One of the reasons we love football is, as in most sports, it can have very unpredictable outcomes. It doesn’t always come down to simply the one who scores the most points. Last week Haven rushed for 255 yards (80 in the air) and had an average rushing gain of almost 5 yards per play. They possessed the ball for 50% of the game and ran a solid 51 offensive plays. They had one fumble which went out of bounds and no penalties and no turnovers. They scored 21 points. And lost the game! A similar effort against every team in the Central League would have translated into a win (except maybe Haverford).
We know we’re just putting a different spin on a tough one-sided loss but sometimes strong, solid efforts are simply negated by stronger, bigger efforts by better teams. We found out just how good the Garnet Valley Jags are and we wish them the best of luck in the upcoming 6A playoffs (they are currently rated as the 6th seed). We’ll be watching them in their playoff run.
The Panthers are traveling, once again, up to Harriton High School to take on the Lower Merion Aces who are having the most difficult of years. They are 0-9 and it has not been pretty or close. The Aces have generally been kept below 14 points on the board, have scored 7 or less points in six games. Their roster contains only six seniors. These young men practice just as hard and put in as many hours as every other team. They go out and do their best. It takes a special group of people to “keep the faith” and keep working at improving as you keep facing losses. Our hats are off to these young men for their efforts and perseverance and we really would love to see them win a game……………but not this week!
Haven showed some great passing last week and #4 Jack Ryder was on the money more often than not. We loved the quick outside passes to #6 Jarvis Adams and really wanted to see more of it against Garnet Valley. Both Adams and #10 Ibo Pio can catch the ball and make something happen in the open field and we believe this is the type of added dimension that can help Haven in the playoffs. Long passes, like the 30 yard beauty to Pio, are great fun and so dramatic but the four completions to Adams accounted 50 total yards and an average of over 12 yards per catch! A successful pass attack also forces linebackers to cheat to the receiver for coverage and make him move his focus away from the tackle-to-tackle area which can open up the holes for the running game.
Haven’s defense took a beating last week. GV was simply a better team. It happens. Let’s lick our wounds and get ready to play Friday night. Don’t take a Lower Merion win for granted. The Aces are desperate for a win and knocking off Strath Haven would be the perfect way to end a tough year. Play your best football!
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 and video updates.