Garnet Valley and Ridley put on a show last Friday that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
The Jaguars outlived host Green Raiders, 65-37. The final score looks like something you would see in a Central League boys’ basketball game.
With this victory, Garnet Valley (6-0) seizes only the first place of the Central League.
The Savage Affair has generated mind-boggling statistics.
For starters, it was one of the most significant games in county history. Seventh, to be exact, according to the Daily Times archives.
In addition, the teams combined for nearly 1,000 yards of total offense (913). Ridley scored four touchdowns in the second quarter, but was limited to three points the rest of the way. Garnet Valley scored 37 unanswered points in the second half.
Ridley senior John Heller had 311 yards, the highest by a Green Raiders quarterback since Colin Wright amassed 402 yards in 2012, which is a Ridley High School record.
Ryan Saunders ran for 92 yards and four touchdowns… and it wasn’t even a Garnet Valley player’s best running performance. That honor went to Jason Bernard, who had two runs scored after halftime and finished with 184 yards on 23 carries.
Both teams managed to fumble for the ball five times; the Jags lost one and the Green Raiders two.
In terms of passes, the flaggers were excellent. Heller completed 17 of 29 attempts for 311 yards and two touchdowns, while GV’s Max Busenkell was 7 for 10 for 118 yards and one score. Ridley senior sensation Tahir Mills ran for 97 yards and a touchdown… and also threw a touchdown pass.
In addition to solidifying its place as the best team (again) in the Central League and Delco, Garnet Valley also improved its No.1 ranking in the District 1 Class 6A playoff standings. GV has 1,040 power points and a ranking average of 173.33. No.2 seed North Penn is far behind with 940 power points and a ranking average of 156.66. Barring a collapse, GV should easily clinch first place in the district tournament.
The Jaguars have won 30 straight Central League games and are widely favored in their last four regular season games against Radnor (1-5), Haverford (2-4), Springfield (3-3) and Lower Merion (3 -3).
The Jags won’t lose anytime soon.
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Chester quarterback Isaiah Freeman was named Del Val League Player of the Week at Monday night’s coaches meeting.
Freeman is one of the main reasons the Clippers are Delco’s only other undefeated team. In Friday’s 42-27 win at West Chester Henderson, Freeman had five Chester touchdowns. He was 10 of 17 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for 128 yards and three scores. Freeman will lead the Clippers 6-0 at home on Saturday morning against Penn Wood, winless.
Meanwhile, Chichester’s Staring Reaves became the rare three-place winner for wide receiver, defensive back and athlete. The handyman junior scored five touchdowns in the Eagles’ 41-6 rout to West Chester East. Reaves had two interceptions, including one he sent back 84 yards in the end zone, 50 rushing yards with two touchdowns and 123 receiving yards with a pair of touchdowns.
Other positional honors went to David Williams (offensive line) of Chester, Jerimiah Gates (defensive line) and Damien Najdek (specialist), as well as Mike Keene (linebacker) of Penn Wood.
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With the start of the Inter-Ac league fast approaching, the Haverford School has prepared for its most meaningful games with a perilous non-league schedule. The two Ford losses are attributable to League power Ches-Mont Downingtown West (3-3) and Catholic League juggernaut LaSalle (6-0), which is the # 1 ranked team in the PIAA class. 6A and 37th in the nation, according to Maxpreps.
After a week off, the Fords traveled to Maryland to face the undefeated Landon School last Saturday and took a 21-14 win, dropping to 2-2 this year. Michael Benincasa threw for 126 yards and a touchdown to James Falk, and Jahmon Silver and Matthew Brosko each added one rushing score. Defensively, the Fords were led by Yasir Denmark, Louie Atkinson and Isaiah Boyd, who each made six tackles. Sam Gerber and David Kearney both had interceptions and Mike Dean recovered a fumble.
The Fords are leaving this weekend. Next week, they open the Inter-Ac League competition at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy.
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If there was a Central League Coach of the Year award, Conestoga’s Matt Diamond might have completed that honor by now. The fourth-year head coach led the Pioneers to a 5-1 record, including a 4-1 record against league opponents. The team’s only flaw was a Week 2 loss to Garnet Valley.
The Pioneers have one of Centrale’s most dynamic players in senior athlete Peter Detweiler, who scored three touchdowns in a 32-19 win at Haverford last week.
Diamond is the head football and baseball coach at Conestoga. He is a 1998 graduate and a member of the school’s Track and Field Hall of Fame.
In six weeks, the Pioneers returned to form after several years of defeat. Prior to the 2021 campaign, the program had won no more than three games in a season since 2015, when it finished 6-5. Chasing their first District 1 playoff spot in seven years, Pioneers are 10th in Class 6A power standings
Securing a playoff spot and / or a winning record won’t be easy, however. Conestoga welcomes Strath Haven (5-1) in a team battle for second place on Friday night. Ridley (5-1) and Marple Newtown (4-2) are looming.
You need to hand it over to Diamond to have made the Pioneers into a viable team again.
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MOVING THE CHAIN >> Springfield linebacker Colin Crawford has a total of 38 total tackles and four forced fumbles this season… Cardinal O’Hara (3-1) claimed a victory after West Catholic called off the scheduled meeting of the teams last Saturday… Senior Brennan Kaut leads all Penncrest defenders with four sacks. Kaut helped the Lions to their first win of the year last Friday over Harriton… Jerimiah Gates of Chester had 16 tackles for a loss for the unbeaten Clippers… Tahir Mills of Ridley leads all Delco players with 11 rushing touchdowns. Ryan Saunders of Garnet Valley and Chase Barlow of Strath Haven are next in line with 10 touchdowns each.
To contact Matt Smith, send an email to [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @DTMattSmith.