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Written by: Alec Eskin on Thursday, November 26th, 2020
Tonights game had a little bit of a different feeling in the air. It could have been because the game was being played on a Wednesday, Thanksgiving was the next day, or maybe that the Central League title was on the line. Garnet Valley was going for its third straight Central League crown while Marple Newtown was looking to win their first in their team’s history. Marple Newtown got out to a 14-0 lead to start off the game. This was the first time the Garnet Valley trailed at any point in a game all year. But, Garnet Valley came back scoring 30 unanswered points and eventually won the game by a final score of 52-30. This game was close as you would expect from the top two teams in the Central League. Let’s go into a deeper recap of both teams . . .
Garnet Valley was forced to play from behind after falling behind early. But, in the face of adversity, they prevailed in the most important game of the year. A big momentum swing was their first score of the night on a 60 yard run by Kevin McGarrey unfortunately it would be his last of the night as he left the game after that with a shoulder injury. But, backup quarterback Max Busenkell played very well in his place. He threw for two touchdowns, both to Sean Gallagher (one for 20 and one for 75 yards). Overall, he ran the offense very well as the Jaguars were able to score 44 points when he was in. Also, the trio of Brian Bradley, Sean Gallagher, and Shane Reynolds gave Garnet Valley a big boost on offense as well. The defense had a good night as well. They were able to settle in after the first two touchdowns in the first quarter as they would only give up two more for the rest of the night. A few sacks and a forced fumble was a big momentum shifter for the Jaguars. CJ Wood, Sean Gallagher, and Alex Nicolaides has good nights on the defensive side of the ball. The defense essentially sealed the deal for Garnet Valley on a 43 yard pick six for Will Wresnewski. Overall, a very, very good night for the Jaguars as they win their third Central League title in a row.
The Marple Newtown Tigers gave Garnet Valley all they could handle, but it would no be enough. Joey Paoletti and Charlie Box both had outstanding nights for Marple Newtown. They scored on their first play of the game with a trick play with a lateral pass from Joey Paoletti, to Brian Joslin, who then tossed a long ball to Michael Schumacher for a 64 yard touchdown. Box and Paoeltti were that combo tonight that was hard to stop. Marple was able to score the most points against anybody this year. The most anyone had scored against the Jaguars was Haverford with eight points. On the defensive Side of the ball, they were able to cause some trouble. They forced Garnet Valley to fumble deep in their own territory which led to their second touchdown of the night. Then, Eric McKee had an interception with Garnet Valley at the Marple three with only about 20 second left to go in the half. After the first half though, the Marple defense was not as good as they gave four touchdowns in the second half compared to two in the first. Overall, an impressive night for Marple Newtown as they gave Garnet Valley its best fight of the year.
This will be the last game for both teams this season. In a year where a 2020 football season was not supposed to happen, Central League players, coaches, and fans got to see six games with a lot of excitement in each of them. Both teams have a lot of bright, young stars whom will be a force too recon with in the future. If both teams could have competed in Districts this year, it would have been very interesting and fun to watch. It has been a wild ride this year and I am grateful to be covering these games. Should be a fun year next year when everything is hopefully back to normal. Have a happy thanksgiving everyone.
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