LOWER MERION >> You could hear the chatter in the huddle, especially on defense, as Garnet Valley rolled over Lower Merion, 63-21, in Central League football action Saturday at Arnold Field.
There was a lot of talk, mostly about maintaining discipline. The Jaguars did not want to jump the gun against a Lower Merion offense that waits until the last possible second to snap the ball.
The Aces were so patient that they were hit with four delay-of-game penalties. The Jags, though, were equally patient.
“We had to maintain our keys and watch the ball,” senior defensive tackle Joe Thomas said. “That’s all we talked about all week.”
It worked. Garnet Valley was not drawn offside once.
“We were very disciplined up front,” Garnet Valley coach Mike Ricci said. “I thought our defense played great. Lower Merion has a lot of good skill players and it was important to control the line of scrimmage against them.”
Garnet Valley (3-1 overall, 2-1 Central League) moved the Aces (0-4, 0-3) to throw the ball 27 times. While that did result in three touchdowns and nearly 200 yards, it also led to five interceptions. It would have been six but a penalty against the Jags wiped out that pick.
Ryan Williams lived every defensive lineman’s dream when he picked off a deflected pass and rumbled 13 yards for the final score of the game. Kicker/defensive back Jason Rose also got into the act with a pick. Rose was 9-for-9 on PAT kicks.
“We just played smart, but the discipline was the key,” Thomas said. “It you don’t play with discipline, things can fall apart on you in a hurry.”
The Jaguars were in control on offense, too. Matt Lassik and Austin Patton scored two touchdowns apiece. Both of Patton’s TDs came in the second quarter as Garnet Valley put 28 points on the board to open up a 42-14 lead at halftime. Patton finished with 55 yards on just five attempts, while Lassik had 48 yards on five tries.
Junior Andrew Maiers and sophomore Colin Robinson showed how much depth the Garnet Valley possesses. Maiers led the way with 89 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries. Robinson carried the ball 10 times for 69 yards to lead a ground game that averaged better than 7.3 yards per game (309 yards on 42 attempts).
“Our offensive line did a great job and so did our quarterback (Nick Juliano),” Ricci said. “I really thought he ran our offense well and put us in position to be successful.”