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Jaguars Nip Cougars in Battle of Central League Heavyweights

Written by: on Sunday, September 30th, 2018. Follow Willie McGonigle on Twitter.


SPRINGFIELD: Entering Friday night’s pivotal Central League battle, both the Garnet Valley Jaguars and the Springfield Cougars possessed defenses that had the power to lead their respective teams to league titles and high seeds heading into Districts. The Jaguars defense came in yielding 10.2 points per game while the Cougars entered play only giving up 9.2 points. The fans that packed into Springfield High got their money’s worth.  Both defenses engaged in a defensive battle, but in the end, it was the Jaguars who came away with a 6-0 victory. This gave them solo possession of first place in Central League.

Fans shouldn’t be surprised by the closeness of the contest.  In the previous 20 regular season games, both the Jaguars and Cougars had identical 19-1 records. Both of their losses coming at home against the other.

On the game’s opening possession, the Jaguars went three and out. The Cougars took to the air with their opening possession, with QB Jack Psenicka leading them all the way down to the Jaguars ten-yard line before they fumbled on third down. This forced the Cougars to bring in Brett Barber to attempt a 35-yard field goal, which sailed wide left keeping the game scoreless.

The Jaguars best chance to get on the board in the first half came on the ensuing drive when they drove down to the Cougars ten-yard line with a solid run game behind running backs, Danny Bradley, Colin Robinson and QB Cole Palis. However, the Cougars defense stepped up their game along with penalties causing a turnover on downs.

After Psenicka connected with Bullock on a screen pass for a 47-yard gain on the first play on the ensuing possession, the Cougars offense once again found themselves in Jaguars territory. The drive stalled, however, and the cougars were forced to punt. Psenicka finished the game going 21-40 for 269 yards. His favorite targets were Bullock with four catches for 88 yards and Jack Spence(8-60).

With under a minute to play in the first half, the Cougars drove down to the Jaguars six-yard line before a Ben Konah fumble ended the drive with 21 seconds left in the half.

In the third quarter, both defenses continued to flex their muscles. The Jaguars’ defense was led by their defensive line consisting of Cade Brennan, Adam Oldrati, Evan Hrivank and Alex Westburg. The Jaguars sacked Psenicka five times and held the Cougars to negative rushing yards.

The Cougars defense was led by LB Pat Clemens, Jeff Biancaniello, Liam Difonzo, Geo Dotsicas and held the Jaguars offense to 239 yards of total offense. They entered the contest averaging 41.6 points per game and 435 yards per game.

Bradley’s 15- yard run with 11:32 left in the fourth quarter was the game’s lone score.

Up next for the Cougars is a home match-up with the Radnor Raiders while the Jaguarswill host the Lower Merion Aces. Both contest are slated for Friday night.

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