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Lions Sports

Huck's Game Summary: O'Hara vs. Haverford School

OHara Varsity vs Haverford School on 9/8/2012 11:00:00 AM
Posted Sunday, September 09, 2012 by www.tedsilary.com
 SEPT. 8

O’Hara 13, Haverford School 12

I have to be honest, but I did my share of head-scratching in the second half of this game. Why, you might ask? I just didn’t love the way Haverford School went about protecting its 12-0 lead. Now I’m not going to pretend to know HS’s personnel as well as the coaches who run the program do. But in my opinion they just put the ball in air far too much and allowed precious time to remain on the clock in the process. O’Hara was frustrated and unable to sustain drives for most of the day. The Lions had 8 offensive possessions from the end of the first quarter to the beginning of the fourth. Six of them ended with punts. One other with the conclusion of the first half. And the other on a poor snap over the punter’s head that lost 30 yards. OK, to back up what I’m saying let’s start here with the faulty O’Hara snap while out of punt formation. When the dust had settled the Fords took over at the Lions’ 15. Roughly 30 seconds remained in the third quarter. Going into the wind, it just made sense to me that HS at least run the ball once to change fields, and then have the wind at its back for a potential FG attempt. Plus, they had a 12-0 lead with the fourth quarter moments away. Makes sense, right? Well, not only did they toss an incomplete a pass on first down, but second and third down also produced misfires. Mix in two procedure calls and the Fords went from the 15 yard line on first down to the 26 on fourth. Even though the wind wasn’t constantly steady throughout, it was blowing quite hard at this point. The Fords decided that a 43-yard attempt by quality sr. K Aron Morgan was too much to ask. Instead, they called somewhat of a trick play where the holder flipped to Morgan. He managed 8 yards, but fell well short of a first down. Oh, yeah, it was still the 3rd quarter. Not sure why they let this happen. Morgan had already creamed two field goals in the other direction and blasted two kickoffs to the back of the end zone. When O’Hara took over it was able to notch two first downs but eventually stalled at its 48. So, it appeared that HS had survived that sequence after the Lions’ punted. But I’ll be damned, the head-scratching started again. From their 20-yard line Fords’ sr. QB Stephen Fitzgeraldmisfired on a pass on first down. Then, on some type of bootleg/rollout play he found himself in a chase. In trying to runaway from O’Hara’s sr. FB/DB Tarron Dunbar, the ball slipped out of his grasp around the 10. With multiple Lions in the area it was impossible for disaster not to strike. And that’s exactly what happened when jr. LB Nolan Cummings fell on the ball after it had been kicked into the end zone for O’Hara’s first touchdown of the day with 8:24 left in the game. HS would gain some brief momentum, and I do mean brief, when sr. WR/DB Kip Traviano returned the ensuing kickoff 46 yards to the Lions’ 40-yard line. However, on first down jr. LB Nick Moriconi jarred the ball away from a Fords’ ballcarrier and teammate jr. Nick Lucchetta pounced on it at the 45. From here, O’Hara used eight runs to cover the necessary yardage and take the lead. The finale was provided by jr. RB/WR/DB Thadduis Smith on a 23-yard scamper around the right corner. The two-point attempt failed, but O’Hara took had the lead (13-12) with 3:34 left. HS would start their final drive at their 24. On back-to-back plays Fitzgerald found sr. WR/DB Chris Morgan (4-55) for 16 & 11 yards to put the ball at the Lions’ 49. O’Hara would go offsides to move it to the 44-yard line and the Fords still had a first down. But from here they would get no further on four plays. The sequence is as follows: Incomplete pass from Fitzgerald with Dunbar on coverage. A run of no gain and minus-1 by Fitzgerald on 2nd and 3rd down. Stops were made by Cummings on the first one, then Cummings teamed with jr. DL J Kraiza on the next. On fourth down, Fitzgerald looked for star sr. TE/LB Matt Galambos (Pitt) in the middle of the field at around the thirty, but Smith supplied good coverage and helped see that the pass fell harmlessly to the ground. Earlier in the game HS built their 12-0 lead behind a 74-yard run by soph. RB/DB Philip Poquie (9-93) and a pair of FGs by Morgan (26 & 23 yards). Poquie, who suffered a major knee injury before his freshman year ever began, again dinged the knee early in the 3rd quarter and was forced to the pine. I’m sure this had something to do with HS’s unwillingness to run the ball more often in the second half. Ok, how about some numbers? Smith paced all O’Hara rushers with 97 yards on 13 carries. Jr. QB Dashawn "Day-Day" Darden was busy and passed 18-for-27, for 142 yards. That’s a very good percentage and a lot of completions for a HS game, but the Lions rarely worked the ball downfield. His longest completion went for just 14 yards. Smith (5-34) and jr. WR Chris Colvin (5-36) were the most active, while jr. RB Lamont Veal (4-36) chipped in. Defensively, I left impressed with sr. DB Joe DeMaio, who displayed a play-for-keeps mentality and finished with 7 tackles and 2 pass defends. To my recollection DeMaio didn’t play in the fourth quarter due to severe cramps. Cummings added 8 stops. Sr. LB Andrew Houtmann recovered a fumble (Forced by Dunbar). Colvin hustled for 5 stops. For the Fords, Fitzgerald ended 9-for-24, for 114 yards. On defense, Galambos was very impressive with 10 tackles (9 solos). Sacks were spilt by sr. DB Hannibal Mathis (10 total tackles) and sr. DB Darren Wesson, as well as soph DT LJ Barlow and jr. LB Joseph Raymond (5 tackles). C. Morgan added 7 tackles, while Taviano mixed in five. Jr. RB/DB Anthony Hill got a chunk of a punt to help set up one of Morgan’s FGs.  O’Hara out-gained HS 277-204. The teams combined for 116 plays.

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