MIDDLETOWN >> A star emerged for Haverford High Friday night, and he may just have restored the Fords’ Central League hopes in the process.
Jordan Mosley caught nine passes for 213 yards and three scores as Haverford routed Penncrest 28-0.
“I don’t want to look too far into the future. We’re going to be where we want to be,” said Mosley, who enjoyed his first multi-touchdown game on varsity. “We could do some big things.”
Against the Lions, it was the junior wide-out who was doing big things. In the second quarter he caught a short slant, spun off his defender almost immediately and raced 48 yards to the end zone to put the Fords up 14-0.
“I just wanted to score,” said Mosley with a shrug. “I had the end zone in mind, you know.”
That appeared to be his mindset all night. He caught a 29-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Mosley would have had a 52-yard pick-six as well, had a teammate not taken an ill-advised block-in-the-back penalty. No matter, Mosely finished the drive with 21-yard score.
“I mean the quarterback got me the ball, and I did whatever,” said Mosley. “He had faith in me, and I delivered.”
And yet the mistakes that plagued Haverford’s 1-2 start to the season were still there. Even Mosley wasn’t immune. With a 7-0 lead, he bulled his way into the Penncrest secondary, looking to cross the goal line after a 22-yard gain. Instead, Mosley coughed up the ball, and the Lions recovered.
It was one of three Fords turnovers.
Penncrest looked to quickly capitalize on the second-quarter gaffe. Quarterback Chris Mills hit Mark Ullman for a 57-yard gain to set up the Lions first-and-goal. But each time Penncrest threatened the end zone, Haverford’s defense responded. That drive ended in a missed field goal. The Lions failed to convert three other fourth downs in Fords’ territory.
“We just knew that we wanted a shutout,” said defensive lineman Nick DiIorio. “We were just watching our reads and taking it step by step.”
On the other side, the Lions (2-2 , 1-2) and coach Rick Stroup were left without answers.
“I wish I knew,” he said when asked about his team’s red zone struggles. “We’re close. We’ve just got to make plays when we need to make plays.”
If that sounds simple enough, Haverford took a similar view to heart. Sophomore quarterback Jake Ruane continued to find his weapons in the second half. He finished 14 for 19 for 289 yards passing, with three touchdowns and one interception. Ruane also showed off his running ability when he turned a broken play into a 45-yard touchdown 58 seconds into the contest.
It was the first glimpse of a Fords team (2-2, 2-1) inching closer to its 2015 championship form: 403 yards of total offense, strong quarterback play and a shutout. Mosley’s assessment reflected a cautious optimism that’s permeating Haverford.
“Our playmakers made plays. Our defense was shutdown as usual,” said Mosley. “But we still made a lot of mistakes, and we have to fix them.”
The Fords are once again a team to watch. They have a player to watch, too.