By: Alec Eskin
This game was one for the ages. Regular season record on the line, playoff seeding up for grabs, and most importantly, the top spot in the Central League. Garnet Valley was playing Springfield in what has been called a rubber match by many. Both teams have been 18-1 in the regular season for the past two years, and their only losses have occurred on their own turfs (or grass in Springfield’s case). Before the game, I was personally on the field to witness its soft, mushy condition. During the game, the defense on both sides of the ball had the advantage due to the plays moving in slow motion and players not being able to plant their feet. There were two kicks in the game, one by both teams. Springfield attempted a 39 yards field goal, but it went about 15 feet to the left; then, Garnet Valley attempted an extra point, hitting a lineman in the back. Even though normally both kickers perform well, the condition of the field prevented them from planting their feet. Here is a recap of the game . . .
The Springfield offense is considered one of the best in the state and has a Quarterback by the name of Jack Peninska. He has 10 touchdown passes, had 2463 passing yards heading into the game, and only had two interceptions. In the game, he had 40 pass attempts for 21 completions (%52.5) and only had 269 passing yards. In the game, Garnet Valley’s strong defense held Springfield to 260 total yards (negative eight rushing yards). They were able to hold Springfield to only 10 first downs and had two turnovers on a fumble. Lastly, the Springfield Cougars had two drives that went in the red zone, but they came away with no points on both drives. One drive ended with a missed 39 yard field goal, and the other ended with a fumble inside Garnet Valley’s five yard line that was recovered by the Jaguars at the three yard line. This defense had to hold the Cougars to less than a touchdown, and they played a huge part in the Jags crucial win over the Cougars. Now the offensive side of the ball . . .
The offense had a tough time due to the terrible conditions on the field, based on running the ball and creating confusion in the backfield for the defense. The problem was that because of the conditions of the field, the plays were developing more slowly and allowed the Springfield defense to contain the offense. Also, none of the players could plant their feet in the ground and cut in or out, so if one of the running backs or the Quarterback, Cole Palis, were to do that, they slipped most of the time on the mushy grass. The offense had 239 total yards, which may sound like a lot but is actually a small number compared to previous games. Finally, the offense was able to get 14 first downs. In this game, Springfield outgained the Jaguars on offense 239 to 290 yards. However, since Garnet Valley was more clutch on offense and defense, they were still able to find a way to win. What I have learned from all of my years of watching football was that good teams always discover methods to win in the end, regardless of the length or effort it took to achieve this goal, and I see that level of accomplishment in the Garnet Valley football team.
Garnet Valley’s next game is at home against Lower Merion, and it is “mom’s night” as well. This should be a fun one, and I will also be writing a recap of this game. Thanks for reading!