By Ruthanne Morris
Ahmir Gordon set the tone early with a bone-crushing hit on the Ford’s first carry. The Panthers defense held on to force a Haverford punt after three-and-out. Sean Daly fielded the ball at midfield to put Haven on the offense. The Panthers moved the ball well with rushes by Jon Morris and Daly to gain a couple of first downs but the drive was spoiled by a fumble recovered by the Fords.
The Panthers defense again came up big with another strong tackle for a loss by Gordon. Chris Rosini broke up a pass that would have resulted in the first down and the Fords were forced to punt again.
Haven again had trouble holding onto the ball and fumbled, resulting in a loss of yards that forced a punt. The first quarter ended in a scoreless deadlock.
The Fords upped their passing game executing well from the shotgun. Facing 3rd and one from the Haven 25-yard line, with some misdirection and hard running, the Fords sprinted into the end zone. They converted for 2 points to take an 8-0 lead.
Gordon returned the kickoff to the Haven 42 showing his speed and agility. He was also the target of a 22-yard pass reception from Ryan Morris on the drive but Morris was later sacked and the Panthers were forced to punt. The Ford’s drive was highlighted by a 42-yard pass but the Haven defense put up a wall. On 4th and 15, the long snap went high and Haven took over with a short field on the Ford’s 42. Haven drove for a first down but the half ended with the Fords leading 8-0.
The 3rd quarter began with a Panther drive again thwarted by a fumble recovered by Haverford. The Fords ate up a lot of clock, digging out the steady running game and scoring with a QB keeper. Tony Koskinen shut down the 2-point conversion attempt and the score stood at 14-0.
Gordon again showcased his lightning speed on the kick return, picking up the ball inside the 5-yard line and battling his way into Ford’s territory for a hard-fought 60-yard return. But the Panthers could not move the ball and were forced to punt.
The Fords kept the ball moving despite two holding penalties. A 58-yard pass got the Fords to the 2 yard line, and they scored on the next play. A face mask penalty charged to Haven gave Haverford a second chance at the two-point conversion, which they executed successfully. Fords took a 22-0 lead, which they would not relinquish.