LOWER MERION >> Coming off its fourth consecutive Central League, Haverford High was leery of an emotional letdown Friday evening against winless Harriton.
No need for the Fords to worry.
Haverford’s defense ran back a pair of fumble recoveries for touchdowns of 61 and 37 yards, built a comfortable lead by the beginning of the second quarter, and held the hosts scoreless en route to a 42-0 win.
“We came out great, and executed really well tonight,” said Haverford senior linebacker Nick DiIorio. “We wanted to come out tonight and show who we are. Our defense played really well.
“We don’t look at the (won-loss) record of the team that we’re about to play. We just try to get the job done.”
Haverford (5-2 overall, 5-1 league) is still soaring after last week’s 34-28 overtime win over Garnet Valley, but coach
Joe Gallagher was quick to say, “We’re just taking it one game at a time. We have control over our destiny.”
The Fords started Friday night off with a bang. On the third play from scrimmage, sophomore quarterback Jake Ruane hit junior end Jordan Mosley for a 48-yard touchdown.
Haverford’s defense came through midway through the first quarter, when senior linebacker Jack Farrell scooped up a Harriton fumble and ran 61 yards for a touchdown to make the score 14-0.
The Fords kept pounding away. Following a three-and-out by Harriton (0-7, 0-6), Ruane hit Mosley again for a 43-yard pass play to the Rams’ 20-yard line. Then senior running back Mike Romanofsky carried the ball three straight times, the third for a 6-yard TD to give the visitors a 21-0 lead.
A mere 50 seconds later Romanofsky scored another touchdown, this time on the defensive side with a fumble recovery and 37-yard run to make it 28-0 at the beginning of the second quarter.
Harriton managed just one first down by halftime and did not penetrate the Fords’ 35-yard line on the night.
Haverford, meanwhile, moved the chains consistently and didn’t have to punt until the fourth quarter.
The Fords made it 35-0 with late n the second quarter on Ruane’s 35-yard keeper.
Haverford freshman Trey Blair took over at quarterback at the beginning of the second half and broke off a 34-yard run to the Rams’ 7-yard line. Two plays later, Blair scored on a two-yard plunge to provide the final margin.
“It doesn’t matter who we play, even the defending league champions, our goal is the same every game, to have a great attitude and great effort,” said Harriton head coach Justin Mellor. “I told our players (after the game) that we had the opportunities to make plays, and we made some of them. But you can’t allow two fumble recoveries for touchdowns, you can’t lose focus on man-to-man coverage. If you’re an explosive team, you can overcome mistakes like that, but we have to play with better technique because we’re not fast enough (yet) to make up for them.”