Philadelphia High School Football
A Look at Malvern Prep's Thanksgiving Games . . .
joining the Inter-Ac League for football in 1950, Malvern Prep has been the only
team to play games at Thanksgiving time. The Friars have gone 27-6-1 against assorted foes.
This page includes results, stories, special lists and boxscores/scoring.
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Going Out in Serious Style . . .
By Ted Silary
"I didn't think about how I was having a perfect
half," Conners said. "I just wanted to keep bringing us back. What
Joe did was no surprise. All year he did that."
Conners finished with eight carries for 42 yards. James Connelly (13-87) and Neil Willis (11-42) helped out. For
Prep, Mike Yeager exploded for 193 yards and two touchdowns, including a 15-yarder to tie the game with 5:48 left,
on 28 carries. Mark Giubilato accounted for 154 yards of rushing/passing, along with a score in each category.
This sweetheart of a game featured 1,106 all-purpose yards, with SJ Prep the winner at 584.
Conners finished the season 70-for-96 (72.9 percent) for 1,509 yards (15.7 per attempt) and 19 TDs. Price turned
36 catches into 939 yards (26.1) and 13 scores.
As always in recent years, Pellegrini has heard the rumors that he's thinking about retiring. His record in 42 seasons
- including 1967-69 at long-gone St. Thomas More, his alma mater, and 1970-77 at SJ Prep, where current boss Gil
Brooks was one of his players - is 278-144-9. He's 219-86-8 at Malvern.
"Not sure yet," he said. "Have to think about it."
Conners, meanwhile, has not come to terms with the season's end. And he's not alone.
"After the game," he said, "we were all talking about how we wish we could keep on playing. But when you think
about what we did . . . It's pretty humbling."
This story was written in 1997 after
Malvern's Chris Downs was one of two
players to break the city record for rushing yards in one season . . .
By Ted Silary
Bill Foley's record for the most yards rushing in a season by a city leagues football player hung tough for almost
But when it was broken, there was a noise you wouldn't believe.
The reason: Two guys did the smashing.
At 58th and Elmwood yesterday, Paul Northern, a 6-1, 195-pound senior tailback, rushed 24 times for 157 yards
and four touchdowns as John Bartram spanked West Catholic, 32-0, cutting its deficit in the just-resumed series
to 17-3-0 and extending West's losing streak to 22 games.
Northern's final season numbers were 230 carries for 2,154 yards and 24 TDs (26 TDs total), which meant he
comfortably surpassed Foley's total of 2,116 yards, accomplished in 1968.
Ah, but there was an assault taking place elsewhere . . .
At Radnor High, Chris Downs , a 5-9, 175-pound senior halfback, rushed 36 times for 308 yards and six
touchdowns as Malvern Prep humbled Archbishop Carroll , 41-14, raising its lead in the Thanksgiving part of the
series to 11-2-1.
Downs's final season numbers were 268 carries for 2,198 yards and 29 TDs (31 total), which meant he
surpassed Foley and Northern.
Career totals for each: Downs, 503 carries, 4,045 yards, 50 TDs (54 total); Northern, 384 carries, 3,313 yards,
37 TDs (40 total).
When Bartram coach Frank ``Roscoe'' Natale presented Northern the game ball in a brief, postgame ceremony
in Southwest Philadelphia, he had no idea Downs had wreaked so much havoc in Delaware County.
"After our last game, I saw I only led him by about 100 yards,'' Northern said. "That this could happen was in
he back of my mind. I don't know him, but I've seen him run on TV and he looks like a heck of a player. I wish
him good luck in the future.''
Downs is only the second Inter-Ac player to score six TDs in a game. He joins Germantown Academy's Matt
Blewitt, who accomplished the feat last year as a junior in a league game against Haverford School. All six TDs
also came on rushes.
Downs also broke city leagues season records for total TDs and points with 31 and 190, respectively. The TD
mark of 29 belonged to Frankford's Eddie Gaskins, now a senior (in 1996), and St. John Neumann's Len Nelson
(in '83). Nelson owned the points standard (180).
"It was a great senior year and a great way to go out,'' said Downs, who departed with 10:44 remaining.
Northern came out of his game 14 seconds later.
"There wasn't a plan to do this,'' said Malvern coach Gaspare ``Gamp'' Pellegrini. "We actually wanted to
throw coming in because we figured Carroll would have nine guys in the box. But the wind was so brutal, Shaun
Gallagher couldn't even throw a spiral and he's a big, strong kid. A couple of punts went backwards.
"Chris was great the whole time, but he was amazing on our drive at the end of the first half. We drove 70
yards in a minute, 50 seconds. His TD run [a 26-yarder] with 5 seconds left was a thing of beauty. He zigged,
zagged, sped, slowed. He broke four or five tackles, at least. I turned around to my guys and said, `I hope you're
taking notes. We'll never see anything like this again.' ''
This story was written in 1984 after Malvern won a showdown for No. 1 in
the city rankings . . .
By Ted Silary
The program for yesterday's Malvern Prep-Archbishop Carroll showdown for No. 1 in the Daily News City
Top 10 listed Mike Augsberger, Malvern 's backup quarterback, as a senior.
A prophetic mistake, as it turned out.
The 5-10, 170-pound sophomore was inserted for only one play as Malvern prevailed, 19-15, at Villanova
Stadium on a touchdown by starting quarterback Bill Lockhart with 2:34 remaining, but he performed like a
senior and then some.
After No. 1 Carroll took a 15-12 lead with 4:30 left on Brian Corrigan's 3- yard pass to Ed Barrow and soph
Dave Cameron's conversion run, Don O'Brien's low kickoff caromed off a lineman and No. 2 Malvern set up
shop at its own 45.
Lockhart kept for a 4-yard gain then asked himself, "How come the stands keep spinning around? How come
I have no idea where I am?"
With that, Augsberger entered the game and fired a slant-in to John Rogers for a 17-yard gain.
Thanks, kid. Time for more splinters.
"When the injury happened, somebody told me to get loose," Augsberger said. "Then they gave me the play
and coach (Gaspare 'Gamp' Pellegrini) said, 'Hey, do you even know how to run this? ' I said, 'Yeah, I can run
it. It's not too hard.'
"You're always hoping you'll play, but you don't want it to be because somebody else gets hurt. It is nice to
feel as though I was a part of this win, though, even if it was just for one play."
Augsberger's pass was followed by Paul Simpson's 15-yard run, runs of 3 and 15 by Dennis Morgan (18
carries, 86 yards) and Lockhart's sneak from the 1.
"I got my bell rung pretty good, but I knew I'd be going right back in," Lockhart said. "It was great to see
Mike come in and continue the drive like he did."
Ordinarily, a second-string quarterback thrust into that type of situation would have been asked to do nothing
more than hand off. Perhaps just try a no- risk sneak.
"We ran that play because it was the next one we wanted to run," Pellegrini said. "If you waste a play, maybe
you're looking at third-and-5, and you're also wasting valuable time. Augsberger has talent. We had confidence
Carroll 's last possession was aborted as Chuck Antell made an interception on Malvern 's 37. With that, the
Friars collected the "Friar-Pat Trophy" as well as the invisible trophy we don't award to the No. 1 team in the
three city leagues.
"I'm sure both teams went into this game with a lot of respect for each other - and came out of it with even
more," Pellegrini said. " Carroll doesn't do a whole lot of different things on offense, but what they do, they
do well. We had to play good defense" - Craig Johnston stopped Chris Dransfield for no gain on
fourth-and-goal from the 1 late in the third quarter - "to hold them down."
"We didn't think about it much once the game started, but the No. 1 thing was built up during the week,"
Lockhart said. "I'm sure both teams went into it figuring it would be a good chance to gain some extra
This story was written in 1978 after the Friars thumped O'Hara . . .
By Ted Silary
It would seem that, incentise-wise, the game was a natural for Malvern Prep, Inter-Ac League chmp for the
fifth straight year but ineligible to seek the City Title, and more like a necessary evil for Cardinal O'Hara,
which will meet Archbishop Wood next Sunday for the Catholic League crown.
But if you're expecting a bevy of excuses from O'Hara coach Bob Ewing, whose team absorbed a 34-6
whipping yesterday at Springfield Delco High, you won't find even one. At least not here.
"I was NOT looking ahead to Wood," Ewing emphasized, a point he first made in the early part of the week,
"and neither was the team. We play one at a time, like every game is the main part of our schedule. Losing
to them didn't hurt us, but I will say this: they are a better football team."
Off what happened, it would certainly appear that way. Malvern, ranked No. 1 in the Daily News' most
recent poll of city league teams, coasted against the second-rated Lions as quarterback Pat Van Horn
passed 14-for-22 for 177 yards and two touchdowns and junior Paul Phelan scored two more while rushing
for 110 on 20 carries.
Malvern's first drive (nine plays, 68 yards) was capped as Van Horn tossed a 20-yard strike to Jim Marino
with 8:09 to go in the first quarter. Later in the session, Brian O'Connor made the first of four Friar
interceptions (others by Joe Sullivan, Rich Jones , Phelan) and Van Horn scored from the one on the seventh
O'Hara cut the lead to 14-6 with a 51-yard run by Mike Gallen in the second quarter, but faded after halftime
as Malvern scored thrice (Van Horn's 16-yard pass to Jones, two runs by Phelan). Jones, Van Horn's favorite
receiver but kept under wraps in many games due to a strong ground game, caught six passes for 99 yards
and was awarded the game ball.
"It was great because everybody was a part of it, as they were the whole season," said Jones. " We were
especially keyed up because we were No. 1 and they were No. 2. If they had won, they would have jumped
right over us. I'll tell you, our quarterback is the best around because he's great at reading defenses. If I'm
open, he gets me the ball. "
"We were looking to lock up No. 1 in the city," said Van Horn. " We just got up to play our best. We played
one of the best teams around so we knew it would be a meaningful game. What can I say about my receivers,
especially No. 7 (Jones). Any time I throw him the ball, he finds a way to catch it."
Despite the general excitement on Malvern's sidelines as the game wound down, Coach Gaspare (Gamp)
Pellegrini maintained a low profile. As you might recall, though Pellegrini last year coached St. Joseph's Prep
to the City Title, T-Day included an upset loss to La Salle.
"I've been in Bob Ewing's shoes before," Pellegrini said. " When you've had a playoff game one week, win
or lose it's tough to come back. They only had three days to practice for us, which is no easy task.
"But we have a good ballclub, good people and good students and, hey, this is the first time I've won on
Turkey down and bottoms up, coach.
This story was written in 2015 after the Friars topped SJ Prep . . .
By Aaron Carter
It is the goal of every underclassman to send seniors out with a victory. Under a rainy canopy at
Plymouth-Whitemarsh last night, Malvern Prep right guard Mike McCarthy helped accomplish that feat.
Afterward, the 16-year-old junior was handling his postgame interview beautifully when he effusively
repeated praise for the team's elder statesmen.
"Sorry," McCarthy said after the Friars' 24-20 triumph against St. Joseph's Prep. "I don't have much practice
It didn't show. What did was respect.
"This group of seniors we have here are incomparable," McCarthy said. "And I just wanted to send them
out with a win."
Senior running back Troy Gallen led the way with 254 yards rushing and 90 more receiving.
However, it was the play of the offensive line that made it possible. McCarthy called senior guard Kevin
McKnight a mentor and senior John Monday a great leader. Those skills were on display on a field where
he Friars previously tasted defeat.
After both teams exchanged punts, SJP appeared poised to tally first, but a red-zone interception by junior
safety James Keating secured Malvern the rock at the Friars' own 3.
The ensuing 97-yard scoring drive culminated in a 47-yard hookup between QB Alex Hornibrook and
Gallen, who made the catch, in stride, down the middle.
Malvern 's score No. 2 followed pick No. 2 when senior Jordan Majors stepped in front of another pass,
leaving the offense in prime position at the SJP 36.
A 30-yard field goal by senior kicker John Dollfus was all they could manage with 10:14 left in the second
quarter for a 10-0 Malvern advantage.
"The key to our good start was the captains doing a good job firing us up," McCarthy said. "They reminded
us what happened last year."
A 23-17 loss to La Salle (also in rainy conditions) and last season's lost to SJP took place at PW.
Junior James Bell got the Hawks on the board from 5 yards out with a rush to draw within 10-7 with 7:33
in the half.
Prep will continue its season next week in the next round of the PIAA playoffs.
But, Malvern , as it has all season, rebounded quickly. On the Friars' next play from scrimmage, Gallen
began his reconnoiter on a right-side sweep before cutting left for a 70-yard score with 7:13 left. Dollfus
added the PAT.
"When you have an explosive player like Troy Gallen , all I need to do is give him a split second," McCarthy
said. "If we just give him that initial gap with his ability to make that first cut - he's gone!"
The senior standout notched 184 combined rushing and receiving yards (14-for-137 and 47, respectively)
and two touchdowns in the first half.
Jack Clements made his second career start for SJP, with starting QB Chris Martin still smarting from a knee
injury. Clements, a junior, connected four times for 85 yards in the first half with senior Vince Moffett.
Clements forced his way in from the 4, capping an eight-play, 82-yard drive. The expedition was setup by
a 27-yard rush by Bell, a 30-yard middle screen to freshman De'Andre Swift and a Moffett rush for eight.
Five plays and 63 yards later, a Hornibrook toss to you-know-who for 34 yards put six more on the board
(24-14). Gallen breezed up the left hash, caught the ball in traffic and hopped on the good foot.
Play No. 1 of the Malvern response came courtesy of a one-handed snag by senior TE/DE John Nassib,
whose mitts run 10 1/2 inches from pinkie to thumb.
McCarthy was previously engaged with a defender and missed the snare.
"I've seen some of the amazing catches he's had before," he said. "So I can only imagine."
A 5-yarder by Swift added six for SJP, but when Clements' throwback pass to the tight end sailed, two more
were denied. So the score held, 24-20, with 5:36 remaining.
As for McCarthy, who lives in Newtown Square, his blocking skills, and interview skills, are just fine.
When his mother, Sheila, tried to get his attention, "Mom, I'm [doing an interview] . . . " followed.
He recovered like a pro!
"Yeah, we're done and it's a great way to end," he said. "Looking forward to another great senior year
with these fantastic coaches. We're returning a lot of [talent]. We have high hopes, but the offseason starts
GAME-BY-GAME BREAKDOWN .
MALVERN 33, ST. MATTHEW’S 7
MP: John Owens 19, Mike Kulzer 7, Steve Saul 6, Murphy 1.
SM: Tony Moore 6, Schools 1.
MALVERN 33, SJ PREP 19
Malvern 0 20 13 0 -- 33
SJ Prep 6 0 0 13 -- 19
SJP: Gary Brascetta 85 run (kick failed)
MP: Wally Shields 5 run (kick failed)
MP: Shields 80 run (run failed)
MP: Joe Sheridan 8 run (Brian Maguire run)
MP: Ed Schloth 37 pass from Sheridan (kick failed)
MP: Shields 81 run (Schloth kick)
SJP: John Pedrotty 16 pass from Tim Campbell (run failed)
SJP: Gene Eichman 1 run (Joe Diviny kick)
MALVERN 37, SJ PREP 16
Malvern 8 8 8 13 -- 37
SJ Prep 0 8 0 8 -- 16
MP: Joe Carney 35 pass from Steve Donnelly (Jim DellaFranco run)
SJP: John Dugan 4 run (Pedrotty pass from McIlvain)
MP: Donnelly 42 run (DellaFranco run)
MP: Steve Scheurle 60 run (pass failed)
MP: Pierce Keating 55 run (Arnold kick)
SJP: Dugan 40 pass from Gary McIlvain (Delaney pass from McIlvain)
MALVERN'S LONGEST SCORES . . .
Run: 81, Wally Shields,
|MALVERN'S TOP PERFORMANCES|
|Troy Gallen||250||2013||SJ Prep|
|Billy Conners||268||2008||SJ Prep|
|Pat Van Horn||177||1978||O'Hara|
|Alex Hornibrook||155||2013||SJ Prep|
|Steve Donnelly||154||1975||SJ Prep|
|Ryan Nassib||127||2007||SJ Prep|
|Chase Gunther||127||2009||SJ Prep|
|Joe Price||172||2008||SJ Prep|
|Troy Gallen||90||2013||SJ Prep|
|Mike Bolte||72||2009||SJ Prep|