Malvern – Coming off a tough loss to Imhotep Charter, one of the best high school football teams in the state, and a bye week, Malvern Prep is looking forward to bouncing back Friday night against Episcopal Academy.
Earlier this season, the Friars (3-2) bounced back after a 47-30 opening-game loss to St. Augustine (N.J.) with an emotional 21-12 win against LaSalle at Franklin Field. Malvern is hoping for another bounceback Friday evening, when they kick off their Inter-Ac campaign against EA.
Malvern senior left tackle Sean Grady said, “Playing a good team like Imhotep Charter was good for us – it shows what we need to do better. We need to come back after this loss the way we did after the loss to St. Augustine.”
Malvern senior cornerback Dan Sullivan, who leads the Friars in interceptions, said, “The loss to Imhotep humbled us. We came into the game confident, but the [outcome] set us straight. We found out the improvements we needed to make for the rest of the season.
“We’re at the halfway point of the season, and the next five games [against Inter-Ac opponents] are what really does it for us.”
Malvern senior linebacker/defensive end Jerry Curran said, “We need to rally after our loss to Imhotep the same way we did against LaSalle. That win was great, and running down to the Franklin Field end zone by the scoreboard clock after the game, celebrating with the Malvern Prep fans, was special.”
Malvern junior defensive tackle Ryan Betz said, “Beating LaSalle at Franklin Field was special. Our defense really came together, and our student section really filled the stadium with noise.”
Malvern senior defensive tackle Justin Titchenell said, “Winning at Franklin Field, rallying after our loss to St. Augustine, was the highlight of the first half of the season, and I think we can have something similar [against Episcopal Friday] after our loss to Imhotep Charter.”
The 6-foot-, 250-pound Titchenell and senior defensive end Seth Janney (6-3, 230), a nationally-ranked wrestler during the winter, are two Friars to contend with on the first line of defense.
“Justin has a big heart and is a very physical player,” said Malvern Prep head coach Aaron Brady. “He’s the strongest guy on the team. Seth is a force on defense – he’s very hard to block one-on-one.”
Janney, who looks to wrestle in college, said, “I’m treating the rest of this season as though these are the final games of my [football] career. I’m getting fired up [for the Inter-Ac games].”
Right behind the defensive line, Malvern’s top linebackers include senior OLB Kyle Quigley (6-3, 200), junior Cole McCabe (5-11, 205), and senior LB/DE Jerry Curran (5-10, 230).
“Kyle’s tough, makes all the plays,” said Brady. “Cole is a leader, our leading tackler, and our most consistent linebacker. Jerry is all hustle and energy – he flies around the field.”
Curran said, “I like playing both linebacker and defensive end. They’re both nasty positions – you have to stick your nose in the pile [for each].”
On the offensive side of the ball, Malvern typically has a strong running attack, and this fall is no exception, with senior Zac Fernandez, who ran for 94 yards against LaSalle; and junior O’Shaan Allison, who carried for 103 yards in the Friars’ 21-0 win against Gilman.
Opening many of the holes for the Malvern runners are senior center Jake Glavin (6-2, 290), who has committed to James Madison University for football; and senior left tackle Sean Grady (6-0, 225), who is also a catcher for the Malvern Prep baseball team.
“Jake is our iron block, our cement, our core,” said Brady. “Sean is consistent and competitive.”
Malvern Prep is consistently an Inter-Ac contender each fall, so it pleases Brady that several sophomores have made contributions so far this season.
“[Linebacker] Keith Maguire, [linebacker/running back] Nick Guereria, [wide receiver/safety] TyGee Leach and [wide receiver] Quincy Watson have been big surprises as sophomores stepping us this fall,” said Brady.
“Keith makes plays all over the field, has a great upside, and gets better every game. Nick is just a [true] football player, with great instincts and motor. Quincy is an unselfish playmaker who is not afraid to block for others and go out of his way. TyGee is a special player and person who was starting at safety for us, and had a 60-yard touchdown against Pope John, but is currently on the IR. He has a chance to be dynamic player at Malvern Prep.”