FORT WASHINGTON >> Winning a football game is as much about preparation as it execution on the actual day of the game.
The week leading up is full of practice and film study in order to prepare for the next opponent. But sometimes, all that film study gets rendered useless when the guys on the other side of the field break out something new.
Saturday afternoon, Malvern Prep broke out all of its tricks when it came to putting pressure on the quarterback. As a result, Germantown Academy quarterback Kyle McCloskey had men in his face all day as the Patriots were done in 34-7 by the visiting Friars.
“It was tough, we were a little overmatched today,” McCloskey said. “We’re going to keep fighting and we kept fighting throughout the whole game. It’s not all on the o-line, some of it’s on me, I have to get the ball out quicker. It was tough, but we’re gonna learn from it.”
The loss ended GA’s undefeated start to the season and in Inter-Ac play. The Patriots though they knew what they were getting from Malvern and went in with a plan to attack what they had seen on film.
However, what’s on film isn’t always what a team gets. Saturday, the Friars mixed in a lot of stunts and blitzes that McCloskey said GA hadn’t seen during preparation.
“We starting blitzing with our linebackers a lot more and earlier than usual,” Malvern Prep senior outside linebacker Ryan Murray said. “We contain blitzed a lot, so we were keeping (McCloskey) in the pocket because he’s a dual-threat quarterback. We had a few stunts we could put in, it was well-schemed by the coaches.”
While GA saw some things it expected on tape, Malvern saw things it could take advantage of. With GA’s line anchored by two freshman and two other underclassmen, they’re still learning how and improving every week. Getting taken to task by an experience line should only help them going forward.
“We saw they opened up their hips a lot for contain rushing so they leave the inside open,” Murray said. “I was going inside a lot. It was just the way they set up for pass blocks.”
Facing pressure on offense was one thing, but GA also hurt itself with missed tackles and big plays in the first half. Malvern’s second possession ended in a 40-yard catch-and-run TD by O’Shaan Allison where he slipped out of several tackles to break away.
“Broken tackles were disappointing, I thought we were doing a good job especially in practice,” GA coach Matt Dence said. “The fake punts, we had the right calls, they just made plays. They had size advantage, there were a lot of balls today thrown up high and it’s a 6-4 kid against a 5-10 kid.”
Allison ran for 124 yards and caught three passes for 57 more to pace Malvern’s offense. The Friars’ second score came on a bizarre drive. Facing 4th-and-one from their own 47, the Friars ran a fake punt where Chris Brown hit Matt Daller for 19 yards.
Malvern got all the way down to the GA five before two flags and a sack backed them up to a 3rd-and-goal from the Patriots 41. The Friars had two touchdowns wiped by the flags, first a five-yard run by QB Kevin Doyle then a 31-yard pass from Doyle to Daller. On third down, they ran the same thing and Doyle hit Daller for a 41-yard score.
“That was probably the play of the game,” Dence said. “If you’re two scores down going into halftime, we score and all of a sudden it’s 14-7 and they’re probably feeling it. I don’t think it deflated us, it made us mad and separated the score.”
Murray said the play got the Malvern sideline fired up and the Friars went up 21-0 on a five-yard run by Rashon Lusane with 2:21 left in the half.
Germantown Academy came out of the half with a positive response, driving down the field and scoring a touchdown when McCloskey hit Mike Gilmore for a 15-yard touchdown. Even with pressure casing him around, McCloskey and his teammates continued to battle.
“We got our energy up and went down the field,” McCloskey said. “Then I didn’t get the first down on a crucial fourth-and-1 on that side of the field down 21-7 so I take that one on me. We just couldn’t build on it.”
Malvern added a score with 5:36 left in the third quarter when Doyle ran in from seven yards out, then capped the scoring on the next drive when Brian Boyle went 20 yards on his first carry to paydirt with 4:11 left. The drive before Doyle’s scoring run, the Friars ran a second fake punt that saw Lusane hit Daller for 21-yards.
Dence and McCloskey said they’ll make sure their young linemen come back to practice and keep their heads up.
“None of our goals are out of reach,” McCloskey said. “If we win next week, everyone in the league will have one loss, so we just have to forget about this game, learn from it and move on.”
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