 degrees or a beautiful night either; it was cold and rainy.
The Lions first offensive series took eight minutes and six seconds off the first quarter clock. Penncrest began to use their running game with Boyer and junior running back Juhwan Young. On the Lions opening drive they went 70 yards and took the lead. After two long runs by Boyer, he finally scored on a one yard touchdown run on third and goal. Boyer said “I turned it up a notch tonight. I considered tonight my break out night; I really haven’t had a break out game and Garnet Valley is a great team so I knew I had to break out.”
Garnet Valley had trouble responding back with an answer. The Jaguars quickly found themselves in a hole, down by fourteen points after Boyer struck again. Boyer scored on another one yard touchdown run after a 13 yard quarter back keeper by the senior quarterback, Matt Atkinson.
Midway through the second quarter Garnet Valley finally put the ball in the end zone. Taking charge was senior running back Marcellus Irving. Scoring on an 11 yard rushing touchdown, Irving cut the Lions lead in half, 14-7. The Lions answered right back though. Atkinson dumped a pass off to wide receiver Phil Barbieri and gave the Lions another two touchdown lead. Right before halftime senior quarterback for the Jaguars, Mark McHugh threw a lobbing pass and was caught by Irving for his second touchdown of the day.
Down only by one touchdown McHugh began to get the Jaguars back into the game. Scoring on a 63 and a 10 yard touchdown keeper that gave the Jaguars a 28-21 lead. The game began to become a shootout. Penncrest answered right back with a 13 yard touchdown run by Young to tie.
With the Jaguars up by only seven points there defense stopped Penncrest short of a first down but Penncrest decided to kick a field goal. Junior kicker for the Lions, Tom Weathers kicked a 31 yard field goal on a very windy night to cut the Jaguars lead to only four points. That field goal turned out to be the turning point of the game. With only four minutes to go in the first round of the Playoffs senior quarterback Atkinson stepped up and scored on a 25 yard keeper to give the Lions a 38-35 lead and the win. Next week Penncrest will travel and play Downingtown East in the second round of the District I Playoffs.
Penncrest may have shocked the Jaguars but still Garnet Valley had another winning season. The Jaguars reached the playoffs for the fourth year in a row, they were Central league co-champions, and they went 9 and 2. Head coach of Garnet Valley Mike Ricci said “I can’t tell you how proud I am of our program and the kids that participate in it. They played with everything they had; they played hard and they gave us a great effort all year, great leadership and great effort.”
The Jaguars senior class witnessed four years they will never forget. In 2006 and 2007 the Jaguars were crowned District I Champions in AAA. 2007 was the season they will never forget when the Jaguars went all the way to the AAA State Championship game and played at Hershey Park Stadium. In 2008 the Jaguars went undefeated in the regular season in their first year in the Central league and in quad A. This year (2009), as seniors, the Jaguars went 9 and 1 in the regular season and were crowned co-champions of the Central league. This senior class was a part of history in their four years as a Garnet Valley Jaguar.
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