Central League Year in Review
Tagged under: District 1, News, pfn
Willie McGonigle | December 31, 2022
With only a few hours before the calendar turns to 2023 what better way to end the year than to look back at the year that was in the Central League.
While 2022 saw some new things in the Central League such as Eric Van Wyk taking over at Garnet Valley for the retired Mike Ricci and Kyle Yeiter taking over Radnor for Tom Ryan in addition to Harriton opting out of the league for football for 2022 and 2023 seasons. Things stayed the same for has long time league powers Garnet Valley and Strath Haven shared the league title with identical 10-0 records. For the purposes of this year in review, we will include Harriton. Now let’s look at the year that was.
Week Zero Central League teams go 8-4 in non-league contest. Garnet Valley opened the Eric Van Wyk era with a 14-7 win over CB West. Springfield Soundly defeated their Sproul Rd Rivals Cardinal O’Hara, Lower Merion Notched it First Shut Out in Over 5 Years downing Pottstown 35-0. Conestoga defeated rival Owen J Roberts 31-13. Strath Haven shutdown Interboro and their star running back Abu Kamara 27-13. Both Marple Newtown and Harriton opened their seasons with wins over Philadelphia Public League opponents. The Tigers defeated Boys Latin 42-0 while the Rams took down Roxborough 41-20. Souderton defeated Haverford 27-7 and Penncrest fell to neighboring Sun Valley 27-19 while Ridley ran into a buzzsaw in Crestview High School from Florida 50-28 and Upper Darby lost to their neighbors Bonner 12-0. On Saturday Radnor opened the Kyle Yeiter era defeating the Speedboys from West Philadelphia 25-6 in a game played at Springfield.
Labor Day week brought the opening of league play. Action started Thursday night with Springfield Taking Down Radnor 36-0. In a non-league contest played on Thursday evening Strath Haven soundly defeated Kensington 50-6. Garnet Valley Routed Upper Darby. Ridley passed a tough early season test taking down Haverford 28-10. Marple went on the road and bested Penncrest 37-6. Conestoga Pulls out second victory over Lower Merion. Harriton fell in a non-league game to Springfield Montco 41-7.
In the third week of the season, Harriton fell to 1-2 with a 20-14 lost to Pottstown. Haverford Ran their way to win column with victory over Springfield. Garnet Valley kept on Rolling with win over Radnor. Marple improved to 3-0. Strath Haven without even throwing a pass down Conestoga 25-0. Upper Darby got in the win column with a win over Penncrest 35-27. Ridley defeated Plymouth Whitemarsh in a non league contest 35-7.
In week 3 Springfield dropped their second consecutive game this time to Strath Haven 41-14. Marple downed Radnor 32-6. Garnet Valley took down their league rival Ridley 35-7. Conestoga nipped Haverford 15-14. Penncrest got into the win column beating Harriton 41-13. Upper Darby even their record at 2-2 with a 42-14 victory over Lower Merion.
In the weekly non-league contest Cheltenham bested Upper Darby 34-0. Ridley posted 67 points in their victory over Penncrest. Harriton downed George School 14-0. Haverford picked up their second win of the season defeating Radnor 35-14. Garnet Valley took down Springfield. Conestoga nipped Marple Newtown 15-14. Strath Haven’s run game keeps rolling 42-7 over Lower Merion.
Conestoga continued their winning ways taking down Upper Darby 20-7, Radnor picked up their second victory of the season defeating Harriton 39-13, Ridley took down Lower Merion 28-0. Springfield won a wild game nipping Marple Newtown 35-32. Garnet Valley finally gets a road game comes home victors Strath Haven and Penncrest met in the Media Bowl
Garnet Valley continued their dominance of the Central League rolling Penncrest 47-7, Lower Merion downed their rivals Harriton 34-13, Springfield defeated Conestoga 15-0, Strath Haven routed Ridley 41-14. Upper Darby nipped Marple Newtown 7-6. Haverford hosted Massachusetts powerhouse Mansfield losing to them 24-14
The ever-improving Penncrest gave Springfield all they could handle before falling to the Cougars 36-20 Strath Haven rolled Radnor 42-0. Marple Newtown bounced back with a non-league 35-0 thumping of Hatboro-Horsham. Haverford hosted their first of two consecutive non-league contests downing Abraham Lincoln 35-14. Ridley took down Conestoga 28-15. Upper Darby downed Bensalem 14-7 and Harriton routed New-Hope Solebury 41-7. Garnet Valley took down Lower Merion 35-7.
Haverford Rallied to stun Penncrest 30-28, Springfield down Lower Merion 42-12, Ridley rolled Marple Newtown 42-7. Strath Haven rolled Upper Darby 35-7. After more than a year on the road Radnor finally hosted a home game falling to Conestoga 40-27. Harriton fell to Academy of the New Church 45-7.
The Last week of the regular season saw Springfield make the trek to Levitttown to rout Harry S Truman 42-0, Ridley took care of Upper Darby 35-6. Radnor nipped Penncrest 28-26, Garnet Valley capped their undefeated regular season with a rout of Conestoga 49-3. Harriton improved their record to 4-6 with a 35-14 victory over Lower Moreland. Strath Haven kept pace with Garnet Valley and finished the regular season with a 43-21 victory over Marple Newtown. Haverford even their record with a 21-6 victory over Lower Merion.
Central League in the Playoffs
The Central League was well represented in the District 1 Playoffs has seven teams made it to the playoffs. In the opening round Ridley fell to Spring-Ford 42-28, Garnet Valley Routed Quakertown Springfield Routed Phoenixville Strath Haven ran away from Upper Merion 35-3. Conestoga fell to Downingtown West 35-13. Marple Newtown gave Chester all they could handle before falling 18-15. West Chester Rustin downed Radnor 41-14.
In the second round Garnet Valley needed to work overtime to down Spring-Ford 30-27. Springfield battled all the way from start to finish but fell to Strath Haven 36-19.
In the District semifinals Strath Haven and Rustin battled in another classic with a different ending and you can read more about it Here. Garnet Valley overcame emotional week to advance to second straight district title game appearance
Garnet Valley wins Second Consecutive District Championship
After losing in the opening round of the District 1 5A Playoffs Radnor turned around and played that Monday night against their arch-rival Lower Merion you can read about the game Here Haverford down Upper Darby 20-14 in their annual thanksgiving game contest. Speaking of Thanksgiving the night before Marple rallied from 21 points down to defeat Penncrest Making Chris Gicking the School’s Winningest Coach
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