Malvern – Imhotep Charter showed the fans at Quigley Field Friday evening why it is one of the best high school football teams in Pennsylvania, defeating host Malvern Prep, 48-7, in a nonleague matchup.
“You can’t take a wrong step against them, or you’ll pay for it,” said Malvern Prep head coach Aaron Brady. “They’re fast, and they have a lot of speed everywhere — particularly their quarterback [senior Nasir Boykin]. Give Imhotep credit — they made all the plays.”
Imhotep Charter (5-0) has outscored its opponents 260-13 this season. Malvern’s record dropped to 3-2.
Imhotep scored on its first two possessions. The first was a seven-play, 63-yard touchdown drive highlighted by two long runs by Boykin totalling 46 yards. The second touchdown drive was an eight-play, 69-yard march highlighted by a 44-yard run by senior running back Amir Lewis.
Trailing, 16-0, Malvern Prep briefly made it interesting midway through the second quarter when senior running back Zac Fernandez broke free for a 45-yard touchdown run, breaking several tackles along the way. The Friar touchdown drive began when senior cornerback Dan Sullivan intercepted a Boykin pass at the Malvern 20 yard line. Fernandez finished the night with 78 yards in eight carries.
“We had some [positives] tonight,” said Brady. “Zac’s runs did us some good, Dan Sullivan had a solid game and I thought linebacker Cole McCabe played well.”
Right after Malvern cut the visitors’ lead to 16-7, Imhotep came back for a six-play, 78-yard touchdown drive that consisted essentially of two big plays — a 42-yard run by junior running back Kristian Marche, and a 44-yard pass from Boykin to senior back Aamir Brown.
Imhotep went into halftime with a 24-7 lead, then with 4:26 left in the third quarter, Marche broke loose for a 70-yard touchdown run to make it 30-7.
“We were excited coming into this game,” said Imhotep head coach Mark Schmidt. “Our defense played really well today, and our offensive line took a step up tonight.”
Imhotep gained 334 yards rushing Friday night on 35 carries – with 11 different ball carriers running the football. In fact, Imhotep moved the football so well that they never punted Friday night.
Boykin said, “We had a tough week of practice before this game, with the offensive linemen working hard on their blocking schemes.”
Imhotep held Malvern to only 161 total yards, and 48 passing yards. Both head coaches praised the work of Imhotep senior nose guard Jalen Denby, a 345-pounder.
“We had four plays where, if [Denby] had not made the tackle, we would have been out of the gate,” Brady said. “He had a great game.”
In the waning seconds of the third quarter, Brown gathered in a 15-yard touchdown pass from Boykin to make it 36-7.
Boykin started that touchdown drive with a 30-yard run. It was one of several long runs the Imhotep quarterback made through the Malvern defense Friday night, when he wasn’t delivering the ball to one of his game-breaking teammates.
Early in the fourth quarter, Imhotep’s CJ Walton III intercepted a Malvern pass at the Friars’ 40 yard line. Eight plays later, junior Myles Nicholson ran for a 22-yard touchdown to make it 42-7.
With less than 30 seconds left in the game, Imhotep had a first-and-goal on the Malvern 5 yard line and gave the ball to junior running back Antwon Keys, who ran it in for a touchdown to make it 48-7 with 5.1 seconds to play.
“I told the players after the game that our first season, the non-league part, is over, and now we start the Inter-Ac season,” Brady said. “We played two of the top teams in the Mid-Atlantic region, and we’re 3-2. We have a bye week, and we’ll watch film, and we’ll see where we need to improve.”