Another very strong ground game performance by Strath Haven last week against a struggling Penncrest squad who held Haven to a no-score first quarter and then matched scores before the Panthers started to pull away at the end of the 2nd quarter heading into the half with a 21-7 lead.
How dominating was the running game? How about 387 yard with two Panthers going over 100 yards each for the night. Jarvis Adams ended the evening with 147 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns and the longest run of the night at 71-yards while Matt Shuler had 126 yards on 14 carries and one touchdown. Quarterback Jack Ryder did make three pass attempts (two of them right on the money) but receivers couldn’t find the handle so he had no completions.
The Haven defense did a heck of a job as well holding the running game to just over 100 yards. The gave up more passing yards that they would have liked but were able to keep Penncrest out of the end zone all night except for their one score in the 2nd quarter.
Haven will face their biggest challenge of this season when they travel to Havertown to take on the 4-1 Haverford Fords. Up until their loss last week to Garnet Valley, the Fords had managed to devastate the teams they played. They have a well-balance offense and defense. They can hurt you on either side of the ball.
Jimmy Wright #20 is their go-to guy on the ground. He has managed to go over 200 yards in multiple games this year and even managed 107 yards in last week’s loss to GV. Stop Wright and you most likely stop the Fords. Thomas Wright #11 leads the Fords at quarterback and he can be dangerous when he goes to the air. His favorite receivers are Casey Gilroy #8, Daniel Reimer #33 nd Christopher Dempsey #13.
Haven has a powerful running game with multiple backs who can run effectively but as they found out against Marple Newtown, if you can stuff the box and punch back as hard as you get punched the Haven running backs can be stopped. The Fords have great punching ability and are more than willing to stack the box and shut down the run by simply overwhelming the offensive line. The only effective strategy to defeat that is to pass often and successfully to get the Fords to back up and defend the pass thus giving the ‘O’ line the advantage and clearing some running lanes.
Long passes on third and long will be effectively covered by Haverford’s backs so the passing game will need to be a little more imaginative and deadly. The Ford’s running backs will not be brought down with arm tackling and grabbing. Solid hits and gang tackling will be the order of the day.
The game is this Saturday, November 28th at Haverford High School with a 11 AM kick-off. This game, as are all games, are closed to the public. You can listen to the game right here at Havenfootball.net and/or watch it on the Haverford’s high school channel on You Tube. We’ll post the address on game day!