Where There's a Will
Willie McGonigle is a 2004 graduate of now defunct Our Lady of Charity Elementary School, in Brookhaven. After his days at Charity he attended Cardinal O'Hara, graduating in 2008. While at O'Hara he was manager of the football program, specializing in stats. He currently resides in Brookhaven and serves as stat man for Springfield Delco. You may reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Episcopal Academy 21, Haverford School 14
Is there anything better in sports then beating your arch rival to end the season? For the Episcopal Academy Churchmen the answer is yes. Not only did they knock off the Fords for the first time since 2007, but they also did on HS' field with the Fords' student section no more than 5 yards away from their bench. They also closed a perfect campaign and claimed their first outright Inter-Ac title since 1982. The story of today was Sr QB Adam Strouss, who didn’t use his arm to hurt the Fords but his legs to the tune of 194 yards on 33 carries, most of them on design-read option. Strouss really bloomed this year under the direction of offensive coordinator Dave Gueriera, who came over from Harriton where he had another QB like Strouss in the form of Pat Moriarty. The Grunts leading the way for Strouss were Dante Addona, Mike Watkins, John Minnicozzi, Jack Florio and Robbie Ibarguen. The Fords struck first when Brendan Burke connected Noah Lejman from 32 yards out. Entering the game one thing that no one was able to do against the Churchmen was put up double digits but on the second play of the second quarter the Fords almost did when Coach Michael Murphy send out his dangerous weapon at kicker, Aron Morgan, to attempt a 48-yard field goal. Morgan showed off his leg strength, but just missed it. Morgan would miss two more on the day from 45 and 46. The Churchmen took advantage of the missed field goal by driving 80 yards on nine plays before Strouss connected with Evan Butts for 6 yards. On the ensuing Fords drive they got to double digits when Philip Poquie darted 39 yards for the touchdown. That lead was short-lived as on the ensuing drive Strouss sneaked his way in from a yard out. From there both teams turned the game over to the defenses and both responded. The Churchmen’s D was led by Butts, who had 11 tackles, while Terrell Smith contributed an interception while Matt Galambos proved to be a workhorse for the Fords. Not only was he in on a team-high 11 tackles, but he also carried the ball 17 times. Hannibal Mathis added a pick for the Fords. It was nice to see former O’Hara players turned EA assistants Nate Higgins and Scott Taylor along with Rich Dominico. I was disappointed that I couldn’t get to see Christian Giubilato -- his brother, Mark, is a friend of mine -- because the Inter-Ac had him sit out this year as a varsity transfer.
O’Hara 13, Ryan 7
I'M BACK!! Yes, it's true. Big Will is back on the trail. After a few years of semi-retirement and lots of begging from Ted I decided to return. Probably no surprise to anybody that my return game involved O’Hara game, and not just any O’Hara game but one down in Ocean City. Hard to believe that this was the eighth time that O’Hara has opened down the shore. Since my retirement the Lions picked up a new opponent for the Boardwalk Bowl and that’s former Red Division foe Archbishop Ryan. Last season the Raiders fell victim to an O’Hara comeback, losing by 24-21. The scoring got started on the game’s opening drive when Dashawn “Day-Day” Darden connected with Joe DeMaio for a 25-yard touchdown. In the second quarter, Darden used his feet to put the Lions up 13-0. From that point on the Lions turned the game over to their defense and, boy, does this year's version of the Lions' defense remind of some the ones from my days at O’Hara. For those that may not know, during the time I was an O’Hara student we always had a tough defense. The man calling the D for the Lions is a member of the '04 Championship team: Mike Marotta. Marotta called a great game, only allowing the Raiders to gain a total of 140 yards. The only blemish that kept the Lions from getting the shutout came on the first play of the fourth quarter when Jeremiah Agrio punched it in from two yards out. I can say without doubt that if the Lions defense continues to play like they did on Saturday that will end up with few shutouts.
Few observations: In his first game at LB Mike Moriconi had 11 tackles, with two for losses . . . Ryan brought a nice crowd with them, which is always a good thing to see. This was the first time I got to see Frank McArdle coach since his first season and I can tell that he’s done a great job in getting the program turned around and I can see them in the running for a playoff spot . . . Jr. K Steve Weyler showed his incredible leg strength, booting one kickoff out of the end zone. It almost looked like the ball went through the uprights. He’s definitely a weapon that’s going to help the Lions this year . . . Lamont Veal appears to be the next threat in the Lions backfield with the potential to bust one at any time . . . For my welcome back game I was joined but his royal nutness, Puck. I’m more then certain that we drove Daily Times Sports Editor Rob Parent crazy with our play by play. Well, that’s all for this time. Tune back next week when I check in with a report on the Carroll-Bonner game, provided I get done umpiring in time to make it.