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Malvern’s defense holds on for 15-13 win

Written by: on Saturday, August 31st, 2013. Follow Paul Dale Plattenburg on Twitter.

 

pdweek12013By Paul-Dale Plattenburg

In most football games, the stat box can tell the entire story of the game.

One look at the stat box from the Malvern Prep–Roman Catholic Football game and you would think it was a convincing win for Roman. 15 first downs to seven. 333 total yards for Roman to 105 for Malvern.

However, there is one glaring stat that stands out above all, THREE. The number of interceptions that the Friars had on the day in a 15-13 non-league win over the Cahillites in a game played at Warrior Stadium in Wildwood, NJ.

Malvern (1-0) opened the scoring when James Keating intercepeted a Trey Smith pass and returned it 60 yards for the score with 2:30 left in the first period. A Roman penalty on the extra point attempt put the ball on the 1 yard line and Hunter Paulus ran it in for the two point conversion and a 8-0 lead. It was Malvern’s second interception of the first quarter.

Roman (0-1) then took the ensuing kickoff and led by Dimetri Kelly (29 carries 191 yards) and Patrick Mc Court (6 catches 79 yards) drove to the Friar nine yard line but the drive was stopped when Phillip Issac missed a 26 yard field goal that would come back to haunt the Cahillites.

Following an exchange of punts, the Friars drove 62 yards in three plays to increase their lead to 15-0. Matt Brown gained one yard on first down. Quarterback Alex Hornibrook then hit Troy Gallen with a 23 yard pass and Gallen scored on the next play on a 38 yard run with 3:50 left before halftime. Gallen finshed with 70 yards on 15 carries.

That left Roman with enough time on the clock to score and get some momentum going into halftime.

Donald Mickaels caught a 38 yard touchdown pass from Brendan Regan (11-21 for 145 yards) with 1:14 left before halftime to cap a 80 yard 7 play drive that was aided by a pass interference call on Malvern on a third and three that gave Roman the ball on their own 42 yard line. Issac’s extra point cut the lead to 15-7.

Getting the ball to start the second half, Roman took the kickoff and drove the ball 80 yards in 7 plays capped by an 11 yard run by Kelly that cut the Friar lead to 15-13. Roman Head Coach Joe Mc Court decided to go for two and Regan hit Mc Court’s brother Patrick with the pass but was stopped short of the goal line by Hunter Paulus.

Kelly had 79 of the 80 yards on the ground in that drive.

From there, both defenses dug in and the Friar defense led by linebacker Paulus and defensive end John Nassib, who had the other two interceptions, bent but did not break. Brown had a nine yard touchdown called back for Malvern on a holding call and on the next play Gallen fumbled the football and Roman recovered.

Both teams are home with dangerous opponets next week. Malvern welcomes the Battlin’ Bulls of Glen Mills to the Pellagrini Athletic Complex while Roman will host the Cougars of Downingtown East.

Follow EasternPAFootball.com on Twitter @EPAFootball


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Paul Dale