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Written by: Willie McGonigle on Monday, November 2nd, 2020
HAVERFORD: After finishing the 2019 campaign with a 7-3 record and on a three game winning streak including knocking off eventual league champion Episcopal Academy expectations were high for the 2020 version of the Germantown Academy Patriots. With several All Inter Ac players returning to this years team it was expected that they would be in contention for a league title this season. But then COVID 19 hit and the Inter Ac originally delayed the fall sports till the spring only to reverse course and few weeks ago and start up fall sports at end of October.
On Saturday the Patriots finally got their season underway and did so with a stellar defensive effort and some big plays on their way to 28-13 road victory over the Haverford School Fords. “All we kept telling the kids was work really hard, you know when the bell is going to ring.” Patriots head coach Matt Dence via phone interview post game adding “I’m proud of them I thought they answered the bell pretty good today.
Things didn’t start out to good for the Patriots has the Fords took the opening drive of the game and marched 80 yards on five plays before Michael Galasso sneaked his way in from a yard out on the games sixth play giving the Fords the early 7-0. The momentum the Fords got from that drive was short lived however has on the ensuing kickoff they kicked it to one of returning All Inter Ac players the Patriots have in Jerry Griffen-Batchler and he made them pay showing his speed and racing 90 yards to tie the game at 7.
Griffen-Batchler speed would again burn the Fords, after he took a forward pitch from Jordan Longino and raced 67 yards to give the Patriots 14-7 lead.
On their next drive the Patriots appeared poised to extend their lead driving down to the Fords 1 yard line before the Fords forced a turnover on downs. On the ensuing drive the Fords put together a masterpiece driving 99 yards on 12 plays with a mixture of Galasso’s arm and the running of Mekhi Ajose-Williamson. Ajose-Williason would capped the drive with his 6 yard touchdown run. A Bad snap caused the PAT to be no good allowing the Patriots to hold onto the slim 14-13 lead.
From there the Patriots turned the game over to their defense led by Jeff Decker, Mike Rowan who combined for a blocked punt in the fourth quarter that was recovered by Sean Spinosa along with Jake Hsu and Evan Spivey who each contributed a interception for the Patriots. “I told them I was proud of them” Dence said, adding that he told his defensive staff that they’ve done a really good job with the game plan especially being that they were facing a Fords team who was under the direction of a new head coach.
Hsu would provide the Patriots with insurance has he hauled in a 32 yard touchdown pass from Longino extending the lead to 21-13 after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter the Patriots reached into their bag of tricks pulling out the Philly special that saw Longino on the receiving end of a pass from Griffen-Batchler for 33 yard touchdown strike. Dence called Griffen-Batchler a great kid on and off the field with an incredible work ethic.
The Patriots will look to take the next steps towards becoming Inter Ac Champions when they host Chestnut Hill Academy who are also coming into the game unbeaten after defeating Episcopal Academy on Friday night. Kickoff for the Patriots Chestnut Hill game is schedule for 1 pm Saturday at Germantown Academy
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