Jags Pick Up First Road Win of the Season Over Haverford
Tagged under: District 1, Gameday Hub, News
James Middleton | October 1, 2022
Haverford, PA: Out in Haverford tonight, the Garnet Valley Jaguars showcased what they like to call “Blue Collar” football. Head Coach Eric VanWyk gives the credit to Linebacker Coach Dave Wrezesniewski for that style of play. “Coach Wrez has been expressing that, just showing up every day with the lunch pail and bringing that same work ethic, no matter if it’s a Monday practice or Friday game,” Head Coach Eric VanWyk on the “Blue Collar” football. That working man style of play propelled the Jags over Haverford, 25 to 7, as they are now 6 and 0 on the season.
The Jaguar defense got tested early as Haverford drove the ball down to the Jaguar 12-yard line. On 4th and three at the Jag 11-yard line, the defense blew up the play as linebacker Drew Van Horn got into the backfield to make the tackle and force a turnover on downs. Late in the first half, the defense was tested again when Haverford got down to Garnet Valley’s 6-yard line on a 37-yard pass. On 2nd and Goal, Junior Tyler Lassik stepped in front of the receiver and intercepted the ball in the endzone, halting the Fords late first-half push.
Garnet Valley shut the door on Haverford early in the fourth quarter. In a drive that started with 7:29 left in the third quarter, the Fords got the ball down to the Jag 7-yard line. On 4th and 2, Haverford ran the ball up the middle but was met by the fierce Jaguar defensive line as they forced a turnover on downs. “I credit our two seniors, Kieran Gallagher and Matt Wisendanger, on the defensive line. I’m not sure if they came out at all on defense or offense. They really stepped up and showed a lot of character,” Coach Eric VanWyk on the Jag defensive play.
The Jaguar offense showcased the typical bruising run game, and some perfectly timed pass plays tonight. After being held scoreless in the first quarter, senior Luke Mingioni broke off a 45-yard return that got the Jags into prime scoring position. On the next play, Matt Mesaros connected with Jack Westburg on a swing pass for a 30-yard gain and 1st and goal. Mingioni finished off the drive, scoring from 1 yard out. The next score for Garnet Valley came when Drew Van Horn made another one-handed catch for a 30-yard touchdown.
Midway through the third, senior tailback Joseph Checchio received a handoff at the Haverford 9-yard line. After getting stopped initially, the Jaguar offensive line pushed and pulled the tailback into the endzone for the third score of the night. For the Jags final tally, they showcased some trickery to set up the touchdown. Quarterback Matt Mesaros pitched the ball out to Checchio, and Checchio threw a pass to wideout Chris Faith for a 25-yard gain. “Coach Boyd made a great call right there, and it was nice to see Joe Checchio make a nice throw,” Coach Eric VanWyk on the trickery. After the trick play, Mesaros threw his second touchdown pass of the night, where he connected with Jack Westburg for the score.
However, in what was a good win for the Jags tonight, it came with a price. Tailback Jason Bernard came out early in the game with what appeared to be an ankle injury and did not return for the rest of the game. “He’s one of the hardest working guys we’ve got, and I’m hoping it’s nothing serious, but we’ll take it day by day,” Vanwyk on Bernard. Garnet Valley returns home to “The Moe” next Friday, where they will play Penncrest at 7 o’clock in what will be their homecoming game.
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