BRYN ATHYN >> For as well as Germantown Academy played last week, they might have done one better against the Academy of the New Church Saturday.
With running back K.J. Cartwright rolling, senior quarterback Kyle McCloskey dealing and a defense that snagged three interceptions and tallied three more sacks, the Pats cruised to an easy 54-20 victory.
The game’s final margin was wide—34 points—but that probably understates GA’s performance. They jumped out to a 34-0 lead before eventually going up 48-7. From there, ANC chipped away against GA’s second string, but never truly threatened.
Most of GA’s success came from giving Cartwright some space. In the Patriots’ third drive—after he already punched in the game’s opening score from a yard out—he busted loose for a pair of 28-yard runs, one of them for six.
He wasn’t done.
Part way through the second quarter — after ANC scored its first points when Glenn Sabb returned a kickoff 93 yards for a score — Cartwright took the ensuing Lion kick to the house on a 90-yard reverse fed to him by Mike Reilly.
“That’s the best part about K.J.,” GA coach Matt Dence said. “We’re finding different ways to open him up. He can run inside, outside, return kicks, throw him the ball.
“Getting him the ball in different spots is our coaches’ top priority,” he went on, “because he’s a pretty dynamic player.”
Cartwright finished with six carries for 66 yards and three scores to go along with his return. Elsewhere, McCloskey picked right up where he left off last week, completing eight passes in nine tries for 104 yards and a score.
He moved the ball around a bit more—last week, against Neumann-Goretti, all four of his completions went to Reilly—and as a result, Kahlil Ashley-Diarrah had a nice game. The tall sophomore snagged four passes for 83 yards and a touchdown.
“That’s the plan each week,” Dence said. “You want to get the ball around.
“That’s why we say it’s a spread offense,” he continued. “I thought (Kyle) did a better job of finding different guys. I thought we did a better job of running our run-pass option plays, so we got the ball in different kids’ hands.”
On the other side, to say it was all bad for ANC wouldn’t be fair. It was clear from the first snap that Germantown Academy was the better team, but nonetheless, the Lions made a handful of nice plays.
“They’re a good team,” said ANC coach Ty Klippenstein. “I’ve seen them enough to know that. We knew it was going to be a challenge.
“The challenge, and hopefully we’re up to it, is being able to handle a tough loss,” he said. “That’s not easy for teams. We’ve got our work cut out for us.”
Sabb was up to the task. Just a freshman, the wide receiver added four catches, 55 yards, and a touchdown (caught with a receiver draped all over him) to his ledger. Another freshman, Devin Bryant, took a pass from Matt McCabe 79 yards for a touchdown with GA’s first-team defense still in.
“Sabb’s been a great addition to the team,” Klippentein said. “We saw him on the first day of tryouts and knew he’d be playing for us.
“He glides—it doesn’t look like he’s running fast, but he gets moving,” Klippenstein said. “And he’s probably got the best set of hands we’ve had. He’s a natural—he can catch anything around him.”
Up next for GA is a Friday-night date against New-Hope Solebury in their penultimate non-conference tune-up. The Lions will play at Sussex County Tech in Sparta, New Jersey.