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Garnet Valley starts VanWyk era with a win

Tagged under: District 1, Gameday Hub, News

| August 28, 2022

Special Contribution By: James Middleton | West Chester University


Concord, PA: The first game for new head coach Eric VanWyk and the Jags was nothing short of a thriller. The season opener for the Jags featured a playoff rematch from last year against Central Bucks West. With late-game heroics by Matt Mesaros, Drew Van Horn, Jason Bernard, and Jake McDowell, the Jags picked their first win of the season with a score of 14 to 7. After a slow first quarter, Garnet Valley opened the second quarter with a seven-play, eighty-seven-yard scoring drive. Garnet Valley started at their own 14, where senior running back Jason “The Bus” Bernard (Garnet Valley) ran for first downs of eleven and ten to bring the Jags to their own thirty-four. “The Bus” would then break off a 54-yard run to bring the Jags to the CB West 9. On second and goal from the four, the Jags gave it to senior running back Joseph Checchio (Garnet Valley), and he broke the plane for the first touchdown of the 2022 season. Garnet Valley tried for a two-point conversion but was unsuccessful, leaving them with a 6 to 0 lead.

It didn’t take long for CB West to respond. On the ensuing drive, with a combination of runs by Eli Boehm (CB West) and catches by Conor Mcfadden (CB West), the CB West offense got to the Jag seven in a hurry. Garnet Valley stopped the Central Bucks offense on three consecutive downs, leaving the Bucks with a critical decision on fourth and goal. CB elected to go for it and ran a rollout pass where cornerback Jack Westburg (Garnet Valley) got a hand on the ball, but the tight end Jack Williams (CB West) came down for the score after bobbling the ball. After the extra point, CB West led 7 to 6.

In the second half, both teams featured ground and pound offensive schemes where neither team was able to gain an advantage. It wasn’t until there was 6:18 left in the game that the Jag offense gained some momentum. Jaguar quarterback Matt Mesaros (Garnet Valley), along with Joseph Checchio and Jason Bernard, ran the ball to the CB West 40, where they encountered a fourth and two. Garnet Valley handed the ball off to Bernard, and he was met in the backfield by Central Bucks linebackers, but Mesaros would drag him across for the first down. After a swing pass to the right side on third down, the Jags were met with another fourth down. Jaguar tight End Drew Van Horn leaked out and ran across the field, from right to left, and Mesearos connected for a pass that brought the Jags down to the three. Garnet Valley would give it to none other than “The Bus” as he would cut the run back to the left for the touchdown and the lead. The Jags went for two and ran a pitch out to the left, where Checchio ran it in to make the score 14 to 7 with 16 seconds left.

After a short kick and a big gain off a pass play, Central Bucks got the ball down to the Garnet Valley 15. With 2 seconds left on the clock CB ran a pass play where senior linebacker Jake McDowell (Garnet Valley) intercepted the ball as time expired for his second interception of the game.

Even with a new coach on the sidelines, the Jags continued the ground-and-pound offense that Jags fans are accustomed to. Garnet Valley will continue their season next week, where they will travel to Upper Darby to take them on at 7 o’clock.


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