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Season Outlook: Radnor has experience on its side

Coach: Tom Ryan (Seventh season)

2012 Record:  1-10 (1-9 Central League)

Opening Night:  Archbishop Carroll

2012 In Two Sentences:  On Nov. 2, Radnor defeated Lower Merion, 35-7, and thereby snapping a 20-game losing streak. The football gods smiled that day.

Looking Ahead:  The  Raiders have a few exciting skills players, such as RB/WR/LB/DB Chris Galloway, RB Jimmie Blake and WR Dan Kurtyka, all of whom can be productive pieces. The best of the bunch if Galloway, who is garnering a lot of interest, and moving him to RB is a good move by Tommy Ryan. The Raiders return four offensive linemen, including 6-2, 260-pounder James “Panda” Hong. Team should be able to win a few games this, but I’ve been saying that about Radnor for three years, so…

Players to Watch:  Galloway is very dangerous. Blake is a shifty RB, and a good complement, but Galloway is Radnor’s best player.

Coach’s Corner:  ”We were junior heavy last year.  We only had 12 seniors last year, so many of our current seniors either started or played a great deal,” Ryan said. “Our sophomores went 9-0 last year, which will give us a great deal of depth.  We have four returning offensive linemen and many returning skill players.  We need to cut down on turnovers and control the clock.   We expect to compete each week. “

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GameTimePA.com

Football: Springfield weathers storm to escape Radnor

By STEVE LIENERT

 RADNOR — Springfield's football team faced quite a few distractions leading up to its Central League tilt Thursday night.

With a big game against Ridley looming next week, a short week of practice for Radnor due to Yom Kippur and a vicious thunderstorm that caused an hour delay to the start of the game, the Cougars seemed off kilter from the start.

Radnor sensed a golden opportunity, but despite causing four Cougars' turnovers, it just couldn't generate enough offense in the second half as Springfield escaped Prevost Field with a 13-7 win.

"We expected a dogfight,' Springfield quarterback Charlie Carbin said. "We handled it well, did what coach asked us to do, which was win the second half, win the game. It looked sloppy, but we came away with the win and that's all that matters for now.'

On its opening possession, Springfield marched down to the Raiders' three-yard line but Carbin threw an interception that halted the drive. It was a harbinger of things to come.

"It was the game I thought it was going to be,' Springfield coach Tom Kline said. "I thought this was going to be a tough battle. You could also throw in a lot of things going on that both teams had to deal with.'

After forcing Radnor to punt, Carbin hit wide receiver Dillan Gilroy for a 31-yard touchdown pass to give Springfield an early 7-0 lead. But Radnor's defense stiffened and forced Springfield to punt on its next four possessions.

Meanwhile, Radnor's offensegot untracked long enough to tie the game. Midway through the second quarter, backup quarterback Brian McKeon found receiver Dan Kurtyka on a 36-yard touchdown strike to pull the Raiders even.

"The kids played their hearts out, every last one of them,' Radnor coach Tom Ryan said. "One of the coaches said it; their tank is empty. They left it all on the field. They played their hearts out and what else can you ask for from a high-school kid? We were literally down to the last play.'

Kline was impressed with Radnor's tenacity, especially on defense.

"They came out with a great game plan on defense,' Kline said. "We turned the ball over four times, which is something we cannot get away with. The good thing is, they responded at halftime to my challenge. I said ' Come out, (it's) zero-zero, let's win the second half and win the game.'

However, it was Springfield's defense that rose to the occasion in the second half, limiting Radnor to just two first downs.

"They can make a mistake out there, but they won't let it beat them down,' Kline said, referring to his defense. "They're going to be the cornerstone of our team all year.'

With just under 10 seconds left in the third quarter, Springfield caught lightning in a bottle when Carbin hit receiver James Harris on a screen play. Harris immediately slipped out of a would-be tackle and broke a 63-yard run for the go-ahead touchdown.

Radnor had two fourth-quarter drives that ventured into Springfield territory but each time the Cougars defense denied any semblance of points to get out of Radnor with a win.

"I think we looked a little too far ahead, which was bad,' Carbin said. "Our whole week of practice could have been better and it showed tonight but we still came out with a win.'

Radnor has no answer for Barlee, Upper Darby

By MATTHEW WATERS

UPPER DARBY — From the start of the game, it didn't look like the Royals came mentally prepared to play.

Upper Darby's opening kickoff resulted in an offside penalty and the makeup kick went out of bounds. Those mistakes quickly went out the window, however, as the Royals handed Radnor a 45-7 loss in a Central League matchup Friday night.

The Royals took over in the second quarter with three straight touchdowns from senior running back Cyrus Barlee. He scored on runs from 17 yards, 21 yards and 2 yards in just under five minutes to blow the game open.

Barlee finished with 77 yards on just eight runs as most of the offensive starters sat during the second half. He bowled over a few players at the second level but was nearly untouched on every run at the line, which let him get his legs pumping.

"My offensive line made big holes, man,' he said. "I can't ask for anything better.'

Despite starting with those penalties, the Royals (3-2, 2-1 Central) forced a three-and-out. Upper Darby then went an unconventional route to get onto the board first: Quarterback Chris Rossiter left the ball on the ground for Kevin White behind the center and White gobbled the ball up and rushed easily into the end zone to score on the fumblerooski.

Royals coach Rich Gentile said his team's ability to bounce back from those early mistakes and pull off a trick play for a touchdown said a lot about its leadership and composure.

"This is a great group of kids, I've said this all year,' he said. "It's been a long time since I've had a group of kids, and I mean from seniors down to sophomores, who are focused and all they want to do is win. Nothing seems to faze them.'

The Royals defense was a huge part of the game as well, forcing three turnovers — three on fumbles and one interception from Larry Mills — and sacking Leighton three times. The combination of forcing turnovers and committing no turnovers of their own gives Gentile and his kids plenty of confidence heading into their matchup against Ridley next week.

"If we don't turn the ball over and we play teams straight up, I think we can play with anybody,' he said. "I won't say beat anybody, we can play anybody.'

Radnor was able to bounce back early after that first score and tied the game up at 7-7 after a 41-yard touchdown from Chris Leighton to Jack Wilson. That was the end of the Raiders' offensive production for the night, however, as Upper Darby took over the game.

Leighton typically splits time with fellow sophomore Vinnie Kelly under center but took over after the very first play from scrimmage when Kelly was knocked out. It was the first of many tough turns for the Raiders all night. Kelly spent the rest of the night on the bench but is expected to recover.

"Upper Darby's tough, they play hard and physical and had a nice game plan for us,' Radnor coach Tom Ryan said. "They took it to us. It's tough playing the bigger schools but this is what we signed up for.'

Football: Garnet Valley thumps Radnor

By AL THOMPSON

 

 

RADNOR — Garnet Valley's offense exploded for 28 points in the second quarter en route to a 42-8 win over Radnor in a Central League matchup at Prevost Field last night.

The victory upped the Jaguars' record to 4-0 (3-0 Central) while the Raiders fell to 1-3 (1-2) on the season.

Radnor hung with Garnet Valley for the first quarter, trailing just 7-0. Vincent Razzano scored on a 17-yard run at the 8:47 mark to give the Jaguars the lead.

The Raiders looked like they were going to answer on a 13-play drive, but it fizzled at the Garnet Valley 45-yard line.

Radnor continued to hold its own, stopping the next Garnet Valley drive at its own 45.

Then the Jaguars offense woke up.

Led by its offensive line, Garnet Valley scored on its next four possessions, including a 27-yard TD pass from Christian Portale to Zach Nelson, a 1-yard run by Michael Bruette, a 20-yard dart to the end zone by Jake Irving and a 12-yard pass to Bruette from Portale.

The Jaguars led 35-0 at halftime.

"Our offensive line has been playing extremely well,' Garnet Valley head coach Mike Ricci said. "Our entire team has been playing well. We did a really nice job of executing on offense and defense as well. When you do that, good things happen. We are fortunate that we've been able to do that.'

Garnet Valley' offensive line is Shane Stabinski at center plus linemen Ted Field, Brandon Hitner, Connor Walsh, David Bertone and tight end John


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McGrogan.

"You always have to respect your opponent. You can't just overlook anyone,' Stabinski said. "Any team can beat you. You just have to work at practice and we do that every week.'

Ricci said keeping an even keel with his players is important, especially considering Garnet Valley's great start.

"We never get overconfident,' Ricci said. "We have so much respect for the teams that we play. We really try and work on what we can control and what we can control is us and our effort and our execution. We just try and focus on that, and that eliminates looking ahead or looking anywhere else. We have such respect for Radnor, they played a great game last week against Springfield, they had a good scheme on offense and defense tonight.'

Ricci singled out linebacker Tyler Shankle for leading the Jaguars defense. "He's been playing out of mind,' the coach said.

The Jaguars amassed 423 yards of total offense with Irving rushing for 87 yards on four carries and a score. Portale finished 5 of 7 for 85 yards and two TD passes.

Radnor head coach Tom Ryan said the drive that stalled in the first quarter did not take the wind out of his team's sails.

"I just think they are a very good football team,' Ryan said. "Our kids played hard as they've done all year. I'm proud of them, but Garnet is a very good football team. ... They are very physical. ... We gave it our best shot and we'll get ready for next week.'

Despite being down 35-0 after three quarters, the Raiders still fought to get on the scoreboard.

Vinnie Kelly hit Andrew Major over the middle for a 5-yard touchdown pass on fourth down and 7:20 left in the game. Ben Cohen took a bad snap and, on a perfect fire drill play, hit TJ Hockersmith for a two-point conversion making the score 35-8.

The touchdown was against Garnet Valley's backups but Ryan said it was the heart and effort he was looking for from his players.

"We didn't quit,' Ryan said. "This is a really good group I have, there's no quitters. We're excited to play Upper Darby next week.'

Major led the Raiders offense with four catches for 29 yards and the TD while Dan Kurtyka hauled in two of Kelly's six completions for 57 yards.

The Raiders' first three games were all very close: A five-point loss to Carroll, a seven-point win over Harriton and a six-point loss to Springfield.

Ryan said getting outplayed by one of the top teams in the entire Delaware Valley is not going to ruin the positive experience this season has been for his players so far.

"We're just trying to get better each week, have fun and play high school football,' Ryan said with a smile. "Out spirits aren't broken, we're ready to rock, we're ready to go next week.'

Football: Galloway, Radnor run past Harriton

By AL THOMPSON

 

 

RADNOR — Victories have been hard to come by for the Radnor football program over the past few years. When the Raiders are successful, it's something to cheer about and a positive to build on.

Radnor beat Harriton, 14-7, on a 36-yard run by Chris Galloway with 5:30 left in the fourth quarter of a Central League contest.

"It's good motivation,' the two-way player said after rushing for 198 yards on 27 carries and two touchdowns. "We definitely want to build on this. We're going to have a good week in practice and we're going to tough it out.'

On the defensive side of the ball Galloway came up with an interception one play after fumbling the ball on first down to start the second quarter.

Galloway, a senior, said his big day would not have been possible without help from his friends.

"It was a team effort,' Galloway said. "The team helped me do that. The offensive line blocked well. I got a little nicked up tonight but I was able to tough it out.'

Head coach Tom Ryan said he was just glad to get a win at Prevost Field in front of the home faithful.

"It's been a while since we won here,' Ryan said. "We had a great week of practice and that's really where it starts. We said let's take each play one at a time. Our goal was to get first downs. Vinnie Kelly, a sophomore quarterback, managed the game great, he checked to a lot of stuff, managed the game really well. I couldn't be more proud of the whole team. But especially the


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offensive line, they did a great job.'

The offensive line of James Hong, Eric Von Hertsenberg, Stuart Levenick, Ross Ebersole and junior center Alex Andersen, was solid all evening.

Radnor opened the scoring in the second quarter with a five-play drive that started from their own two-yard line. The big play of the drive was 91-yard sprint by Galloway that set up his two-yard scoring run. It looked like Galloway was headed to end zone but a hustling Harriton defender brought Galloway down at the five-yard line.

Andersen said the Raiders blockers wanted to make a statement not just this week but to set the tone for the season.

"We wanted to dominate,' said Andersen, who is listed at 6-2, 260 pounds. "We wanted to prove we are one of the better lines in this (Central) league. We have a lot of experience and we just wanted to pound them, wear them out. And it worked out, that's what we did.'

Andersen said Radnor has a player in Galloway who can have an impact on any position he plays, which is just about every position on the field.

"Galloway is one heck of a football player,' Andersen said. "He can block, he can run, he can catch, he can get interceptions. He can do it all. He's our go-to guy right now. He stepped up tonight.'

In addition to his offensive line, Ryan singled out junior fullback TJ Hockersmith and senior linebacker John D'lgnazio who were also pressed into extra duty due to some injuries to other starters.

"Harriton did a good job of stopping our perimeter,' Ryan said. "Then we had a backup fullback - TJ Hockersmith - pin a couple guard traps, we kept fighting and getting first downs. He did a great job.'

Harriton (0-2, 0-1) was led by Miron Hayes who rushed 16 times for 80 yards, Edward Byrd III chipped in for the Rams with 51 yards on eight carries.

Sam Schlichting also led Harrington with two catches for 23 yards including a seven-yard touchdown pass from Evan Rosen in the fourth quarter to tie the game. Rosen was 7 of 17 for 91 yards, a TD and three interceptions.

Rosen and Schlichting hooked up on a nifty 38-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter but the play was nullified by a holding call.

For Radnor (1-1, 1-0), Kelly had four runs for 20 yards, Ben Cohen had six rushes for 18 yards and Hockersmith totaled 20 yards on five carries.

Ryan said he thinks Harriton will be a team that will continue to play tough all season.

"We knew Harriton had a good team and tough kids,' Ryan said. "Coach (J. Justin) Mellor does a great job. He's a class act...they came to play.'

 

Football: Determined Penncrest defense keeps Radnor at bay

By MATTHEW De GEORGE

 

 

RADNOR — A week after a complete dismantling at the hands of Garnet Valley, Penncrest wasn't in the best of moods when it arrived at Radnor High School Friday.

Still carrying the frustration doled out so liberally by the Jaguars a week ago, the Lions defense reasoned that best way to avoid a repeat was to take a little of that frustration out on the field.

The result was a long evening for the Radnor offense.

On a night when Penncrest linebacker Joe Volciak was arguably the most productive person in Radnor's backfield, the Lions rediscovered their stifling defensive ways in a 30-7 Central League win.

"We were playing angry out there today,' linebacker Andrew Benecke. "We were ticked off, so we wanted to come out and play our best. We didn't play our best last week.'

You could excuse a few bruised egos for Penncrest (6-1, 5-1), just seven days removed from getting run through for 47 points by Garnet Valley, 14 more than it had given up in the first five games of the season combined. The Lions held firm Friday, though, limiting the Raiders to just 28 yards on the ground on 24 attempts and 61 yards of total offense.

Part of the reason was the ability of the likes of Volciak, Benecke and their fellow Lions to get off the ball and get after Radnor's quarterback duo of Chris Leighton and Brian McKeon. They recorded five sacks, two each from Volciak and Diego Zubieta and one for Benecke, while Volciak added several other pressures


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and batted down two passes.

It was quite the way to regroup after Garnet Valley.

"After a tough loss, we just wanted to get back on a winning streak,' Volciak said. "We just had to put our heads together and play hard.'

About the only time Penncrest looked vulnerable was just after a halftime break from which Radnor (1-6, 1-5) came roaring out. Leighton broke free on a 43-yard scamper, and the next play, Chris Galloway ran the final 10 yards for the Raiders' only score.

When Galloway picked off Penncrest quarterback Danny Fisher three plays later and returned it 32 yards to the Penncrest 15, the Raiders appeared to have a chance to cut further into a 17-point halftime deficit. But the drive stalled, thanks in large part to stops of running plays for little to no gain on the first three downs by Zubieta, Volciak and John George.

"We just needed to clean up some things on offense,' Galloway said. "We needed to get back into our comfort zone and push it to get it going. ... I feel like that gave us the momentum, but we just had to finish. I don't know why we didn't.'

The Penncrest defense limited Radnor to minus-4 yards in the first half and forced two turnovers, including an interception by Brent Roller, to give its offense plenty of room to operate. Most of the damage in the first half was done on the ground as the day's rain continued before clearing out at halftime. Justin Batipps carried seven times on the Lions' opening drive, a nine-play march that Batipps finished with a one-yard dive.

The kicking game helped manufacture the half's remaining points for Penncrest. Galloway muffed a punt early in the second quarter that was pounced on by Angelo Lochetto at the 9. Two plays later, Fisher snuck in for a four-yard score.

A pair of Radnor pass interference calls on the final drive of the half set up Penncrest for a 26-yard field goal as time expired, and Nate Hughes split the uprights to send the teams to half with Penncrest leading 17-0.

Once Penncrest weathered Radnor's brief surge, the passing game was able to benefit from the space opened by the early running success of Batipps (16 carries, 99 yards) and others. Fisher found Chris Coughlin for a 33-yard score that helped set up Fisher's one-yard scoring dive in the third quarter. Then Fisher hooked up with LaVaughn Frame on a 42-yard post route with 6:29 left to end any hopes of a Radnor comeback.

"It was raining, so we had to run the ball a lot more,' Fisher said. "But we were running it really well throughout the game, and it set up the passing game. ... They were blitzing a lot, so we did a lot of play action and that worked for us.'

Football: Radnor wins first of what teams hope will be long rivalry

By AL THOMPSON
RADNOR — That Radnor was going to beat Valley Forge Military Academy last night at Prevost Field was expected by both sides.

The score, 35-8, was about what you would expect when a Central League team plays a program that is starting from scratch.

Valley Forge Military Academy dropped its prep school program along with playing fifth-year seniors after last season and entered the PIAA in 2013 with an independent schedule and just 24 players on its roster.

According to head coach Paul Noon, the Trojans plan to go back to the Bicentennial Athletic League eventually — the league it belonged to in the 1970s before switching to a prep school format — but for now the school is building relationships and rivalries with an all new schedule that so far has produced an 0-7 record.

"The school decided to go with a different model,' Noon said. "We want to start great rivalries with schools like Radnor in the area. It's a whole rebuilding process. We only have three kids starting from last year's team. We have a whole new coaching staff, all new kids ... a lot of kids who never played before. We're happy, they keep fighting, they come to practice every day and they never quit. It's all I can ask for.'

Radnor head coach Tom Ryan said he is happy to start what he hopes is an annual event with the military school just a few miles away.

"We knew in advance their cadets were going to be here, their band was fabulous, it was so exciting having that element of their tradition and everything right here,' said Ryan, whose overall record improved to 2-7 (1-6 Central League). "The kids played tough, it was even better that we won, but the whole atmosphere was fantastic. We're going to try and do this every year.'

Valley Forge has a storied past with football alumni that include the late Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf (Class of 1952) and no less than 15 current and former NFL players. That includes Larry Fitzgerald, a wide receiver with the Arizona Cardinals (2002), and former NFL players such as Minnesota Vikings defensive end Chris Doleman (1981), cornerback Aaron Beasley (1992) of the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Jeffrey Otah (2006) and linebacker Gary Stills (1995), who played for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Most of the Raiders knew of Fitzgerald but were unaware of the long football history of the Trojans, but they looked forward to starting a rivalry with their neighbor.

Chris Galloway dominated with 137 yards on 21 carries and three touchdowns. The senior running back also caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Chris Leighton. Jimmy Blake rushed for 81 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown.

Senior blockers Eric Von Hertsenberg and James Hong talked about how important it was to get off to a good start and how Galloway makes their job easier.

"We have a great back back there,' Von Hertsenberg said. "You know if you get your block he is hitting that hole full steam and get yards no matter what. He is that quick.'

Said Hong, "It was really important to get off to a fast start, it was huge. In past games we've been slow to start. Our main goal was to come out ready to fire on all cylinders. And we did.'

Galloway said the fumble recovery the Raiders came up with on the Trojans' first possession set the tone for the night.

"That fumble recovery we had really started everything,' Galloway said. "That got us going, got us pumped up. We knew we had to win this game, this was a must-win game for us.'

Galloway said he is sorry to see his high school career coming to a close in a few weeks.

"It went too fast,' said Galloway, who said he would like to play for West Chester and coach Billy Zwann or the Towson Tigers at the next level.

Valley Forge quarterback Aaron Haley scored on an 8-yard run in the closing seconds of the game, Kwami Evans barreled into the end zone for the two-point conversion.

Moon said he knows Valley Forge with take its lumps the first few years. The school he said has an ambitious plan to become a great high school football program.

"We knew we were going to struggle,' Noon said. "However, everyone is 110 percent all in from the entire administration they all been part of it, they've been very helpful. We believe athletics is something that brings Valley Forge Military Academy to the forefront. In four years when we're bringing kids in from all over the place to play at Valley Forge, we expect top be a powerhouse, like a St. Joe's Prep, even bigger. We feel like we have the facilities, the administration backing to be very successful. It's just going to take time. But we're excited.'

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