SPRINGFIELD >> It was Homecoming Night, so every Springfield player would seem to get an extra boost. For running back Joe Davis, the added excitement of this football holiday helped him post his best game of the season.
Davis rushed for 76 yards and four touchdowns Friday night as the Cougars throttled Lower Merion 56-8. Davis scored on runs of 17, eight, one and 22 yards. On a night where the Cougars racked up 417 yards of total offense, Davis put on a strong showing against an overmatched Lower Merion defense.
Davis was happy to have a big night in front of the home crowd, too. Of course, he would share the credit.
“All credit goes to my O-line,” Davis said. “Without them, I could not have done what I did. They worked their tails off.”
Fellow running back Kyle Long came into the game leading the Cougars in rushing with 246 yards. But he would get just one carry for three yards on this night. Still, Long and Davis helped their team amass 318 yards on the ground, and powered them to a commanding 42-8 lead at halftime.
Springfield coach Chris Britton was pleased with his team’s overall effort and performance.
“I think we did a good job getting a lot of guys the ball; we started doing the little things right,” Britton said. “We harped on it all week how that’s been our problem all year. It was a nice win.”
The Cougars (4-4, 1-1) were happy to get the running game going early and often because they were starting a new quarterback, John Fanelli, who was starting in place of the injured Brandon DiChiacchio.
Fanelli, who played the second half against Marple Newtown the week before, threw for 99 passing yards that included a touchdown to wide receiver Vince Puppio. He also had a 56-yard run to set up Davis’ 1-yard touchdown.
“The O-line did a great job, and we ran the ball hard,” Fanelli said. “It really opened up our passing lanes and our receivers made a lot of plays.”
Lower Merion (1-5, 0-2) got the game started with a 90-yard opening kickoff return touchdown from Marquise Ghee and a two-point conversion. After that, the rest of the game was an uphill battle.
Without starting running back Isaac Iglesias (209 yards this season), who is done for the season with a torn tendon in his foot, the Aces punted four times and committed four turnovers.
“Overall, they were just way more physical,” Lower Merion coach Bryan Scopelliti said. “We’re kind of past where we’re talking about moral victories. We’re in the Central League and there’s good football in the Central League. It’s on us as coaches, too. We have to start competing at a higher level.”