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Garnet Valley’s fast start makes up for lost time

CONCORD >> To say that Garnet Valley has been playing with a bit of a chip on its shoulder for the past two weeks would probably be an understatement.

Since dropping a heartbreaking loss to Ridley on Sept. 9, the Jaguars have been extremely busy dismantling both teams that have crossed their path.

Garnet Valley’s latest victim was Radnor as the Jaguars punished the Raiders, 42-14.

Garnet Valley’s offense started fast and pushed the pace directly at Radnor. Behind, Jacob Buttermore and Danny Guy, the Jaguars raced away from the Raiders early.

“We feel like we’ve got six backs,” said Garnet Valley coach Mike Ricci. “We try to rotate them through and keep them fresh. Danny Guy, Jake Buttermore, (Matthew) Lassik… those three guys are all outstanding running backs. Then we have (Austin) Patton, Andrew Maiers, and (Dominic) Bertone who’s hurt and they’re also good players. We just have a number of backs, who really run hard.”

Garnet Valley’s offense was bolstered by the play of its line, which included tackles Joey DiAntonio and Chad Hrivnak, guards Ryan Shomo and Alex Yao, center Thomas Mahoney, and tight end Jon Ricci. The unit had no issue clearing a path to ignite the Jaguars running attack.

“The line play was really good,” Coach Ricci said. “Radnor has a really solid defense and they’re scrappy. Teams have had trouble moving the ball on them all year. I was really pleased that we were able to do that tonight.”

Yao echoed his coach’s sentiments about the quality of the Raiders’ defense.

“We knew Radnor had a great defense coming into this,” said Yao. “Our scout team represented (Radnor) well all week and we executed, played how we play, and were able to move the ball. Whatever coach calls, we’ll run it. We’ve got backs that run really hard. They’re all talented and you can plug any one of them in and we can use all of them.”

Guy was a one-man show on the first drive of the game for the Jaguars as he racked up 40 rushing yards on seven carries and 28 yards on a reception en route to a one-yard scoring run and an early 7-0 for Garnet Valley. Guy would ultimately end up with 91 yards on 21 attempts for two touchdowns.

Buttermore was not to be outdone, however, and punched in two second quarter touchdowns to give Garnet Valley a 21-7 lead at halftime. Buttermore used his speed to tally 110 yards on 14 rushes on the night, while also booting four of the team’s extra points.

Lassik and Maiers also contributed second half scoring runs for the Jaguars.

“We were pretty confident coming in,” Buttermore said. “All week we’ve looked at their defense, studying it, and then going out to the practice field and executing against it. Our line is big and strong and we just have to focus on hitting the hole hard and after that, the rest is up to us.”

Despite a seemingly never-ending run of injuries, the Raiders played extremely tough under duress.

Defensively, the Jaguars did not have to deal with Radnor quarterback Pat McDermott and running back Jack Horvath, as both were still unavailable with injuries. Garnet Valley’s defensive group proved to be too tough a task for the Raiders’ offense to overcome.

Sean Mullarkey put in a gritty effort at quarterback, while largely operating under duress. Mullarkey was able to hook up with wide receiver Charlie Connolly for four receptions and 62 yards to pose a threat to the Jaguars defense.

The Raiders also received a strong effort from running back Zach Wade, who tallied 54 yards on seven carries and a touchdown.

With under a minute to go in the game, Jahmair Rider gave Radnor a strong finish in the loss with a 94-yard kickoff return touchdown to provide the final margin.

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