It sure wasn’t pretty between the penalties, muffed punts and fumbles and Haven had their own interceptions and sacks and defense managed to keep the Tigers out of the end zone even after possessing the ball for 10 minutes in the first quarter. More importantly the boys in black and silver got the win and the shutout beating a previously undefeated Marple Newtown team, 10-0. The win moved the Panthers up to the #3 seed spot in the PIAA District 2, 5A playoff race. The top 16 teams go to the playoffs and the top 8 teams play at home for at least the first game!
The Springfield Cougars are coming into George L. King Field this Friday night and it will seem like a home game for both teams. The Springfield High School is under construction and their home field is being relocated so they are playing all their home games at George L. King. However, this is a Strath Haven home game.
The Cougars are 2-4, managing to beat Lower Merion and Radnor. They squeaked out a victory against Radnor (10-7) and crushed Lower Merion (35-0). Our only common opponents so far have been a loss to Ridley (22-6) and Haverford (34-7).
Springfield’s wins and there competitive efforts are driven by running back Jack Clark (#34). He has speed, breakaway strength and an ability to see openings in lines a split second before they exist. Stop Clark and you have a good chance to beat Springfield. Clark had 28 carries against Lower Merion for 152 yards and a touchdown. He had a negative yardage play only once during the night. Clark also plays on defense and seems to be everywhere on the field. No doubt the supporting players with the Cougars make a major contribution to Clark’s success but the key for the Panthers will be keeping Clark in check on both sides of the ball.
It is not unexpected that, during a 10 game season, a team will have a sloppy night. Let’s hope last week’s game was our turn. Mistakes, lack of blocking and a myriad of errors was hopefully all folded in to one difficult night of football and is now behind the Panthers.
Springfield isn’t the powerhouse they might have been in past years but they were beat decisively last week by Haverford (we know the feeling) and like a cougar who has been prodded and angered, it can be a very dangerous opponent. The Panthers have to play clean football, no turnovers and hold their line blocks. Our backs like to look for the openings and change directions to take advantage which makes it a bit more difficult for lineman who think they know where the ball is going only to find a running back riding right up behind them.
Defense has been a strong point for Haven and probably saved the game last week. MN was given too many opportunities to score in the first half which may have proved disasterous had the defense not played as stellar a game as they did. More of the same please.
Kick-off is this Friday at 7:00 PM. If you can’t make the game you can always listen to our broadcast right here at Havenfootball.net. Our broadcast will begin at 6:45. The game will be available on our archives within a few hours after the game concludes. You can also check in on Twitter for score updates.