Strouss’s Legs,Stellar defense Propels EA to Title
HAVERFORD PA: Usually quarterbacks do most of their damage through the air but on Saturday in front of packed house at The Haverford School’s Sabol Field Adam Strouss let his legs do the work. Strouss effort plus another stellar defensive performance help the Episcopal Academy Churchmen not only beat their archrival Haverford School 21-14 thus allowing them to clinch an undefeated season and also gave them their outright Inter Ac for the first time since 1982. The Churchmen last won the league title in 2004 when they shared it with Germantown Academy and Penn Charter.
“It feel’s so good” Strouss who rushed the ball 33 times for 195 yards said about winning the championship. Adding that is it was a great place to clinch the championship on their biggest rival’s home field.
Perhaps the biggest difference between this years verison of the Churchmen and the Churchmen of years past is offesnive firepower. Entering Saturday’s game the Churchmen scored 347 points or 34.7 points per game under the direction of first year offensive coordinator Dave Gueriera who was previously at Harriton
“Last year we basically had the same group of guys didn’t have the offense, (Gueriera) did a fantastic job.” Strouss said. That sentiment was echoed by Churchmen’s Head Coach Tood Fairlie “He’s (Gueriera) is a very very smart guy and he knows how to do his talent.”
The Fords drew first blood when Brendan Burke connected with Noah Lejman for 32 yard touchdown. The Fords appeared poised to become the first team this year to put double figures on the Churchmen this year when Penn recruit Aron Morgan attempted a 48 yard fieldgoal and missed his first of three missed attempts on the day. The others misses were 46 and 45.
The Churchmen capitalized on the first miss field goal attempt by going 80 yards on nine plays including six runs by Strouss but it was a Strouss to Jake Butts connection that covered 14 yards. Butts is also the fourth ranked long snapper in the nation and led the defense with 11 tackles.
On the ensuing drive the Fords responded with an 88 yard drive that was capped by Philip Poquie 39 yard touchdown run. But the Churchmen responded on the ensuing drive going 62 yards on eight plays before Strouss capped the drive with a 1 yard touchdown.
From that point on the Churchmen turned the game over to their defense and their defense responded and showed why entering the game they only gave up 21 points for the season. No surprise it was the defense that set up the winning touchdown with an interception by Terrell Smith. Six plays later Strouss was again in the endzone this time from 2 yards out
Smith called the interception a dream come true and credited Fairlie for helping get it. “He set me up for it he knew the play.”
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